Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith..
1 Peter 5:8-9a
The other morning my granddaughters were watching a cartoon while I made them breakfast. As I walked into the den to get them I heard a line from the show that stayed with me. A character of a young boy is speaking to what I gathered was some kind of evil genius. “Why would we want to do something that would lead to our own destruction?” The boy asked in response to a request I hadn't heard. The request was not important. The answer was what stuck with me.
Why would anyone want to do anything that would lead to his or her own destruction? It's an excellent question and the more I thought about it the more I wonder why we don't ask that question of the evil in our own lives, that being that attempts to steal our joy, ruin our families, demolish friendships, churches, anything that is good? I suppose the answer is because unlike the cartoon genius the evil one in our lives doesn't make his requests as obvious. Instead he makes them much more attractive.
For years I have wondered what makes people overindulge in alcohol knowing that it will make them ill. Isn't one morning after enough to learn your limit? Apparently not. While I cannot understand that, I have a few self-destructive traits of my own that though I know will end badly, I try again hoping for a different result. Why don't I stop and say, “why would I want to do something that will lead to my own self-destruction?” I don't ask and I dare to say you don't ask, the alcoholic, addict of whatever kind, none of us ask because we don't want to know the answer. The activity, food, beverage, substance, person is too tempting and so we say yes, without a thought to what will come next.
I believe this is what Peter is referring to when he talks about the roaring lion, what John is referring to when he speaks of the thief (John 10:10). We are to beware, be on guard, ask questions, look out for our own best interests. By that I mean, look at what God has in mind for us. Ask the Holy Spirit for guidance. The enemy wants us to just grin, nod and go along, just like the evil genius in the cartoon. Our Father wants us to seek first His wisdom and His way. He's in the construction business, always available to build up not destroy.