What time is it Mr Wolf?
When our three daughters were very young I used to play the game – what time is it Mr Wolf, with them. They would ask the question and I would say a number and they would move closer to the wolf which was me! I’d time it just right and when they asked what time is it Mr Wolf I would shout dinner time and turn and chase one of them. The girls loved it.
Although Satan is not depicted as a wolf in 1 Peter 5:8 he is a carnivorous hunter – one looking to devour flesh! The context shows that he cannot just walk up and devour anyone he wants but like a lion, he is looking to take advantage of the injured and the inexperienced. He uses his main weapon which is intimidation, seen in the phrase – like a roaring lion!
Peter urges believers to be proactive against this carnivorous hunter by understanding and developing three disciplines – be sober, be vigilant and resist! These three decisions and disciplines, working together, will send this flesh eater running!
The Holy Spirit warns that anyone in the flesh cannot please the Father. Our flesh cannot, meaning it does not have the capacity, and will not, meaning it does not have the desire, to submit to God. See Roms 8:7&8. Flesh in the NT is shorthand for ‘any part of our soul, that’s not being renewed by the truth of His Word and through the power of His Spirit, being brought under the Lordship of Christ.’
When my images, thoughts, desires and emotions are not lined up with His, then I am in the flesh which means I am not pleasing God and I am open to being devoured by this carnivorous hunter!
We are commanded to not be ignorant of this carnivorous lion’s schemes (2 Cor 2:11) and as we are establishing, he is after our flesh and seeking to take advantage of our inexperience and injuries. Two verses will help our understanding and empower us to overcome his attacks – 2 Cor 2:10 & 11 & Eph 6:11
In 2 Cor 2:11 Paul declares he is not ignorant or inexperienced in his dealings with Satan and so his action of forgiving in verse 10 stops Satan taking advantage of him. The word advantage speaks of gaining more of something. The need to forgive speaks of being injured by another and so Paul moves quickly to forgive because he is not in the dark about Satan’s schemes. Unforgiveness, although a very difficult issue at times, gives Satan access to more of our mind, emotions and heart.
The reason unforgiveness can feel like we’re being eaten up from inside is; that is what is happening!
We are not going to get through life without experiencing ‘relational injuries!’ But behind the scenes is the one who constantly schemes to get us in the flesh. Let us remember that Christ was bruised and pierced, in other words, his blood heals all internal injuries, bruises done to us by others, and not just physical sickness. See Ish 53:5
Unforgiveness, offence, bitterness are access points for him.
Eph 6:11 contains the image of us putting on the whole armour of God so we can make our stand against the wiles of the devil. The word wiles literally translates as – ‘with a road.’ It compares the devil to a traveller heading down a road.
I like to remind myself this way: he’s heading in one direction, towards one destination to accomplish three desires – to rob, steal and destroy.
That destination is our minds and through our mind, to fill our hearts, so as to flood our lives with his images, thoughts and actions!
What time is it Mr Wolf?
It’s time to stay sober and remain alert to his persistent schemes and plans. Time to take decisive action when he tries to take advantage via our relationships, past mistakes or our lack of experience. It’s time to resist him by and in faith and see him flee. It is time to grow our confidence and faith and mature as super-conquerors in Christ. See Roms 8:37