It all sounds easy enough, doesn't it? I mean honestly who would 'choose' to obey our enemy over our Father? That's the part where the enemy's cunningness comes into play. He tends to speak to our flesh, as to where God on the other hand, speaks to our spirit. The desires of our flesh can oftentimes become louder and temporarily more satisfying than the desires of our spirit man....or so we are at times, momentarily deceived into believing.
Have you ever been there where the temptation of your flesh became so great that instead of doing or saying what you knew to be the right thing, instead you gave in to your flesh, well, simply because you wanted to? In the heat of the moment, if felt good to let the flesh win the battle, didn't it? I'm not pleased to tell you, I have been there, more than once.
For the moment it may have felt gratifying, then shortly afterwards there comes that small voice of wisdom whispering into your heart of hearts. Possibly the consequences of allowing the flesh to rule over the spirit began to appear one by one, declaring the mistake of a fleshly victory. Both have their unique way of shining the light of truth into our decision making skills when void of self control and Holy Spirit discernment.
My point in saying all of this is quite simply, in all things God has a plan for our well-being and a plan that works out for our best in the final outcome of the circumstance. The enemy can only have access to what we give him access to. Sure he can try to get in and disrupt and may very well do so, but merely on a temporary time table, while we are yet moving into the early stages of the plan God has set forth for us.
I equally like the translations from the Amplified Bible, as well as, The Message for 1 Peter 5:8-9, so I'm listing both. As I study the word, I often like to read the same scripture from several different translations and allow it to absorb into my understanding. The way one person phrases something differently from the way another person phrases it, although both meaning the same thing, can many times be the key in clicking into the depth of understanding we need to have in it. God speaks to each one us in the manner and with the words we can best grasp as the individual person we are. With that being said, what a blessing it is to have different translations to study of the same word!
"Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of your's the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour. Withstand him; be firm in faith [against his onset -rooted, established, strong, immovable, and determined], knowing that the same (identical) sufferings are appointed to your brotherhood (the whole body of Christians) throughout the world." Amplified Bible
"Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping. Keep your guard up. You're not the only ones plunged into these hard times. It's the same with Christians all over the world. So keep a firm grip on the faith." The Message
We are in a wonderful season of the spirit at this time. We are at the very brink of so many promises, callings and opportunities of acceleration being at hand. It's most definitely an exciting time to experience on a personal, as well as a corporate level. It's wisdom to keep in mind, (although not allowing it to become our priority of focus) during this time, right at the brink of growth and expansion is when our enemy becomes the most determined to hinder us in our walk with the Lord, in our relationships with one another, and in our success of advancement. We need not be afraid, merely wise to his schemes and well prepared.
Awhile back, the Holy Spirit spoke a word to me personally, about this very onslaught and tactic of the enemy upon my life. He has instructed me to share it with His people that we all may be sharp and alert to the enemy's plans and prepared within our own hearts and minds beforehand. Recognizing the enemy at work is the greatest portion in winning the battle at hand. It's not unlike him to use the people we feel closest to. After all, that's where the greatest hurt and damage can be inflicted from when it's all said and done. We're all well aware, the closer the relationship is, the greater the wound of division from a relationship is. It's natural for our hearts to feel that, and it's alright to feel the pain. It's more of a matter of how we respond to the pain. When we respond by being led by the Spirit, we do well, no matter how much pain we feel at the moment. The response from the flesh/emotions, which is actually more of a reaction than it is a response, is what causes the greatest disruption and chaotic consequences to enter into our lives, and/or to continue longer than what may have been able to initially be averted.
"Submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you." James 4:7 When we submit to God, that means we are surrendering all that we are to Him. We are emotions, we are words, we are actions and not forgetting; most importantly, we are His.
The Holy Spirit said to me;
"Tomorrow holds a clear and precise transition. There is a mantle coming upon My people - the mantle is falling. Let the sound of freedom ring. Freedom will be heard with a clear, unmatched sound.
