“Keep your mind clear, and be alert. Your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion as he looks for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8 GW).
We expect Satan to come at us like a roaring lion. We expect him to be scary, noisy, and conspicuous. But he’s a sneaky, sneaky lion. And he is a snake in the grass—our grass. Satan rarely comes at us with a frontal assault. He rarely makes mischief in our lives by rushing at us head-on to maul us. He doesn’t want us to see it coming. He lies in the weeds and watches so he can see which way we are heading. He’s a savvy wrestler. He notices how we’re leaning and uses our own body weight against us. Our own momentum does us in. He slips alongside and pushes us too far in the direction we are inclined to go so he can roll us over. Then he flops on top of us and pins us down.
Satan nibbles away at us to go for just one more: one more drink, one more bet, one more flirtation with the pretty person at work, one riskier pursuit of some guilty pleasure. The first move in wrestling with Satan is pulling ourselves back. The first move in wrestling with Satan is being clearheaded and alert to the things that tempt us so that we can pull ourselves back. Then we can regain our moral balance and be faithful to our Lord.