I didn’t even see it coming. One minute, I’m soaring high….my devo times are amazing, Jesus and me are tight, and there’s what seems to be an unquenchable fire lit inside of me to go out and fulfill my God-given calling. I felt like nothing and nobody could knock me down.
It was during this time that I heard God clearly telling me:
“Be strong and be ready”.
“OK, God. Well, can you give me some insight on what I need to be strong for, and in what way?”
But then I’d hear it again:
“Be strong and be ready”.
“I hear you but, ya know, a little clarity would go a long way. It’d be easier to be ready if I knew what I had to be ready for.”
There was never an answer, though. Just the command, over and over again.
I thought I was good. I was in such a good place.
“Ok, I’m ready. We’ve got this, God.”
a little complacency here, a little lack of discipline there, and next thing I know, I’m clawing my way out of a dark pit; unfeeling and unable to hear His voice at all.
How did this happen?!?!
Sadly, it’s just that easy.
That, my friend, is why in 1 Peter 5:8-9a, the Bible tells us, “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith,”
And who more does the enemy want to take down than someone who is on fire for God, and on the verge of doing something great for His kingdom?
Now, I’m not saying that what I was supposed to be ready for would have made a huge impact on the world…maybe it would have, maybe it wouldn’t. But what if it had made a difference for one person? Or one situation? What thing from God did miss out on? What opportunities may have been missed? What breakthroughs and growth did I possibly delay?
All of these questions have run through my mind.
Thankfully, I know that God can redeem all things. His will and plans will ultimately be accomplished despite my hiccup in the road. I can rest in that. But, I was made very aware of something through it all: there is no room for complacency and laziness in our walk with Christ. AT ALL.
Instead, we need to “soldier up” and be constantly aware of the enemy’s schemes to thwart the plans of God, and to keep us from becoming all that God has created us to be. The enemy is sneaky and a relentless schemer. His attacks can be so subtle that only those on alert and ready can spot them.
“Following Christ, staying awake with him, requires
a constant spiritual acuity, an attentiveness to see
the coming of Christ, a preparedness of soul and
character, a kind of spiritual attention. Stay awake.”
So what are some ways we can ensure that we remain alert and ready? Well, here’s some things that I’ve learned from past experience:
Ephesians 6:18 says, “Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.”
Colossians 4:2: “Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart”.
Spending time with God in prayer on a daily basis can only set you up for success. The minute we lose communication with Him, we become vulnerable to the enemy’s attacks.
Stay In The Word
Reading God’s Word aligns us with the heart of God, and therefore keeps us from getting distracted by the things of the world.
Psalm 119:130 says, “The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.”
If we neglect being in The Word, we won’t be able to distinguish right from wrong, or see the warning signs of danger ahead.
Do Life Together
Having at least one, honest and trustworthy friend, who will speak truth into your life when needed, is one of the greatest blessings you can ever receive.
Proverbs 27:17 – “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 – “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labour: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.”
When you have someone with whom you can openly share what God is speaking into your life, they can make sure you stay on track. They will hold you accountable and call you out when you start to veer off in the wrong direction. They can help you see when sin may be gaining a foothold in your life. I am beyond thankful to have more than one of those friends in my life.
So, what about you? Where do you find yourself today? Are you alert and ready? Or are there areas that you need to work on in order to ensure you don’t get tripped up by one of the enemy’s pitfalls?
Wherever it is that you find yourself today, I want to encourage you! Ready yourself: pray up, read up, and friend up! Be alert!
Kim is a wife, mom, and lover of both Jesus and crossfit. She is a germaphobe minimalist who loves all things black and comfy, and will sacrifice life and limb to to be in her soft pants before 8pm. Kim serves as a worship leader and an administrative assistant at her home church in South Florida.