Staying Calm

You don’t have to be scared because you’re trusting somebody that is stronger!

Scripture: 1 Peter 5:8, 2 Corinthians 11:14


Alright, thank you very much. And hello again my dear radio friend. How in the world are you? You doin’ all right, today. I trust so, bless your heart. This is your good friend, Bob Cook. And I’m glad to be back with you to share from the Word of God. We’re walking through the book of 1 Peter. We’ve just about finished our walk, haven’t we? We’re now looking at verse 8 of chapter 5. Peter said, “Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary, the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about seeking whom he may devour.”

I was interested in the names that are given to Satan in the Bible: Abaddon, the accuser, the adversary, the angel of the bottomless pit, Apollyon, Belial, Beelzebub, the devil, the god of this world, a murderer — Jesus called him that, prince of devils, prince of the power of the air, prince of this world, ruler of darkness, the serpent, the tempter, the unclean spirit, and the wicked one. All of these names are applied to Satan. In this passage, Peter calls him as a, describes him as a ‘roaring lion’. The lion’s roar is a fearsome sound, calculated to strike fear into the hearts of those who would be his prey.

Well let’s look at this verse, shall we? “Be sober,” said he. Now, there are a number of words in the Greek New Testament that are translated by the English word ‘sober’. The one I like best is sophronos which is a compound of two words ‘sozo’ and ‘phren’, which means ‘a saved mind’. That’s, that’s a favorite word of mine because if you’re really sober in the New Testament sense, that means you’re thinking with a mind that’s been born again, and thinking God’s thoughts through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. But this is a different word. And it really means ‘to be calm’, ‘cool’, ‘temperate’, and ‘dispassionate’, and ‘collected’.

Now see, that type of word is used in connection with Peter’s description of Satan, the roaring lion. He said, “Be calm, be cool.” We have that expression today among the young people. “Be cool, man!” (Laughs) What does it mean? “Don’t get shaken up,” you know, “don’t lose your cool,” they say. Now interestingly enough, 2000 years ago, Peter was saying the same thing. “You think you’re so with it, so hip, so up-to-date, young person, that you’re using terms that are, are different from the ordinary adult stuffy language, do you? You talk about cool.”

I remember Ben Kinslow was speaking at the NRB Convention a year or so ago. And he’s full of fun, you know. Great, tall, 6 foot 5, or something like that Texan he is. And he had these dark glasses on. So he was talking away, and in an introductory fashion he said, “I suppose lot of you are saying, “Why has he got those dark glasses on?’ Because I’m cool, man!” (Laughs) Everybody laughed. Well that’s, that’s the word here. Greek word ‘nepho’which means ‘to be cool’, and ‘calm’, and, and ‘collected’, and ‘dispassionate’, ‘not shaken up’, ‘not upset’, but ‘be calm’. Why? Well because you’re up against an adversary that is going to try to shake you up. Many of my mistakes in life have been made because I panicked, I got shaken. Isn’t that true of you?

I often say, all my mistakes were made in a hurry. And in a number of cases, the mistakes I’ve made in, in judgment, or in decision, or in whatever, were made because I panicked, I didn’t really keep calm, I didn’t think it through, I didn’t pray it through. Then I had to come back and say, “Oh God, I failed on that. Please forgive me.” That’s human nature, it’s the way life is. And Jesus died to, to save us from the penalty of sin, and to forgive us for our sins, and to keep us from the power of sin. And you don’t have to do it that way, Peter is saying. You see, the devil is out to scare you if he can. But you don’t have to do it that way.

Story I’m about to tell you goes back to 1962. I came to the college, and there were a number of people who said, “Now we want to appeal to the community, and this community in which we live is made up largely of people who don’t share our Christian commitment. So when you speak to them in public meetings…” There was a big dinner coming up, they were going to invite the mayor and all the rest of the Sanhedrin, you know. All of the city fathers were coming. And so they said, “Now when you talk to these, to these people, don’t be, don’t be a fundamentalist. Don’t, don’t use too much religious language because you’ll, you’ll alienate them. Well we don’t want that. We’re, we’re afraid to alienate the community.” Sound familiar? (Laughs)

Well, I did a lot of praying about that talk that I was going to give to the city fathers. Wonderful people, I later found out. I lived among them for a quarter of a century and, and found out that they’re, there’s just some wonderful, wonderful people there in Briarcliff Manor. I miss them now that we’ve moved out to the Pocono Mountains, I assure you. But anyhow, I did a lot of praying about it. And I decided that the best thing was to come right straight out, with a statement of our Christian commitment as it applied to, to higher education, which I did. I told them you know, frankly but, and, and in a friendly fashion — I wasn’t playing the antagonist — but in friendly fashion I said, “Now we’re different because we’re committed first of all to the Bible as being the Word of God; and second of all, to the Christian ethic, as being the way to live.”

