“Watch, stand fast in the faith, be like men, be strong.” 1st Corinthians 16:13
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” 1st Peter 5:8
Watchful; circumspect; attentive to discover and avoid danger or to provide for safety; wary.
Webster’s Universities Dictionary of the English Language, 1942
This article is written with a perspective for those who believe in God, but yet have not repented (Ac. 17:30-31) and by faith believed into Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior (Ro. 10:8-10), as well as those who are truly Christians. For many of the first category they will assume that they are Believers, but they are deceived (Ac. 4:12).
I have a keen interest in the world we live in and enjoy getting some perspectives on day to day life in other parts of the world. The other day I managed to find a series of documentaries on road conditions throughout a variety of places around the world, dangerous roads.
Over the course of a few days I had watched a glimpse of life in Nepal, Peru, Madagascar and the Colombian/Venezuelan border. Throughout the documentary, these people who would accept rides on a bus, a jeep or whatever vehicle was available for hire, there was a sliver of reality into their daily lives. There was also some similarities, even though these areas of the world are in the fringes of their respective countries, as well as thousands of miles apart.
For one, just like the current so-called protests in the United States (and now much of the world) there was justification of their unlawful actions in regards to the necessity of life. For instance, people would steal or break the law in order to make a living. Doing so, they all would say that they had to put food on their families table, pay for their children’s schooling, etc.
From a worldly perspective, this wisdom of the world (1 Cor. 3:19) would seem to make sense to most people. What was disturbing though, even in Nepal with the pagan idols on the dash of the vehicle to supposedly provide some sort of protection, is that they all at least once, in many cases numerous times, aligned themselves as having or seeking protection from God.
Yet does God not provide the essentials to His own children?
“I have been young, and now am old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.” Psalms 37:25
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves dig through and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in Heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not dig through and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is sound, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness! No one is able to serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. It is not possible to serve God and mammon. Therefore I say to you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Observe the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by being anxious is able to add one cubit to his stature? So why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, What shall we eat? or What shall we drink? or What shall we wear? For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your Heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matthew 6:19-34
Now to Believers. The work out there is never ending. How close are we? There is still much to be done and we should continue in doing so until the Lord comes to take us Home (1 Th. 4:16-17).
“And He said to His disciples, The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” Matthew 9:37-38
Yet we must realize that even the Church, the true body of Believers, is under consistent attack, as well as individual Believers. I would like to take a moment to iterate the seriousness of the warning regarding the opening verse about the devil walking about like a roaring lion.
This should not be taken lightly and every Believer needs to be taken very serious. We must be vigilant, we must watch, we must be on guard.
“But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with giddiness, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come upon you unexpectedly. For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.” Luke 21:34-36
Even Christians can and do sin, sometimes in a serious manner, consider the life of David as an example. Yet we are told:
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1st John 1:9
I myself have had my shortcomings and failures throughout the years. The Lord has chastised me and placed me squarely and firmly back on the correct path. Now a pastor, whom God has called to be in that position, should greatly have this knowledge about such dangers. Yet we as Believers must not neglect the clear warnings in God’s Word regarding our adversary, the devil (1 Pet. 5:8).
There is much work to do, how much time is left to do it?
“And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his master will set over his servants, to give them their portion of food at the right time? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes.” Luke 12:42-43
As we press forward to the prize (Phil. 3:14) and run the race (1 Cor. 9:24), let us be of the mindset of the seriousness of the matter.
There are tons of people who assume because they know of God (Ja. 2:19) that they have a personal relationship with him, despite never having accepted the free gift of Salvation (Eph. 2:8-10). Then there is this notion even within the Church that people can kinda live a wishy-washy life with Christ and that there are no consequences. There are those who put the things of the world first before their Creator and it should not be this way.
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law? Jesus said to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:36-40
I dare say one of the biggest problems that I see is being in a lukewarm environment (not good (Rev. 3:14-21)) is that other Believers excuse their actions or so-called lack of commitment to doing what one ought to be doing by comparing themselves to others, rather than to wholeheartedly following Christ. This is wrong.
“For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” Matthew 16:25
“And He said to another, Follow Me. But he said, Lord, let me first go and bury my father. Jesus said to him, Let the dead bury their dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God. And another also said, Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid farewell to those who are at my house. But Jesus said to him, No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:59-62
We must remember that each Believer will individually be at the Judgment Seat of Christ (2 Cor. 5:10). What we should desire to hear is the following, “well done, good and faithful servant” (Matt. 5:23). Yet instead of looking at others, we ought to remember the words of Jesus:
“Peter, seeing him, said to Jesus, But Lord, what about this man? Jesus said to him, If I intend for him to remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me.” John 21:21-22
Be vigilant, remain faithful, run for the prize. Get to work, doing the Lord’s work. Get going!
“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, All authority is given to Me in Heaven and on earth. Go therefore and instruct all the nations, immersing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things whatever I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen.” Matthew 28:18-20