The Enemy Is Already a Defeated Foe

by Lysa TerKeurst January 11, 2024
“Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8 (ESV)

I’m not a fan of lions. They aren’t picky with their food choices. Whether you’re a gazelle that got separated from your herd or an uninformed human sleeping in a tent where lions roam, they’ll think you look delicious.

When my family and I went back to the continent where my two sons were born, I got to experience this terrifying reality firsthand.

The guides assured us the lions wouldn’t come. Not true.

Right when I was falling asleep, a creature brushed the length of my tent and — wait for it — roared! As he brushed the tent again, my imagination fired off one horrific outcome after another.

Though I never stepped outside the tent, I suffered a brutal attack of the mind. I let the lion get the best of my thoughts.

But we don’t have to go to Africa to get stalked by a lion. We see this in the way Peter warned believers against the devil in 1 Peter 5:8: “Be sober‑minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”

The enemy isn’t just looking to distract you, tempt you, or pull you slightly off course. He’s looking to devour you. But we must remember something crucial: The devil is vicious, but he’s not victorious. And, my friend, you have everything you need to defeat him.

We don’t have to live feeling powerless and deathly afraid. A closer look at 1 Peter 5:8-9 shows us how we can come out on the other side of these moments.

“Be sober‑minded; be watchful” is a reminder to be self-controlled. Words similar to these show up three separate times in Peter’s letter (1 Peter 1:13; 1 Peter 4:7; 1 Peter 5:8). The specific reason why is given in 1 Peter 4:7: “The end of all things is at hand” (ESV). Satan knows the end is fast approaching. He is a defeated foe who has already suffered a fatal blow. But before he falls, he’ll try to make as many last kills as possible. With everything he’s got left, he’s coming after us. This is why we must be ever watchful.

While many of us don’t have lions regularly brushing by our homes, we do have daily encounters with the enemy. And just like the lion’s power over me that night stopped the minute the guards showed up, Satan is rendered powerless the moment we tap into the power of God’s Word, like we’re doing today in this devotion.

Here’s what I want you to remember: God’s promises are always a perfect match for our problems. And He is our perfect protection against the enemy.

Father God, I’m so thankful You haven’t left me defenseless. The enemy is no match for Your promises. Guide me, equip me and infuse me with holy confidence as I stand firm today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


When you feel like everything you’ve tried to hold on to has crumbled in your hands and you’re reaching out for something — anything — sturdy and reliable, it can be hard to know what page to turn to in your Bible. Maybe you’ve heard about the promises of God, but have you ever wondered what they actually are? With so many uncertainties in life, there are still some things you can be sure of. Get our new study guide, Keep Holding On: 30 Promises From God You Can Cling to Right Now.





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James 4:7, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (NIV).

Declare James 4:7 over an area of your life where the enemy’s voice has felt loud lately. How are you encouraged to know that he is a defeated foe who will flee from you?

We’d love to hear from you! Share your thoughts in the comments.

© 2024 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

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