There is danger up ahead, the enemy wants your head and is in hot pursuit to get it. Someone whom you have least expected will turn on you. Keep out of the snare by carefully choosing your words. Let each word be guided by My Spirit. I will disarm the plan and plot set out against you and remove the ammunition as you walk in obedience to My Spirit in every step of the way. Watch and pray. Be clean in every situation. This is a time where much prayer is required. The prayer will lift you above what is coming.
What you have been waiting for will come as a result of this prayer feasting. Arise in the morning and begin with prayer. Let the prayer consume your day and end your waking hours with this continued prayer. Be filled. Be consumed.
The days are numbered and none are to be spent in vain. The far reaching impact of this fervent, hot prayer fast (feast) will far outweigh the time invested in it.
You are a bona fide believer and it shall be known."
If you're like me, I had never even used the word, 'bona fide', so I really wasn't sure what it meant exactly. In case you're in that same boat, the word bona fide from Merriam & Webster's Dictionary - 'made in good faith without fraud or deceit'; sincere; genuine'.
Betrayal is a rough experience to go through, regardless of the why's or how's involved in it. Nevertheless, there's a side of it that we need to be mindful of but too often lose sight of because of the pain it inflicts upon us. The person whom we view as the betrayer, isn't necessarily setting out with evil or ill intent. There's a reason why Satan is called a liar, a thief, an accuser of the brotherhood and desiring so much to divide the house of God. His scheme of attacks are by lying to us about who we are, trying to rob us of our authority and blessings we have been given, he accuses us to ourselves and to one another, and he wants to divide us in an attempt to single us out in vulnerability.
"Behold, I am sending you out like sheep in the midst of wolves; be wary and wise as serpents, and be innocent (harmless, guileless, and without falsity) as doves." Matthew 10:16
I believe it's fairly safe to say that every one of us at some point in our lives has fallen prey to being deceived by the devil, or having a part in believing an accusation posed upon another member of the body of Christ.
Just as we very much need grace personally for our sinful nature that still arises here and there, we also need to allow grace to be active on whomever may fall prey to that same deception against us. It's not easy, but it is doable through leaning in on the Lord and following His instructions to us. It's called, forgiving, and it comes by way of His active grace within our hearts. We don't know what avenue the enemy has accessed our fellow believers through, but take Peter for example, he betrayed Jesus, not because Peter was evil or meant harm to Jesus. He loved Jesus! Peter betrayed Jesus from the place of fear. Fear has a way of changing our perspective if we give it a place to roam around within us. Peter feared he would come under the same persecution as Jesus was, so he did what his fear was driving him to do and sought to protect his own well being. Just as the Father loved Jesus, He also loved Peter just as much. Just as the Father loves us, He loves the one who has sinned against us just the same. Just as He has a plan for our advancement, He also has a plan for their advancement too. We do well to pray for one another, in every given situation.
We're all human, and we all make mistakes. We sometimes make mistakes that we wish we could take back and undo, and although we cannnot reverse time nor our actions, we can allow God's perfect grace to cover everything from our own sins to the sins of other's within our life. His grace is more than sufficient to make anew and good with all we have done wrong.
The above word from the Lord isn't really about the betrayer, although when we are betrayed, in our vulnerability of the flesh, it becomes tempting to focus on the betrayal itself. The word is actually about the condition and preparation of our own heart in allowing His Spirit to rule over and above the voice of the enemy or, above our own fleshly desire to react adversely, in the midst of attack and woundedness, The word is also about giving us a reminder of hope and reassurance of a good and rewarding outcome following our obedience through the trial.
God is a good father, and a good father prepares his children for good and bad situations. For those who mistakenly believe that being a Believer of Christ means we will never endure hardships or trials, that's simply not true. God has clearly told us in His word that while here on earth, we will go through some bad stuff. (John 16:33) He also is faithful to instruct us how to walk through these times and always gives us the hope and promise of the reward to follow.
The key is to keep our eyes fixed upon Him and not the situation at hand. We are accountable for our own words and actions, and it's important to remember to keep in continual communication, communion and surrender to the Lord. We are the children of a good Father, and He has prepared for us a good testimony into the next chapter of our story.