Peter wrote, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). His warning to the saints comes just after his exhortation to them to be humble and cast all of their cares upon the Lord. Certainly the devil is our constant adversary. But the devil is also quite cunning. I would like to present a contrast from which we might draw a needed conclusion concerning the devil and his ways of operation.
Have you ever noticed how the devil in the movie theater, streaming services, and books or magazines is loud, uninhibited, and apparent? The deeds he does are open, visible, and undeniable. We normally have no problem standing for what’s right and openly proclaiming that the devil’s at work in these mediums. We easily identify the bad language, innuendoes, immodest dress, drinking, drug use, etc. and are offended and determined to strongly repel such wicked influences.
But when the devil operates in our lives, he’s quiet, reserved, and secretive. The deeds he loves are hidden, invisible, and denied. Though we would like to think he’s as obvious in life as in these other mediums, his works are often known only to our own hearts. When the apostles were choosing a replacement for Judas, they prayed, “You, O Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which of these two You have chosen” (Acts 1:24). The Lord God Almighty knows our hearts and He’ll certainly know the extent of influences that the devil wields on us.
Therein lies the great contrast. When we observe the devil’s actions outside of our own actions, he is manifest and therefore, defeatable. However, the devil is not quite as apparent when it comes to what we think, say, and do everyday. The defense is eloquently given to us by revelation through the apostle Peter in 1 Peter 5:8.
So if you think he’s not around, and you feel safe and secure, check your favorite books, watchlists, summer wear, activities, priorities, language, and jokes. He may be your own silent partner, allowing you and your family to silently walk with the world unaware and your faith invisible. Paul said, “… lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices” (2 Corinthians 2:11).