1 Peter 5:8 (ESV) Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
1 Peter 5:8 (TM) Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The Devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping.
Lions attack sick, young, or straggling animals; they choose victims who are alone or not alert. Peter warns us to watch out for Satan when we are suffering or being persecuted. If you are feeling alone, weak, helpless, and cut off from other believers, or if you are so focused on your troubles that you forget to watch for danger, those are the times when you are especially vulnerable to Satan's attacks. During times of suffering, seek other Christians for support. Keep your eyes on Christ, and resist the devil. Then, says James, "he will flee from you" (James 4:7)
I LOVE the Discovey channel, and especially like to watch when they are showing lions chasing a wildebeest. Several years ago we were watching this take place on our television, and I was cheering for the lions to catch the Wildebeest, while Taylor, my eight year old daughter (at that time) was yelling, "run deer, run." She was so upset about the lions trying to kill the "deer" that she was about to cry. She started saying, "turn it daddy, turn it, I don't want to watch the lions kill that 'deer'" I eventually turned the channel , but continued to think about what we had just seen on TV.
For you see, a lion will not go into a herd of wildebeest to attack. The herd could trample the lion. What he does, is wait until one of the wildebeest separates himself from the pack. When this happens, the lion(s) begin to crouch and prowl toward the "very much alone" wildebeest. The lions are hoping to "DIVIDE AND CONQUER." You then watch the Wildebeest trying his best to get away from the lion, and in many cases, attempting to get back to the pack of his friends.
My friend, that is exactly what the Bible says about the devil. It is said about satan, that he comes "as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour." What is his strategy? DIVIDE AND CONQUER!
The Bible says in Romans 4 that when Abraham didn't receive the promise of God for some 25 years, that he "didn't stagger at the promise of God." The word stagger in the Greek means, "to not separate oneself in a hostile spirit." Abraham refused to become offended and allow the devil (lion) to DIVIDE AND CONQUER. However, many people do fall for this trick of our enemy. They become upset, hurt or offended, and the first thought that comes into their mind is to "separate themselves from other people." They are deceived into believing that the best thing for them to do is to leave the fellowship of God's people. They decide that they can serve God at home better than being around people at church. It is a lie and a trick of the devil. God's Word plainly says in Hebrews 10:25:
Hebrews 10:25 (AMP) Not forsaking or neglecting to assemble together [as believers], as is the habit of some people, but admonishing (warning, urging, and encouraging) one another, and all the more faithfully as you see the day approaching.
(CEV) Some people have gotten out of the habit of meeting for worship, but we must not do that. We should keep on encouraging each other, especially since you know that the day of the Lord's coming is getting closer.
(KJVR) Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
(MSG) not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching.
The closer we get to the Lord's return, the greater the deception is going to be by the enemy to try to get us to "separate ourselves" from our friends, church, and even family members. It is an attack of the devil that will only increase. The Word of God says that in the last days, that the "very elect" of God's people are going to be tempted to be deceived. Also, that the "love of many" will grow cold. Please hear your pastors heart today. We NEED each other. Don't be like the wildebeest and separate yourself from the HERD of God's people. The desire to do so is NOT coming from the Spirit of God, but from the god of this world, satan himself, the "roaming lion" who is seeking to devour you and your family.
What is even sadder to me today, is that the enemy is great at using God's children as tools in his hand. Too often, christian men and women "sow seeds of discord" among God's people by telling lies, discussing how they have been hurt, and wallowing in self pity. This is a STENCH in the nostrils of God. There is NOTHING holy, righteous or godly about this. My friend, if some comes to you sowing seeds of discord, stop them immediately because if you listen, God will hold you accountable as well. Don't allow the devil to cause you to separate yourself from your church.
If you have already separated yourself from others for whatever reason, why don't you ask God to help you get past your offense, and grow in the Lord. Some good folks, never mature in the Lord because they are always running from their problems. Oh, they may sound spiritual, but my friends, if they are separating themselves from God's people in offense, they are falling for the oldest trick of the enemy. Please know that you are WELCOME to come back to God's Herd. He is calling, beckoning you through this blog to, COME BACK HOME! God's Word tells you that "greater is HE that is in you, than he that is in the world."
"Lord, I truly believe we are living in the last days. There are so many attacks against Your people and Your Church. I know You will fight against those who are deliberately sowing discord among the brethren. Those who are attempting to undermine Your work by running thier mouth, spewing out lies. The thing that troubles me are those who listen to the lies and begin to separate themselves from the "herd". Then the enemy has done exactly what he needs to do to conquer. Holy Spirit, speak to each of us about walking in the Spirit and not in our flesh. I die to my flesh again right now. In Jesus' name, amen!"