Jesus Christ said, “It is written, My house shall be called a house of prayer.”

Three Pitfalls for Believers to Avoid (Pilgrim’s Progress According to the Bible #7)

Listen to the audio version: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

TEXT: 1 Peter 5:8-9: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.”

During our last message in this series, we accompanied Christian as he came to the place where he received what he had set out from his home city to find — deliverance from his burden of sin. He found this deliverance at the cross. His burden of sin was rolled away, and he was given a clean slate as a child of God. You might be tempted to think that all is well with Christian now that he has reached his goal, but the truth of the matter is that Christian’s journey is just beginning. He will face dangers, setbacks, and troubles along the way. In fact, he is not too far gone from the cross when he comes upon an interesting scene.

Christian comes across three men — Simple, Sloth, and Presumption — who also have come by the way of the cross, yet did not get very far beyond that. They, for one reason or another, gave up before they could grow into mature Christian believers, and they sit by the wayside as distractions to others content in their spiritual infancy. Today, I want to talk from the Word of God about three things we must do if we are going to grow in our walk with Christ, and not remain, as these three men were, babes in Christ.

1. The first pitfall is not being serious about our walk with Christ. The Bible commands us to “be sober.” The word “sober” means to be serious-minded or grave. Many new believers come into the faith thinking that now that they are saved, the rest of their life as Christians will be easy. They think that from here on to Heaven it will just be fun and games.

2. The second pitfall is not taking the time to get educated about the Christian faith. Peter goes on to say, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” I mentioned that 60% of Christians do not believe the devil is real living being. Well, if these dear Christians would take the time to read their Bibles, they will find that the same Bible from which they learned how to get saved also informs them that there is a devil and he is out to devour them.

3. The third pitfall is thinking that we can live the Christian life on our own. First Peter 8-9 says, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.” Although you may feel as though you can, you cannot live the Christian life or resist the devil who is seeking to devour you on your own. That is why Jesus Christ sent the Holy Spirit to live inside of us and empower us to live the Christian life. And He has given you the Word of God.

I encourage you, as a new believer, or even if you have been saved for some time, but never got firmly rooted and grounded in the faith, to avoid these three mistakes. Understand that walking with Christ is serious business and that it is not always going to be easy. Second, take the time to become more educated about your life, duties, and responsibilities as a Christian. Third, choose to rely on the Holy Spirit’s power to resist the devil and live a victorious Christian life.