Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8, ESV)
Before satellites and drones changed the face of modern warfare, sentries played an invaluable role in warning his commander of an advancing enemy attack. If the sentry was in any way neglecting his post or ignoring clear signs of an impending invasion, his mistake could cost the lives of countless of his countrymen.
We Christians need to be regularly reminded of the impending attack by our enemy, the devil. He’s out there lurking and looking for a way to bring us down and see us tumble headlong into his snares.
But it’s not just him we have to be alert for. It is our own heart. Even more dangerous than the attacks from without are those from within. Consider what the Bible says about our heart:
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? (Jeremiah 17:9, ESV)
For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.” (Mark 7:21–23, ESV)
Yep, that’s your heart and mine. We kind of expect the bad guys to attack but no one anticipates treason. Rarely are we prepared for the attacks from within. But there’s no question. The attacks and temptations will come and we must be ready.
Tonight my older boys and I were talking about being vigilant when it comes to temptation, realizing the great destruction and havoc sin leaves in its path. Afterward, as we were talking to God, my 11-year old prayed:
May the lighthouse in our head, shine clear when sin’s ahead.
I thought that was a pretty good thing to pray for.
God, keep us alert, watchful and ready. May we be conditioned by the light of your Word to spot temptation coming and then run as fast as we can.