And I described how that affected our curriculum. We require sixteen hours — semester hours — of Bible in order to graduate, in addition to your major field; and how it affected the teaching. You can’t teach Christian geometry or Christian calculus. But you can have geometry or calculus or science or anything else taught by a committed Christian, and I described how that makes a difference. And then I commented on the fact that we have different rules by which we live. And so it is that our house rules include no smoking, or drinking, or gambling, and that sort of a thing. And I just very, very frankly laid it out.

Well, some of the folk that were afraid I would alienate the community kept on being afraid. But you know what happened? Well, as an old pastor… you know I was in the pastorate for 18 years full-time, and so the habit stays with you. And I stood by the door, shaking hands with people after the affair was over. And again and again they said, “Well, thank you for what you said tonight, and helps us understand what you’re trying to accomplish. We appreciate that so much. Thank you, thank you, thank you.” Well, halleluiah! Nobody got offended. And the, the Lord was honored I trust.

And the position that we hold as a Christian, liberal arts college, ‘fully accredit but frankly Christian’, see that’s the thing. Well, that position was made clear. You don’t have to be afraid of the devil, is the point I’m making. Took me just seven minutes, but anyhow. (Laughs) You don’t have to be afraid of the devil. He’s trying to scare you. Peter says, “Be calm, don’t be shaken up, don’t loose your cool.” You don’t have to be afraid of Satan. Why? Because he is a beaten foe. The Lord Jesus Christ conquered Satan at the cross. And in any situation in life, no matter how threatening, you could look up and say, “Lord I plead the merits of that precious blood that was shed on Calvary, to protect me from every attack of Satan or any of his demons.” You are protected because you belong to the Lord Jesus Christ. Halleluiah for that. Isn’t that great?

He said, “Don’t loose your cool, be calm.” Yes, the roaring lion is there to scare you. But you don’t have to scare. You don’t have to scare because you’re trusting somebody that is stronger than the devil. What does the Bible say about it? “Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.” Greater. See, you don’t have to scare because you’re trusting in an Almighty Savior. “God is able to do exceeding abundantly about all that we ask or think,” Paul said in Ephesians 3:20, “according to the power that worketh in us.” He can go beyond your fairest hopes and dreams, in what He does, in getting the victory over the opposition of the evil one, the roaring lion.

Incidentally, “Satan himself,” Paul says in 2 Corinthians 11:14, “can be transformed into an angel of light.” Satan has two approaches: one is freighting, the other is deceptive. One is to frighten you; the other is to deceive you. Paul speaks about the snare of the devil; he speaks about the devices of the devil. And so the, these are the two approaches that Satan has in, in attacking you as a believer, in the Lord Jesus Christ. An angel of light. What? Oh here’s a brand new idea. Isn’t it wonderful while you examine it, and you find that, that it doesn’t honor the Lord, it doesn’t honor His word, it seems like a good idea, but it doesn’t have that, that answering ring of divine truth.

Satan is a deceiver; began in the Garden of Eden. He said to Eve, “I can’t believe my ears. Is it really true that God said that you can’t eat everything? Is God repressing you? Is He a repressive God? Won’t He let you have your own way? Why ye shall not surely die.” See, there’s the deception. “For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, ye shall be God’s, knowing good and evil.” That’s true, they found out the difference between good and evil. And conscience was awakened, and they knew themselves to be sinners, after having disobeyed the Word of God. For Satan came deceiving them.

Now how do you tell the, the deception of Satan when he’s appearing as an angel of light? Never be taken in by the novelty of an idea, or a new belief, or a new organization, or a new group, or new approach. Never be taken in by the novelty of things. God does new things. He said in Isaiah, “Behold I will do a new thing; shall it not now spring forth?” God is the God of innovation. But because an idea is new and different, does not necessarily prove that it’s divine.

Don’t be taken in by novelty, prove the rightness or wrongness of ideas by referring to the Word of God. Isaiah 8:20, “To the law, and to the testimony. For if they speak not according to this Word, it is because there is no light in them.” John the beloved apostle said, “Beloved, believe not every Spirit, but try the Spirits, whether they be of God.”

Now, “The Spirit of God dwells within the believer, and he witnesses with our Spirit,” Paul says in Romans, “That we are the children of God.” The witness of the Spirit is always there when things come from the Lord. And if you don’t have that answering witness of your own indwelt Holy Spirit, indwelt inner man, and if it doesn’t agree with the, with the infallible, inherent Word of God, the Bible, live it alone no matter how nice it looks because, “Satan can be transformed,” says Paul, “into an angel of light.” Why don’t we get at this the next time we get together.

Dear Heavenly Father, in Jesus’ name we ask that Thou will keep us from the deception of Satan and the thing he does to try to frighten us. Help us to keep calm, and to be true to you. Amen.

Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!

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