Watch Out!

Stop HandI enjoy being outdoors and walking around in the woods. I am not a fan of snakes at all. I usually kill the snake and then see what kind it is. I apologize to any “snake lovers” who make take offense but they simply freak me out. I remember being in Zambia, Africa when I was a sophomore in college and two deadly snakes where killed near the church where we spent a lot of time. One of the snakes was killed on near the path leading to the bathroom, which you can imagine didn’t involve running water or electricity. I have learned to be very careful and attentive when walking in the woods or simply walking outside in the yard.

Paul was warning about people who were a bit less obvious than a snake. There are people who appear helpful, genuine and kind, but they may be looking for an opportunity to pounce and bring harm. I think it’s important to watch carefully where we walk, who we walk with and where we go. Check this out…

17 Now I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who create divisions and obstacles contrary to the teaching that you learned. Avoid them,18 because such people do not serve our Lord Christ but their own appetites. They deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting with smooth talk and flattering words.

19 The report of your obedience has reached everyone. Therefore, I rejoice over you, but I want you to be wise about what is good, and yet innocent about what is evil. 20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you. (Romans 16:17-20 CSB)

I simply want to walk with the Lord. I want Him to help me watch every step I take and every move I make. I don’t always see the obstacles or the dangers in the path ahead, but He does. He will crush the enemy on my behalf. He will make me aware of people who are self-centered and deceptive.  I want the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart to be pleasing, good, and honorable to the Lord. I want to be well-spoken but not deceptive or manipulative in any way. I want be persuasive and passionate but not naïve to the enemies schemes. I should also stay aware and alert to every situation. I want to listen to the prompting of the Lord when He gives me a signal. I need my spiritual eyesight to be enhanced by His Presence.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Be Careful

 

wisdom, stupidity road signWhen my kids all learned to drive and got their drivers license, these are two words that automatically came out of my mouth when they left the house. I still find myself saying this to them when they are home for a visit and driving back to where they live. It may seem that I’m assuming that they aren’t careful. I am way more concerned with how others drive than how they drive, but I do want them to be alert when traveling.

I see the word “careful” as really close to the word “cautious”. I think when I can control my actions with some forward thinking; my behavior is usually much wiser. If I “throw caution to the wind”, I’m usually setting myself up to make mistakes or even cause harm to myself or someone else.

King Jehu was cleaning house of the Baal worshippers. The Lord had had enough of them and he wanted the entire house of Ahab and Jezebel destroyed. Jehu carried all of this out. I was impressed with this man as king and God was pleased. Unfortunately Jehu didn’t follow wholeheartedly. Check this out…

30 The Lord said to Jehu, ‘Because you have done well in accomplishing what is right in my eyes and have done to the house of Ahab all I had in mind to do, your descendants will sit on the throne of Israel to the fourth generation.’ 31 Yet Jehu was not careful to keep the law of the Lord, the God of Israel, with all his heart. He did not turn away from the sins of Jeroboam, which he had caused Israel to commit. (2 Kings 10:30-31 NIV)

I was reminded of a little song I learned as a small child, but it has stuck with me.

Oh be careful little eyes what you see….

Oh be careful little hands what you do….

Oh be careful little feet where you go…

For the Father up above is looking down in love, so be careful what you see, do & go.

I’ve never thought much about how careful I need to be in following the Lord. I do try to follow Him daily, but I need to be careful and watch out for the enemy who is out to destroy me. I can become self-centered and go for what I want rather than being God-centered and following Him with my whole heart.

I need to be careful with my actions today. I need to keep my thoughts clean and pure. I need to turn all of my struggles over to the Lord – He will help me walk out my faith in Him. He will help me to grow in my trust of Him.

Pressing On!

Dwayne