Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.1 Peter 5:8-9 NIV
As Hal Lindsey expressed in the title of one of his books, Satan is alive and well on planet earth. I disagree with Lindsey’s eschatology, but the sentiment of his title is very true. Peter pictures Satan as a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Belief in a personal devil, Satan, is often given lip service, but do we really believe it? I suspect we would take Satan more seriously if we could see him roaming the streets looking for victims.
When I go backpacking in the Olympic Mountains there is frequently a notice about cougars and what to do if you encounter one. Peter does the same thing in this passage, telling us how to protect ourselves from Satan. The first thing is to be alert and sober minded. If I was walking somewhere where I knew there was a hungry lion, I would definitely be alert to any sign of his presence, and I would not do anything that would dull my senses. In the same way I need to be alert for Satan’s presence and potential attack. Be aware of your weaknesses, because that is his most likely avenue of attack.
The notice concerning cougars makes clear that I need to stand and face any cougar I encounter, fighting back if it attacks. Peter tells us the same regarding Satan; resist him, holding your ground, stand firm in the faith. This mirrors what Paul says in Ephesians 6:10-17; hold your ground. On our own we are no match for Satan, but when we take our stand against him in faith, we do not stand alone (2 Kings 6:15-18).