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Living in New England definitely comes with some interesting challenges in the winter. One of those challenges is black ice. This barely visible danger was a reminder to me one morning about being watchful and never assuming things are as they may appear.
Being Watchful – Black Ice
I walked out of my house one morning to run to get something out of my car. It was a mild, sunny morning so ice was the last thing on my mind.
I stepped out onto the driveway and, about halfway to my car, I started to slide. It was coated in black ice.
If you are not from a cold climate, black ice is a very thin coating of ice that is so thin it is transparent. It is not truly black, it just appears to be because it blends with the surface it is on, usually a road or pavement.
Here it was on an up-slope so I had difficulty walking. I had come too far to turn back safely and yet still had a ways to go before I reached my car.
Pretty sure I looked quite the sight to my neighbors as I stood there, hunched over, trying not to fall.
I finally reached my car but then had to face the downward slope back to the house on this invisible sheet of ice.
I am happy to report I made it back unscathed.
Being Watchful – The Dangers of Taking Things for Granted
I had walked outside just doing my thing without any regard for the danger that was right in front of me.
It was there, just on the surface of the pavement I always felt comfort in stepping onto. But I didn’t see it. I wasn’t being watchful.
I also didn’t see it because I took for granted and had an expectation that the same pavement I always walked on would be the same today as it was before.
It was a subtle danger for sure, but it was there had I taken the time to look for it.
I took for granted that everything would be the same and that no danger stood in my path.
1 Peter 5:8
Being Watchful and Being Sober-Minded
According to yourdictionary.com, the definition of sober-minded is someone who is serious and sensible. The original Greek means essentially the same.
It says be watchful! The original Greek word here is grēgoreō and it means to “watch, give strict attention to, be cautious”.
I was not being sensible or being cautious as I stepped into my familiar territory.
How often do we do that in our walk with God? How often do we step into familiarity without caution and without vigilance?
“Your enemy prowls around like a roaring lion…”
The Greek word for “prowls” is peripateō and it means “to walk at large, to tread”. Strongs Concordance says “walk at large (especially as proof of ability),go, be occupied with, walk” (Strongs)
In our lives, how often do we step into familiarity without caution and without vigilance? “Your enemy prowls around like a roaring lion”
Being Watchful of Your Enemy the Devil
He essentially just lurks around us, watching and waiting to pounce on us at any given moment. He is subtle, he is sly, and he feeds on attacking us in areas we have essentially taken for granted!
The enemy looks for those parts of our lives we are NOT being watchful over and he slips in and tries to trip us up.
Had I stopped and looked carefully at the pavement before stepping onto it, I would have seen the danger. I should have suspected it. In New England, black ice is a way of life and is extremely dangerous. When temperatures seem milder you don’t think much of it, but that tends to be when you run into it.
It is War
He is SEEKING whom he can devour! The devil prowls about and watches for an opportunity to make us fall.
So be watchful! Be vigilant! Set a watchman and stand guard over your life, your marriage, your heart and your mind.
Put on the Armor of God
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 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, (ESV)
So be watchful! Be vigilant! Set a watchman and stand guard over your life, your marriage, your heart and your mind. #warfare #spiritualwarfare
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Scripture quotations are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.