On Guard

security guardI’ve entered into situations that I wasn’t sure was safe. I’ve been to homes trying to show where there was a dog, that was “friendly” and wouldn’t bite – I was on guard. I’ve been with people who appear harmless, but something just “felt weird” so I was on guard. I see being “on guard” as a preparatory phase prior to “fight or flight”. On guard means my awareness is the highest alert stage.

Paul was reminding the church at Corinth in his first letter to be on guard regarding attacks on their faith. Check this out….

13 Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. 14 And do everything with love. (1 Corinthians 16:13-14 NLT)

This is a simple couple of verses that packs a powerful punch. I think he is reminding the church to be on guard against assaults on their faith. I think he is reminding them that they will battle fear. He is also reminding them to lean into the strength and Presence of the very Spirit of God. He wraps a bow on it as he says, “do everything with love”.

When I read this I felt encouraged, inspired and motivated. My faith must be proactive. I can’t be passive. I have to be aware that I have an enemy and he wants to steal, kill and destroy my faith. He wants me to cower in fear. He wants me to “wimp out” instead of lead on. He wants to fill me with hatred, jealousy and envy. I have to be keenly aware and on guard as the enemy uses many approaches to come at me. It’s like I need an alarm system that trips when the enemy makes a move on me.

I believe that the Word of God prepares me to be on guard. I’m reminded in His Word that the enemy is real. I’m reminded of his schemes and his tricks. I’m equipped with the powerful Word of God that equips me daily.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Destruction & Devastation

quarreled couple in their living roomI have seen the destruction that a storm can bring to trees, homes and buildings of all shapes and sizes. I’ve also seen the destruction of relationships from the storms of life. I’ve seen decisions made between two people that leave a path of destruction where the ramifications are felt for several generations to follow. Marriage relationships are very complex and often very challenging, but marriage can bring such joy and beauty into our lives. The Lord wired us for relationship!

David stepped way outside the boundaries of his relationships. Even though he more than one wife, he saw another man’s wife and wanted her too. David was probably innocently walking around on the roof of his palace when he saw Bathsheba bathing. As the king, he could get what he wanted, when he wanted it. He had her brought to the palace and he slept with her. He sends her home and she discovers she’s pregnant. He sends for Uriah, her husband, and brings him home from the war hoping he’ll go home and sleep with his wife and help David cover-up his sin. Uriah had such integrity & devotion to his king, his commander and his country that he would not go home. David goes even further to try to cover up his sin. Check this out…

14 In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it with Uriah. 15 In it he wrote, ‘Put Uriah out in front where the fighting is fiercest. Then withdraw from him so that he will be struck down and die.’

16 So while Joab had the city under siege, he put Uriah at a place where he knew the strongest defenders were. 17 When the men of the city came out and fought against Joab, some of the men in David’s army fell; moreover, Uriah the Hittite died.

26 When Uriah’s wife heard that her husband was dead, she mourned for him. 27 After the time of mourning was over, David had her brought to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing David had done displeased the Lord. (2 Samuel 11:14-17; 26-27 NIV)

Adultery – Conspiracy – Murder. This sounds a lot like some TV show drama. Unfortunately it was Kind David. He is in a really dark place of sin. He seems captive to his own wants and wishes no matter the expense to himself or anyone else. Sin can blind us to reality of our responsibility. As I think about David’s behavior, I can’t imagine how people who knew of this drama felt about the situation. I’m very confident that the rest of David’s family knew. His staff knew and yet he thinks know one knows.

I think it’s pretty common practice to underestimate the devastation of my sinful choices. I am thankful for the Lord’s protection over me for some stupid situations that I’ve been in that could have been devastating. I want to have a healthy fear and respect for the enemy who is constantly seeking to destroy me. Sin separates me from the Lord. I really need the help of His Spirit to keep my guard way up at all times.

Pressing On!

Dwayne