Be sober: Be steadfast

1-peter-5-8-9

Like an alarm clock that arouses us from a deep sleep, the Verse of the Day for October 31, 2016 offers this sharp reminder:

1 Peter 5:8-9 (NLT):

Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are.

The Amplified Bible states the warning this way:

Be sober [well balanced and self-disciplined], be alert and cautious at all times. That enemy of yours, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion [fiercely hungry], seeking someone to devour. But resist him, be firm in your faith [against his attack—rooted, established, immovable], knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being experienced by your brothers and sisters throughout the world. [You do not suffer alone.]

Generally speaking, the phrase “be sober” is thought to mean “do not be drunk” or “don’t get intoxicated,” but a more precise translation renders the term: “to be sober, calm and collected, to have good sense, good judgment, wisdom, and level-headed in times of stress.”

This passage gives the reason for being sober: . . . because our adversary, our “opponent in the court of justice” (Zechariah 3:1), the accuser of the brethren, our arch enemy, who only seeks to steal, kill, and destroy, walks about as roaring lion, that attempts to instill fear and startle its prey before pouncing on the petrified victim. As believers, we are to resist, to stand firm in our faith—rooted, established, immovable. We are consoled in knowing that our brothers and sisters throughout the world encounter similar situations and stand strong. We are not alone.

The Verse of the Day also brings to mind a Word for the Day posted earlier this year: the remarkable adjective “Unflappable,” meaning not easily upset or confused, especially in a crisis; imperturbable. Thought to have its origin in the mid-1950s, “cool, calm, and collected” would be another expression associated with being “unflappable.” Other synonyms include being at ease, clearheaded, level-headed, unruffled, and untroubled, maintaining a state of tranquility, despite circumstances that generate turmoil and uncertainty. Learning to become unflappable in all situations is an admirable trait all believers should aspire to maintain.

To be unflappable to is to be at peace, to be secure, unshakable, and unmovable. A similar expression is used in 1 Corinthians 15:58 (AMP):

58 Therefore, my beloved brothers and sisters, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord [always doing your best and doing more than is needed], being continually aware that your labor [even to the point of exhaustion] in the Lord is not futile nor wasted [it is never without purpose].

Lyrics from a song inspired by this verse provide similar encouragement to believers:

Be Steadfast, Unmovable

Chorus:

Be steadfast, unmovable,

Always abounding in the work of the Lord.

For as much as you that

Your labor’s not in vain in the Lord.

(Repeat)

 

Don’t be discouraged

When mountains block your way.

In times of doubt

He’ll bring you out.

Stand fast, watch and pray.

(Repeat Chorus):

 

 

When problems press you,

Your back’s against the wall,

Cast fear aside.

God’s on your side.

Keep on standing tall.

(Repeat Chorus):

 

 

In the darkest night

God will give you a song.

Never give up.

He’ll fill your cup.

Trust God and be strong.

(Repeat Chorus):

Justin Rizzo offers a worship song, “Tree,” expressing his desire to be “Unmovable, Unshakable”:

 

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