Be Alert, Prepared and Self-Controlled

  • 1 Thessalonians 5:6 So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober.
  • 1 Peter 1:13 Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober…
  • 1 Peter 4:7 The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray.
  • 1 Peter 5:8-9 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.

Would you send a soldier to war without preparing him? Would you give him weapons without showing him how to use them? Would you send him to battle without telling him who the enemy is and what he looks like? Would you not give him information on what to watch for that might indicate the enemy is nearby? Would you train him to be alert so that he would be ready in different circumstances? In the army, they have a strategy before they leave for war. They don’t leave it to chance because they know that soldiers who are unprepared are already defeated before they leave. The same is true for you if you’re a born-again Christian in the army of God. You need to know who your enemy is, how he works, what weapons to use and in which circumstance, who you are in Christ, who your Covenant Partner is, what Christ has done for you, and that you have the victory.

How to be alert, prepared and self-controlled:
  1. You need to know who your enemy is and it’s not your spouse, not your colleague, not your schoolmate, not your mother-in-law, it’s the devil. You are not fighting against flesh and blood but against principalities. Now the enemy may use those individuals like he used Peter to try and deter Jesus from his destiny but you need to know who is seeking to steal, kill and destroy. It is none other than Satan. You need to do like Jesus and come against him. (Don’t say to the individual get behind me Satan. Jesus was using these words to show us that it wasn’t Peter but the enemy using Peter to do his bidding. Learn from Jesus’ experience.)
  2. Surrender and submit to God daily to remain sensitive to His Spirit. He is the Spirit of truth and knows of things to come. Surrendering to God will allow you to have power over the enemy. “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).
  3. Be full of the Word so that you can use it as an offensive weapon like Jesus did. He said “It is written….” to Satan when being tempted by him in the desert. (See topic The Word, the Word, the Word and/or The Word Is An Offensive Weapon.)
  4. Spend time in prayer, thanksgiving, praise and worship daily to get closer to God. He is your Covenant Partner and the more you get to know Him and His promises through His Word and through time spent with Him, the bolder you’ll be against the enemy and the more victories you’ll experience.
  5. Know who you are in Christ (e.g. an overcomer, more than a conqueror, the head and not the tail, etc.) and the weapons that have been given to you. Learn how to use those weapons and you’ll be prepared against the enemy’s schemes.
  6. Develop being led by the Spirit so that you will be self-controlled. When the enemy sends a flaming arrow and you react in the flesh, you’ll be doing and saying plenty of things that won’t line up with the Word. If you are led by the Spirit, you can immediately inquire of Him about the situation and what to do. He can give you a verse, an answer, a root cause and even a battle plan.
  7. Don’t be passive, be alert! You need to realize that the enemy is prowling around right now like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. If you’ve got the Word in you, your armor is on, you know who your Covenant Partner is and how and when to call on Him, you’re ready for every flaming arrow Satan sends your way. You’ll use your shield of faith and other weapons to resist him and he will flee from you. Don’t let your guard down!

Call to action:
Don’t wait for a situation to arise to get in the Word and learn to use your weapons. Do it now so you’ll be prepared. In fact, look at situations right now where the enemy has tripped you up and where you did not use the Word or your other weapons. Think of how you’ll apply these should similar circumstances occur in your life.