1 Peter 5:8-9(NLT) “ Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are.”

Last summer one of my sons thought it would be funny to dump a cup of ice water over my head. His impulses are often not controlled by a filter. Of course this would be the case for many middle school boys. For a few weeks after the incident, I lived on high alert. I wish I could give you more stories to illustrate, but time will not allow. To be honest, it seems like I’m always on high alert with these kids.

Spiritual warfare is often misunderstood. I believe that there is a clear connection between Peter’s words about humility and spiritual warfare. Pride exposes our lives—including our hearts, minds, egos, work, relationships—to the enemy and his lethal attacks.

Pride is not our only threat. Apathy and presumption that all is well are also a couple of our greatest challenges. Sadly, we can live unaware of the war being waged around us. Ask God to destroy pride, apathy, and presumption in your life so that He can continue to work in you and mature your walk of faith. You have come a long way. You have changed. Your life is on mission, and you are actively working to build God’s kingdom. The enemy hates Jesus; why would he not hate you, as well?

You are loved by Jesus, Satan wants to harm Jesus by harming you. He could care less about your peace, your joy, or your hope. He will do everything he can to make your life miserable. He wants to destroy your marriage, your career, your relationships, your finances, and your integrity.

I’ve had numerous demonic dreams, which often happen on Saturday night right before I preach on Sundays. I’ve watched many people go crazy and leave the faith. I’ve had moments where anxiety and anger come out of nowhere. I’ve seen the enemy attack my kids and my wife. I’ve watched him try to tear me apart from people I deeply love and care about. In short, I don’t trust him, not even with a cup of cold water.

Your greatest strategy for spiritual warfare is an alertness birthed out of humility. He is far more powerful than we are, but he is no match for Jesus. He cannot stand against Jesus, but you cannot stand without Jesus. When the enemy comes knocking on my door, I want to be sure that Jesus is in my house.

I’ve also experienced him using isolation. He wants to separate us from one another. Community saturated with open and honest relationships is one of our greatest tools for standing strong when the fiery arrows start coming. This is one of the primary reasons we have groups going in conjunction with The Hope Project. You and I need people to stand with us in the day of battle.

So today, I want to call you to alertness. Your biggest problem is way more spiritual than you think. Maybe you have been looking at your situation the wrong way—from a purely human perspective. Will you shift your focus today? Prayer is one of your greatest tools in doing that. Humility makes the ground solid. Alertness helps you see the struggle through a spiritual lens.

God can make you strong. He can give you everything you need to run this race all the way to the end. The One who is in you is greater than the enemy who is against you. Stand firm. Place your feet on the rock. Put down the distractions. Cry out for alertness. Let Him help you be fully engaged today.

Take a moment to ask the Lord to give you eyes to see what’s happening around you. Ask Him to help you discern how to address problems in the spiritual realms. Ask Him for wisdom and grace to walk in the power of the Holy Spirit today.

Father, we are grateful that you are a protector. We turn to you for protection against our enemy. We humble ourselves before you. Help us to stand strong and fight the good fight for your glory.

In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

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