Be on your guard and stay awake. Your enemy the devil is like a roaring lion, sneaking around to find someone to attack. -- 1 Peter 5:8
Be on your guard, watching for the devil. Sounds obvious. But there's more. He is sneaking around, looking for someone. He does not strut around, making himself obvious so that we can give wide berth and avoid him. He is subtle. In our everyday lives, perhaps we are doing good things that honor and please God--raising a family, performing well at work, serving in the community, church involvement. But if we forget to keep God at the center of all these things, the devil can sneak in, planting seeds of pride, resentment, discouragement, or exhaustion from our commitments. We must be on our guard, watching for the devil approaching in the distance; we cannot wait until he has set up camp in our lives, thoughts, and actions.
1 Thessalonians 5:16 says to pray without ceasing. Staying "prayed up" will allow us to be alert to an oncoming attack. The devil is not creative. He knows how to push your buttons, causing you to lose focus and let your guard down.
We must also stay awake when life gets comfortable. It is very easy to sit back, relax and close our eyes for just a moment. It's in these times we should have peace, knowing "the Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God, and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." -- Philippians 4:5-7
We need not live in a constant state of fear or paranoia. We can rest in the knowledge that we are God's children, and He will protect us. However, we are called to be awake and aware of our enemy, putting on the armor of God every day, ready to extinguish the fiery darts of the evil one. Do not let him steal your joy or your peace.
Become a warrior, alert and aware, shining your light for Christ and offering hope and joy to a world that is lost in the darkness.