STUFFED PIGS, ROARING LIONS, AND OTHER ISSUES
Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8
We live in a dangerous world, we have to be careful to be vigilant, we have to stay alert. This truth came home to me on a mission trip to Russia in the early 1990’s. Parris and I led a team to the Ukraine and were spending our last night in Moscow before returning home. We were exhausted and somehow left our hotel room unlocked (strange that the doors didn’t lock automatically). Early the next morning I was aroused out of a deep sleep to see someone walk out of the room closing the door behind them. They had taken my wallet with about four-hundred dollars in it. The scary thing is the wallet was just inches from my head. We were sleeping, unaware of the dangers that were all around us. Somehow that reminds me of our spiritual condition today. We have to stay alert. If we stay spiritually prepared we are safe, apathy is an invitation for trouble. Martin Luther spoke of the dangers in this fragile world.
“Our situation is similar to travelers who stay at an inn where they find out that everyone in the place is a robber. If they had to stay there, they would arm themselves in the best possible way and probably wouldn’t get much sleep. In the same way, we now live on this earth, where the evil spirit is the prince. He controls the hearts of the people under his power, and he does whatever he wants through them. This is a horrible situation if viewed correctly. So Peter warns us to be alert. He wants us to be like faithful servants who are aware of what is really happening. Therefore, he says, “Be self-controlled.” For those who eat and drink too much are like stuffed pigs that are good for nothing. Therefore, we must keep this treasure with us at all times. “Be alert,” he says, not only spiritually, but physically. For lazy people who like to sleep won’t be able to resist the devil after they have gorged themselves and drunk their fill. After all, it’s hard enough for those who have faith and the Spirit to resist the devil.”
The strangest thing about the robbery in Russia was that there were government officials with an open office on each floor stationed next to the elevator. I think maybe the thief was actually in charge. Our mistake was a false sense of security, apathy put us in a vulnerable position.
I think Luther’s comment about overeating and “stuffed pigs” is quite interesting. I think his point is this, overeating is just a picture of someone who has become spiritually lazy and is indulging in the pleasures of this world at the expense of spiritual preparedness. We actually live in a war zone. Like any war, there are casualties. Peter recognized this and told us to stay “self controlled and alert”, your life depends on it.