“Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere” (Ephesians 6: 18).
Followers of “Day by Day with Jesus” will recall we pointed out yesterday that Believers in Christ are ever at war against a determined enemy! Satan whose mission is fast and clear- “to kill and destroy” ( John 10:10). Important in all this is the advice for Believers to be alert at all times.
There was once an incident where Paul was preaching late at night. “Seated in a window was a young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep as Paul talked on and on. When he was sound asleep, he fell to the ground from the third story and was picked up dead” (Acts 20:9). Alarmed that the young man was dead, “Paul went down, threw himself on the young man and put his arms around him. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “He’s alive!”.. The people took the young man home alive and were greatly comforted” (vv 10-12). See the troubles sleep can cause!
Jesus once shared the parable of the virgins and the consequences of falling asleep on the job. “Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps” (Mathew 25:2-4). Late at night they heard the bridegroom had arrived, “The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out” ( vv 8). Denied, they run out to buy oil only to return and find the bridegroom had left and the door shut. Jesus concludes, “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour” (vv 13).
Nehemiah had a formidable task to build up the fallen wall of Jerusalem. Along the way he met considerable opposition of those who were determined to frustrate him. He was a wise man. Once the wall got up in order to hinder the enemy he decided on this. “But we prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat..” ( Nehemiah 4:9). Nehemiah knew the severity of the attack and was not ready to take chances.
As Believers in Christ we are expected to exercise diligence. When The LORD said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the LORD, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it” ( Job 2:7). And, friends, this is not a picnic walk. Therefore do not relax in your fight against the enemy- be ever alert and on guard!
Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, knowing that the enemy is constantly on attack I pray that I am ever alert and eager to engage him in a victorious battle, to your glory, this I pray in Jesus’s name.
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“Who dares despise the day of small things, since the seven eyes of the Lord that range throughout the earth will rejoice when they see the chosen capstone in the hand of Zerubbabel” ( Zechariah 4:10).
The public life of King David is well known. However, there is an early aspect of his life quite hidden though we can get glimpse of it. The first time we get to know David he is a stay home kid while his big brothers are on to bigger stuff, like fighting with King Saul. “Jesse’s three oldest sons had followed Saul to the war: The firstborn was Eliab; the second, Abinadab; and the third, Shammah. David was the youngest. The three oldest followed Saul, but David went back and forth from Saul to tend his father’s sheep at Bethlehem” ( I Samuel 27:13-14).
Left home alone perhaps it was a time for David to bond with the old man Jesse. Maybe he sometimes felt idle and ignored. But there was something maturing in his life for the life ahead. For in the meantime as he would later point to King Saul once an opportunity availed itself, God was ironing out his CV. When he offered to take on Goliath and Saul hesitated, he quickly shot back: “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine” (vv 35-37).
That’s the point. What had apparent been idle moments God was preparing David for the battles ahead? He would not only emerge out of the shadow as a great warrior but also a shepherd of his people ever relying on God.
Equally so, for all of us, there are moments that might appear idle and we feel frustrated as we see the days go by. Yet, in His gentle ways, God is preparing us for great days ahead.
Prayer today: Lord Father God, maker of heaven and earth, for those periods in life of apparent inactivity and maybe trials, help me appreciate them as the maturing me, for in due time and season all will bear fruit, this I pray in Jesus’ name!