Be Alert!

Will you indulge me one last chess metaphor? Thank you.   The game was mine. I saw a path to victory. All I had to do was move my rook and the game was over. So, I picked up my piece and placed him near Black’s king. Game over……for me. As soon as I set the piece down, I realized what I had done. I forgot about my opponent’s Bishop halfway across the board. I had considered that Bishop multiple times during the game but the piece had just dropped out of my mind. Now he could just sweep across the board and capture my rook and my defeat would be inevitable. That is what he did. I was so frustrated and angry at myself. How could I forget about that Bishop?!   I know the answer. Confidence. I was confident that the game was mine. I saw the prize and it consumed my vision. I have trained myself to watch all the lines of movement that my opponent has available, but not this time. In other words, my defeat began when I was sure that victory was mine.   This is the way it often is in our spiritual lives as well.   God tells us through the Apostle Paul, “Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.” 1 Corinthians 10:12   I thought I was standing…   I didn’t take heed.   In our spiritual lives we think we have our enemy in check. We think that we are spiritually strong within ourselves. We figure the devil has others in his sight. We say things like, “I’m good. I’m teaching Sunday school. I’m going to church every week. I’m doing my devotionals. I’m praying regularly. I am safe.” All the while, we are moving our piece across the board and right into our enemy’s line of attack.   This is why God told us through the Apostle Peter, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8   Do you know what follows this verse?   Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” 1 Peter 5:9   Let me ask you something. When are we to resist him, before or after the attack? If you answered, “Both”, you are correct.   So, when you wake up in the morning, are you alert and sober minded and ready to resist?   Remember,  “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12   I fear most of us wake up and feel like we are good, and not susceptible to attack. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.   So my exhortation for today? Let’s not be like me in my chess game, gleefully sliding my piece across the board, sure that victory is mine. No. Let’s ask for God’s protection and wisdom and study our circumstances and vulnerabilities. We can fall quick. The devil is on the prowl. He is watching for just the right move. He wants to devour someone.   Be Alert! Resist! Sober your mind! This is not a chess game. This is your life!   10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” Ephesians 6:10-18   For Jesus,   Rob

Leave a Reply