"Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong" - 1 Cor 16:13 (NIV).
Many people around the world with valuables feel a need to take on a guard. A typical job description of a guard normally includes an expectation of someone who will be on alert making sure there is no interfearence from intruders. A good guard is constantly on the watch and is tuned to sense anything that could border on intrusion and quickly warn the concerned. Guards tend to be muscled as they may have to fight off or scare away dangerous intruders.
The Christian life requires of us to be constantly on guard. This is because there is an enemy constantly hovering about us ready to intrude and cause harm. This happened to the Lord Jesus himself. Once after predicting the events leading to his crucifixion, "Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!' (Mathew 16:22). But Jesus was very alert. "Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns" (vv 23).
Jesus was on guard, quick to sense that an enemy was prowling about and had to be warded off. That enemy is never asleep. As Job 2:2 notes, "And 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.” Satan is of course on a mission to "kill and destroy" (John 10:10).
Effective guards must have weapons that can aid them in warding off the enemy. One of the weapons the Lord has given us is the power of his word. When Satan once sought to tempt Jesus, up on a mountain, after a fast, he was duly rebuked: "Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God" (Mathew 4:4). May the power of His word indwell in us to fend off the enemy, Satan, in all his guises.
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, may I constantly be on guard against Satan's schemes and through the power of the Word cast him off asunder, 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!