Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. (1Peter 5:8)
In English class, I learned that whenever there is a semicolon, the information that comes before the semicolon and after the semicolon are both independent clauses and are of equal importance to one another.
In the verse above, we like to quote the second clause but pay no mind to the first clause, but they are of equal importance. We know the devil prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour – but not a lot of emphasis is placed on the first clause “Be sober, be vigilant.”
This doesn’t merely refer to alcohol or drugs. On the contrary, it is talking about our inner man. Do not be drunk with rage. Do not be drunk with lust. Do not be drunk with covetousness…and so forth.
From that standpoint, there are things you can identify that threaten your “sobriety.” When the wrong thing comes on TV, I might have to change the channel because this romance scene or sex scene threatens my sobriety. “Be sober.” Instead of double- taking, for the sake of my sobriety I’d better single-take. “Be sober.”
Vigilant means to be aware or alert. However, it means that but to a greater extent. I like to say it means to be ready for spiritual warfare in a moment’s notice. As the second clause indicates, the devil strikes when you least expect it. Someone says something disrespectful. Some plot manifests. Surprise, surprise… here comes an attack from the devil!
In closing, if you don’t protect your sobriety and be ready to engage in spiritual warfare in a moment’s notice, the devil will successfully ambush you.