I was fishing quietly on the clear, still waters of Piatt Lake, casting next to a lush weedbed. I watched a large smallmouth bass sneak out of the thick vegetation to investigate. He approached the tempting night crawler on the end of my line, stared at it, and backed into the weeds. This happened several times until he spotted the hook. Then he whipped his tail and disappeared into his lair, never to come out again.
Satan dangles temptation, like a fishhook, right in front of us. It looks tasty. It promises gratification. But Satan’s power ends there. He cannot force us to take the hook. His power stops at the edge of our will—at our decision point. When we are warned by the Holy Spirit and decide to say no, Satan can do no more. James says he runs away (4:7).
As believers, we can receive great comfort from the words of the apostle Peter, who himself experienced great temptation (Matt. 26:33-35). In later life he wrote, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion . . . . Resist him, standing firm in the faith” (1 Peter 5:8-9).
Just as that big old bass ignored my hook, we can in God’s strength successfully resist Satan’s most enticing tactics!
Father in heaven, thank You for the promise of Your help when we are tempted and for the truth that Satan’s power is limited. Give us the wisdom to recognize temptation and the humility to rely on Your Spirit for the strength to resist.
Respond to the lies of Satan with the truth of God’s Word.
The apostle Peter wrote this letter to a church that was suffering persecution. In today’s passage he addressed the leaders of the church concerning their attitude, their motivation, and their method. He encouraged them to serve from a willing heart and not out of obligation (v. 2). They were to be motivated by the opportunity to serve, not by money (v.2). Finally, they were not to abuse their power, but to use their position as an opportunity to exemplify a life lived in service to Christ (v. 3). J.R. Hudberg