Tuesday, 23 February: “Stand up to him.”

Reading – 1 Peter 5:8-9

An etching by Jan Luyken in the Bowyer Bible, 1795; credit to Phillip Medhurst and Harry Kossuth (photo), FAL

To me tonight, this reading is as reminder that there is always work to be done in my spiritual life. I did some good things today, but I also did some bad things. I was patient but gluttonous, friendly but proud, dutiful but strictly so – nothing more.

We should be thankful to God for where we are on our journey toward Her, but we should never be content to stay where we are, to remain in the same place and go no farther into the love God extends to us. We need to continue striving, to keep walking, running, even crawling toward our Origin and our Destination. We cannot sit down on the road or the floor; in doing so, we deny God’s invitation of salvation, and let sin triumph. We must stand up to evil with God’s help. We must also stand up to receive that assistance, to receive God’s love and God’s self, into our lives. We must go out to meet God, for God has already come to us and now knocks at the door to our hearts. Like the servant in Matthew 24, we are asked to be faithful and ready for the master, for our God.

As Peter urged the recipients of his letter, so we need to urge ourselves to stand up to the devil in faith. Backed by God, we confront our complacency, our self-satisfaction, our fear, and our weakness, and we acknowledge them all. We accept them as part of us, then let God overwhelm and transform them – transform us – in love. When we think we cannot move or do not have to move, it is helpful to remember that God will do all God can to save us. God gives us the choice in offering this powerful, unfailing, and merciful help; we have the choice to stand up and accept it or to remain seated and reject it. ~


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