VB103 Being On The Alert

By building a planned strategy of resistance, you do something on your part that stops him from finding entrance. Then it doesn’t matter how hard the devil tries to attack, he will not get inside. …VB103

Keeping the Enemy Out, Part 2

There is an enemy trying to penetrate your life, but you can build a strong barricade to keep those evil forces on the outside. This Bible study will give you practical steps for Using the Word of God For a Victorious Life. Keep the devil out of your head, home, health, and your finances.

Being On The Alert To Protect Ourselves From The Enemy

1Pet 5:8-9 (NASB) –[8] Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. [9] So resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brothers and sisters who are in the world.

We must be on the alert, or as the KJV says “vigilant” to protect ourselves from the enemy. What does it mean to be vigilant?

Vigilant — (gregoreo), gree-go-rev’-o — to arouse from sleep; to be awake, as opposed to being sleepy and negligent; to be watchful, not distracted, careless or inattentive; to give strict attention to; to be cautious; to be on high alert; to put up one’s guard against a sinister outside force or enemy.

Resist — (anthistemi), an-thiy’-stee-miy — to resist; to arrange oneself against; to strategically oppose; pictures an orderly and planned strategy of resistance.

The Bible alerts us that there is a sinister force out there, and God’s Word commands us — in fact, it is our responsibility — to construct a wall of defense that will keep that force from touching our lives.

The Greek word gregoreo is used in 12 key verses throughout the New Testament. In Matthew 24:42, Jesus used it to describe the attitude we must have about His coming:

Mt 24:42 (KJV) –Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.

The phrase, “Watch therefore” is gregoreo — the same word translated “vigilant” in First Peter 5:8. This particular verse in Matthew would be better translated, “Therefore, be on your guard. Something’s going to happen. And if you’re not alert — if you’re not on your guard — it will take you by surprise.”

Jesus continued in Matthew 24:43,

Mt 24:43 (KJV) –But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.

The word “watched” is also gregoreo. That part of the verse could actually be translated: “If the good man of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have been on guard.”

In Matthew 25:13, after Jesus had taught the parable of the ten virgins, Jesus said,

Mt 25:13 (KJV) –Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man comes.

The word “watch” is again gregoreo. A better translation of the word “watch” here would be as follows: “Stay wide awake and alert, therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man comes.”

And in Matthew 26:38, Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane when He said,

Matt 26:38 (KJV) –Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.

Again, “watch” is gregoreo and would be better translated in that verse as, “Stay wide awake and alert — attentive — with Me.” Jesus was calling on the disciples to be on the alert.

In Mark 13:34, Jesus was commanding us to be ready for His return. He said,

Mark 13:34 (KJV) –For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.

“…and commanded the porter to watch [gregoreo].” A better translation of the last part of that verse is, he “commanded the porter to stay on guard and on the alert, constantly watching.” We also find gregoreo translated as the word “watch” in Mark 13:35 and 37. In these verses, gregoreo also implies an attitude of watchfulness, vigilance, and being alert and on guard. One expositor says it means to be on HIGH alert.

We also find gregoreo in Paul’s words to the Ephesian leaders in Acts 20:31:

Acts 20:31 (KJV) –Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.

In this context, this verse could be translated: “Therefore, be on your guard against outside enemy forces and be constantly vigilant and on high alert.” And in First Corinthians 16:13 (KJV) –Paul said, “Watch ye…” But the NIV says,

1Cor 16:13 (NIV) –Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.

Be constantly on alert and on your guard.” It is very clear that this Greek word, in its various translations, always describes a state of alertness, of being aware that something could happen that could catch you off-guard. And that is precisely how Peter used the word in First Peter 5:8. “Be sober, Be vigilant,” is a command for us to take responsibility to ensure the enemy never finds his way into our personal affairs, because he is “seeking whom he MAY devour.”

A Planned Strategy of Resistance

First Peter 5:9 continues,

1Pet 5:9 (KJV) –Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

That word “resist” is so important. It is from the Greek word anthistemi, which describes a planned strategy of resistance. This is not describing a slipshod response to something that has happened to you; rather, it describes strategically building a wall of defense in advance that is so strong, so secure, and so thick that if the devil tries to attack, his attack will fail. By building a planned strategy of resistance, you do something on your part that stops him from finding entrance. Then it doesn’t matter how hard the devil tries to attack, he will not get inside.

A “planned strategy of resistance” reminds me of the words of Jesus in John 14:30, where He said to His disciples,

John 14:30 (KJV) –Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.

These are very interesting words. First, when Jesus described the devil, He called him a “prince.” Jesus knew that the devil had genuine authority in this worldly realm. Through deception, he took from Adam and Eve the authority that God had entrusted to them. However, despite that fact, he had no place in Jesus. Jesus was saying, in effect, “He can come as often as he wants. He can circle Me, looking for a way to get in. But it will have no effect because he has no entry point in Me.” Why? Because Jesus lived such a consecrated life that every door and window was closed, and every crack was sealed.

I believe in spiritual warfare and that we need weapons to deal with the devil, but the very highest level of spiritual warfare is in living a consecrated and sanctified life — a life that is lived so right, and is constructed so well, that there are no open places through which the devil can find entrance.

All this sounds impossible, but you receive God’s righteousness by faith, the moment you take Jesus as Lord and Savior. By faith in Him we also have His righteousness and life (see, 2Cor 5:21; Rom 3:21-22; 5:17). Let that sink into your heart and mind! Sure we’ll miss the mark, but be quick to repent, and dwell in His Word!

Prayer:

Father, help my friends to become enlightened to the need to be alert. Help us all to realize to be drowsy or sleepy is dangerous to our spiritual well being. I pray for the church to awaken and cautiously be on high alert. Lord show us areas in our lives where we can improve our level of vigilance.

We must be watchmen for our own sake and those around us. We must be vigilant and on guard, with a planned strategy to resist the enemy. Lord help to know Holy Spirit as our Helper in battle. It is His power and Your word that works through us that chases the devil away.

We receive your instructions, in the name of Jesus, amen.

God bless you my friend,

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