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Be Alert!

In the present condition of the security of our country at this time I thought it would be good for me to present a scripture that speaks to how we Christians are to be prepared. We are warned to be alert and stay alert. 1 Peter 5:8 8 Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Of all people, followers of Jesus should be aware of their surroundings and the battle that is ongoing in our world.

Ever since I saw the movie The Bourne Identity I check out everyone who comes into a room where I am and I try to figure out what their game might be. Here are the lines. I can tell you that our waitress is left-handed and the guy sitting up at the counter weighs two hundred fifteen pounds and knows how to handle himself. I know the best place to look for a gun is the cab or the gray truck outside, and at this altitude, I can run flat out for a half mile before my hands start shaking. Call me paranoid or call me crazy, but I take literally the above verses so I am not caught off guard. A "prowling" enemy is an enemy looking to hurt someone or cause trouble. I don't want to be caught napping or being apathetic about the threat from our enemy, the devil. We have been given spiritual vision to help us identify the threat when he comes our way and the Holy Spirit gives us tools to see before it happens.

Our enemy is called a "thief" by Jesus in John 10:10 and Jesus tells us the purpose of this thief. Our enemy wants to rob us of the ability to follow God's will for our life and his very purpose is to defeat us. Along with the explanation of the purpose of the devil, Jesus tells us His purpose for our life, and that is the last part of that verse. John 10:10 My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. These two purposes are in stark contrast to each other and should not even be thought of as close to the same. Our Lord is all about loving us, his children, and giving us direction, power, wisdom, discernment, joy, peace, hope, and many more "good" things! The verse that follows verse 10 is very important to this point where Jesus says 11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep.

When my children were born my instincts changed and I realized a love for giving to my children that I couldn't understand. This new way of thinking was a direct reflection of how God looks at us, His children. When my children needed something, I was so happy to give it to them, even to the point of sacrificing myself. Take that instinct that God showed me by His example and magnify to the nth degree and that is how good of a Heavenly Father we have to give to us. James wrote it this way in James 1:17 Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.

We seem to be doubting at times how good our Heavenly Father is and find it hard to understand how He can give to us when we are such disobedient children at times. This is the part of God's love we just don't understand. It is an unconditional love that is beyond human understanding and we try to make allowances for this love that is endless to be able to understand it. But in reality, we cannot fully understand it, but just accept it. This way of living is common to us as believers because God's ways are so much higher than our ways. Don't try to explain away God's love or God's power because both are important to our walk as believers. It is quite a bit easier to humble ourselves when we realize how far from us God's ways are and then we can realize where He is and where We are.

This brings us to the point of staying alert at all times. We do this because God has taken the time to equip us by sending us a "helper" or Parakletos. Parakletos is the Greek word for Holy Spirit as the comforter. God comes alongside us in the Holy Spirit and shows us how to walk, where to walk, and gives us the power to walk. He is our source of everything when it comes to staying alert. God's Word gives us additional help in this area. Paul wrote this to the church in Thessalonica in 1 Thessalonians 5:22 Stay away from every kind of evil. Paul knew this firsthand because of the way the enemy was trying to thwart God's plan in his life.

So don't just stay alert, but go in the power of the Holy Spirit and know that God is our Good, Good, Father that He is going to handle those things the enemy throws at us, and that He wants to bless us as the ultimate Father figure. We don't deserve it but it is not about how much we deserve it but by how much He loves us. It is ALL about Him!

The Pilgrimage Continues

David Warren

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