2020 is over.
I know most people were excited for 2021 to start. But the drop of a ball and the start of a new year do not automatically change our lives.
If we want to make this year better, we have to make a conscious effort to change! It’s time for us to be alert and ready to fight for the Kingdom of God this year.
You see, it’s easy to get complacent in life.
But the Bible tells us in 1 Peter 5:8-9 (NIV):
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
Satan is not getting complacent. He is looking for someone he can devour. As a believer, Satan wants to completely destroy you. The good news is that we don’t have to fear! The war has already been won and we have the victory, but Satan is still fighting.
So how can we avoid Satan’s attacks?
I want to break down 1 Peter 5:8-9 and discuss how to prepare yourself for what God is calling you to accomplish in 2021.
1. Be alert and of sober mind.
If we want to hear God’s voice and discern His will for our lives, we need to be alert. God is ready to lead you to your destiny, but you have to listen and follow His directions. Be attentive to what He is calling you to do.
We also need to keep our minds sober. I’m referring to much more than simply alcohol. Is fear keeping you from stepping out in faith? Are you constantly so focused on what could possibly go wrong that you aren’t listening to hear God’s plan? Are you distracted by social media? Do you spend your time thinking about how nice the Jones’s house is or how incredible Karen’s new bag is?
It’s easy to let distractions get in the way. One minute, we’re scrolling through social media, and the next, we’re thinking about someone else’s living room or wardrobe and wishing we had their lives instead of our own.
Guess who wins in this? Satan. God has created you to be you. He designed you exactly the way He wants you to be. So why let someone else’s lifestyle steal your joy?
2. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
The second part of 1 Peter 5:8 says “your enemy.” Satan is after you. As a child of God, he is actively seeking to destroy you. It’s become personal.
Satan is playing for your life. He’s not playing games. He’s not looking for someone to mess with because he’s bored. His goal is to completely destroy you.
We need to acknowledge this relationship. He’s not just after the big name preachers. He wasn’t just around in the New Testament. He’s still fighting today, and as a believer, he’s after you.
As a Christian, you can do so much for the Kingdom of God. Even impacting one life has a major effect. Satan knows this, but he doesn’t want you to realize this. He wants to keep you so bound up by his lies that God can’t use you. God is ready to use you if you’ll just say “yes” to Him.
Satan is described as being “like a roaring lion.” He is trying to destroy you. When he attacks, don’t hand him the victory. Take control of your thoughts. Know who you are in Christ. Don’t fall for his lies.
It’s much easier said than done. It’s easy to know not to fall for his lies, but in the moment, they can seem convincing. How do we keep from falling for Satan’s lies? Get in the Word of God! Know what He says about you. Learn the plans He has for you.
Here are several Bible verses on what God says about you:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
—Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.
—Romans 8:28 (NIV)
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.
—Joshua 1:9 (NIV)
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
—John 14:27 (NIV)
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
—2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)
So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are His child, God has made you also an heir.
—Galatians 4:7 (NIV)
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.
—Romans 8:1-2 (NIV)
3. Resist him.
The Bible tells us to resist the devil’s schemes. We are not called to stand by and take it. Don’t let Satan win the battle. We are called to fight back! Also, this verse gives us encouragement that we are not alone in this.
First Peter 5:9 closes with, “The family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” Satan wants us to feel isolated. He wants you to believe that you are the only person on Earth feeling the way you do. He wants you to quit. But we know that this is not an isolated attack on us. He is after every believer, and we can be encouraged by knowing we aren’t alone in this.
Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
—Ephesians 6:11-12 (NIV)
Our struggles are not with each other. We are in a very real spiritual battle, and it’s time for us to get up and fight! Ephesians 6 talks about the armor of God. It explains that we need to prepare ourselves to stand against Satan’s attacks.
God is going to see you through this. He will lead you through your spiritual battles when you go to Him. Don’t get discouraged by the enemy’s attacks!
When you are feeling discouraged, get in the Word of God. Put on some worship music. Listen to a biblical teaching. Reach out to godly friends and mentors. Remind yourself of where your strength comes from.
Don’t quit now.
Just as we need food to give us physical strength, we need our spiritual food to fuel us. Don’t expect to defeat the enemy if you aren’t fueling yourself for battle. Read the Word of God, spend time in prayer, and get involved in the local church. Build yourself up with God’s truth.
Don’t let yourself get complacent. Keep fighting to reach your destiny. God has incredible plans for your life, and I am here to cheer you on as you pursue them! Let God lead you in this year. Step out in faith, and follow what He is calling you to do. Let Him lead you into the impossible. I promise it’s always worth it to follow God!