The Meaning Of 1 Peter 5:8 (be alert and of sober mind)

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8 

This call to be “alert and of sober mind” is one that we shouldn’t ignore. The meaning of 1 Peter 5:8 warns us that the devil is seeking to destroy us. There is a present danger that we need to be aware of and take measures against. 

It’s important that we take this verse seriously and learn how it applies to our lives today. 

The Context Of 1 Peter 5:8 

1 Peter was written by the Apostle Peter with the purpose of encouraging readers who were facing persecution for their faith. His ending message was for them to stand firm and stay on guard. Peter also encouraged his readers that their suffering was temporary, and that one day God would lead them into eternity. 

In 1 Peter 5:1-11 Peter is drawing his letter to a close and he’s giving the leaders of the church specific instructions. They are to be faithful to God, full of humility, and alert to the schemes of the devil. While this section is directed at the elders of the church, the applications for this passage are for all of us. 

1 Peter 5:8 Verse

The Meaning Of 1 Peter 5:8 

Let’s take a look at the 1 Peter 5:8 meaning and see what it says. 

Be Alert And Of Sober Mind 

1 Peter 5:8 starts off with a reminder that they are in danger and therefore need to be alert and sober-minded. This isn’t the first time Peter has given this warning; he’s warned his readers three times (1 Peter 1:13 and 1 Peter 4:7). In other words, we should to pay attention to this warning. 

To be sober-minded means to not be under ANY intoxicating influence. This means that we do not allow anything to influence us that could lead us away from God’s truth. If we are not sober, we cannot be alert and on guard. It’s of the utmost importance that Christians be vigilant and sober, watching out for the dangers around us. 

Your Enemy The Devil Prowls Around Like A Roaring Lion Looking For Someone To Devour

Peter gives us a vivid image of what we are to be alert for, the devil who is prowling like a roaring lion. To devour literally means to swallow. In other words, the devil is seeking to do as much damage to one’s faith as possible. 

Peter has already made clear that our salvation is secure; the devil cannot take us from our Heavenly Father. Since Satan cannot attack our souls he seeks to make us weak and limit our role in God’s kingdom. In essence, he is trying to keep Christians on the sidelines and out of the game. 

1 Peter 5:8 is a warning to be sober and alert because the devil is seeking to make us ineffective followers of Jesus. And he will go to any length to accomplish this task. 

How 1 Peter 5:8 Applies To Your Life 

Let’s end by looking at how you can be alert and clear minded. Here are two ways you can apply 1 Peter 5:8 to your life. 

1. Who’s Influencing You? 

We live in a world that is constantly bombarding us with information and messaging. If we are not careful we will because swayed by what the world says is best. 

Followers of Jesus should ask themselves, who’s influencing me? Are my beliefs and convictions rooted in what God says, or are they rooted in what the world says? 

When we identify where beliefs come from we can be sober-minded. 

2. Remind Yourself Of God’s Truth

1 Peter 5:8 reminds us of the importance of knowing God’s Word. The stakes are high and therefore we should be alert. The way that we stay on guard is to root ourselves in God’s Word. 

This isn’t a one-time deal, but rather a daily practice. Christians ought to make it a habit to strengthen their faith by diving into and listening to God’s truth. This is how we can withstand the attacks on the prowling lion. 

Looking for a great resource to help learn about and trust in God? I HIGHLY recommend Mark Moore’s books Core 52 and Quest 52.

Jeffery Curtis Poor
Follow Me

Share With A Friend

DISCLOSURE: This post may contain affliliate links, meaning I get a small commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links. This is at no cost to you and helps keep Rethink up and running.
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments