If you have been thinking that the devil is powerless…you have been wrong. The devil is not powerless. As a matter of fact, he has the capacity to cause great destruction. The Apostle Peter has the following to say about the devil…
“…the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour”
I have heard this scripture interpreted to mean that the devil is not a lion but only pretending to be one in order to perpetuate fear in those who listen to his counterfeit roars. But, I don’t think that’s what Peter is saying. Peter is not saying that the devil is trying to be like a lion but in fact is like one…and his emphasis is on the devil’s ability to devour like a lion does. Peter’s intention with this simile is to show us just how destructive the devil is.
Yet, in spite of the devil’s capacity to destroy…there remains a seemingly minute, yet powerful fuse without which he cannot operate. Let’s revisit 1 Peter 5:8. The full verse reads…
Be sober, be vigilant…because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
Interestingly…Peter’s likening of the devil to a ferocious lion is preceded by a caution addressed to us. Why? This is because just as a the engine of a tank cannot be powered without the proper fuse, neither can the enemy be powered without you! You hold the the plug that dictates whether or not the enemy can be on or off – and the outlet is your attention.
How can I put it – the devil is powerless without your attention. Your attention is like air to him…without it, his intent to devour you is utterly hopeless. Because of this, he desperately stalks your every move…”prowling around”, looking for a way to get your attention. The moment he gets it, he gets access to the very source that will empower him to harm you. When Peter tells us to “stay sober”…he is telling us to stay in our right mind. The implication of this is that as long as we stay in the right mind – as long as our attention is not vested into the devil’s schemes, he cannot harm us.
All logic in consideration, if what empowers the devil is our attention…it only makes sense to simply ignore him. But what does it mean to ignore the devil? Does it mean that we place our hands over our ears so that we aren’t able to hear what he has to say? Not really…there is no way you can incapacitate yourself from being able to hear the voice of the devil. What you can do is, refuse to internalize the voice that you do hear.
And I will assure you of this – as long as you live on this earth, the devil will never quit fighting for your attention…so if you are waiting for the day his attempts against you will be no more…you are in for great disappointment. Now one thing you can be sure about the devil is that, there is no truth in him. This means that you can be sure that whatever the devil tells you is a lie; even when tells you something that is true, it is to gain access to your attention so that he can ultimately convince you of a lie. He is devious in his methods..he’ll feed you just the right amount of truth enough to cover the edges of his lies.
So how do you deal with such a devious enemy? There is an old trick that works. You yourslef must devise a method against him – you must find a way to outsmart him. And here is how you outsmart a liar – by harnessing his own devices to the advancement your benefits. If you are wise, you will use the lies of the devil as code for the the truth. You see, if you can be certain that all of the words of the enemy will culminate in lies…then you can be certain that the inverses of whatever he tells you are actually true. So if you are wise, you will turn his own efforts against him…by using him as a a credible source that will always point you in the right direction by consistently pointing you in the wrong one.
So be brave and do the opposite of what he tells you to do…feel the opposite of what he tells you to feel…think the opposite of what he tells you to think…say the opposite of what he tells you to say. It will drive him crazy and leave him hopeless in his attempts against you – because by doing the above, you will have the turned the tides of his own battle against him – an agonizing defeat.