One of my favorite films is Star Wars. The first one, the real first one, 1977’s A New Hope.The film’s protagonist is a young man named Luke Skywalker. As the film progresses, he learns about who his father was and how that relates to who Luke is. As Luke learns and grows in his abilities, he finds himself on a mission to rescue Princess Leia. In one scene, he is defending the freighter ship he is on along with the ship’s captain, Han Solo. After some difficulty with the cannons, he hits and destroys an enemy ship. He shouts with jubilation and the captain’s response is, “don’t get cocky, kid!”
In 1 Peter 5:8, we are reminded to, “be of sober spirit, be on the alert Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” Have you ever felt the dread described in this verse? These are times when you feel under attack and you press into God and seek to hear the Holy Spirit comforting and guiding you.
Then there are times when you feel joy and contentment with how things are going in your life. Why aren’t we pressing into God then? Why don’t we try and hear the Holy Spirit in those moments? This is what Peter is trying to remind the believer. Don’t let your guard down, don’t get cocky kid. When you are moving forward and living out your mission, Satan, our enemy, is seeking to immobilize you.
In my own life, when I allow myself to rely on my own abilities, I miss steps. I get too comfortable and focus too much on thinking, “I got this!” I need to be reminded to not get cocky because pride comes before a fall. Imagine you had a long-time best friend, but you only ever called them when you were going through struggles. How would that friend feel? Wouldn’t they want to share in your victories and hear about the amazing times in your life? Don’t only run to God when you are in your valley. There is no longevity in that. Remain abiding in Him and perhaps you can avoid some of those valleys.
None of us are perfect. The Apostle Paul writes in Romans 7, “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” We can rest in the promise and confidence that Jesus bore our sin so we can be in right standing. We need to rely on the Holy Spirit to empower us. Let’s not rely on our own feeble ability. Don’t get cocky. God is always there for us in our valleys, but we can also run to God during your mountaintops.