Surprising At-Risk Reality

July 11, 2013 at 10:00 am (General) (, , , , , , , )

danger thin iceI have been studying Revelation lately, and noticed a surprising risk:

Rev 2:3 I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first.

The reality: It is when we are most alive that we are most at risk to die.

Isn’t it true that when we are lost, we know it? When we are stuck in the mire, all we can think about is how to escape. We cry out when we are in danger. But what do we think about when things are swell? We let down our guard. We forget what the mire was like. It is much easier for the enemy to attack a party unawares.

I am not suggesting somehow that we live our lives in fear of falling away, but I must take this as a warning to never let down my guard. If I am feeling great peace with God and unity with Him, rather than easing up on my study and prayer, that might be when I should press after Him even harder. (We might consider Phil 2:12.)

At church recently, my pastor asked the congregation, “What are the famous last words before you end up in the hospital?”
Usually, they resemble: “Watch this!”

James 5 is brought to mind, as he admonishes us to pray and praise in any situation (see Jam 5:13-14). Even so, we have many warnings in scripture to stay alert, awake, and on our guard (see below for examples). But we cannot do it on our own. In fact, we’re not supposed to. Psalm 127:1 tells us, “Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.” And even as he faces a giant David reminds us that “the battle is the Lord’s” (1 Sam 17:47). It is not our own strength and will-power that saves us from wandering away, but “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:7). “For this I toil, struggling with all His energy that He powerfully works within me” (1 Cor 1:29.).

(Some) Warnings and Encouragements

Eph 6:18 …praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints.

Mal 2:16 So guard yourselves in your spirit, and do not be faithless.

Mark 13:9 But be on your guard.

Luke 12:15 Take care, and be on your guard.

Luke 21:35 But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.

Ps 119:9 How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.

Jer 14:10 They have loved to wander thus; they have not restrained their feet; therefore the Lord does not accept them; now he will remember their iniquity and punish their sins.

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