God's Power in our Struggles - 1 Peter 5:8,9
August 14, 2023, 8:37 AM

8. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

There was a story of a man who met the devil just as he stepped into the church. He inquired of Satan what he could possibly be doing there. He said, "All kinds of things will be done and said here today that will displease me, so I expect to do my best to prevent any good coming from this service.”

"And how do you propose to go about your work?” the man asked.

"OH, I have many devices.” said Satan. “For instance, before church, I go to each home and make a little trouble. I get the husband upset because the wife forgot to sew a button on his shirt, or forgot to fill the car up with gasoline. I make the kids upset to have to leave their television programs to come to Sunday School. Usually, it helps if one can't find a shoe, or misplaces their Bible. That really gets the mother in a foul mood. Often this is enough to get their minds disturbed to prevent much of a blessing. I do what I can to make them late, for that almost always upsets someone in the family.

However, if they get to church in a relatively good mood despite my efforts, I have other ways of accomplishing my ends. I get one lady to look how another has fixed her hair, or how out of style her dress is. I get the better educated men disturbed by the preacher’s grammar or his style of delivery. Others I can disturb by the music, to use their critical ear by letting others know how really gifted they are by pointing out mistakes and out of tone notes others make.

Others I can disturb by a slight draft from a window, getting their minds so occupied with the possibility of catching a cold, that they hear very little of the message. If I cannot misdirect people's attention, then I just get them to apply the sermon to anyone but themselves. If some have been thinking about something God is saying to them, I manage to remove the blessing or conviction by getting someone to come up at the close of the service and talk about anything and everything but spiritual things.”

The churchman sadly shook his head, "Oh, I don't think those things would work in our church."

Satan smiled, "Probably not.” After all your church is much better than most."

The man thought about how good he was through the whole service.

Satan works in various ways. So often the struggles we face in this life can keep our focus on our needs and can get in the way of God’s best. Satan makes sure we have struggles. Some believers are faced with persecution, others with apathy, some with trials of discouragement, others with temptations of various sorts.

Apostle Peter looks at the common struggles that come to us, many from the devises of Satan, and reminds us how God's power and insight is needed in different situations of our lives.

Application: How did Satan seek to dissuade you in your faith walk last week?

Prayer:   Lord, guard my heart both at worship with the body and in my personal worship. Put a hedge of protection around me like the mountains surround Jerusalem.