While reading a recent review on “The Shack”, the critic included this quote:

“Discernment is not simply a matter of telling the difference between what is right and wrong; rather it is the difference between right and almost right.”
Charles Spurgeon

It immediately reminded of our topic from Sunday — becoming and remaining spiritual alert.

We talked of how we would react if we learned that someone was planning to break in to our homes this week, steal our property (and our peace of mind), attempt to kill our families, and destroy everything else that meant anything to us.

What steps would we immediately begin to implement in order to secure our homes and families? Brian answered that he’d buy a bigger gun (he must have been thinking about Brandon!)

But seriously, how does our level of alertness toward physical threats compare to those of spiritual threats? Because the fact of the matter is — we DO have someone whose ONLY motives are to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10).

We talked about 1 Peter 5:8 and how God used a lion to describe the enemy’s tactics.

Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8

So how does a lion find his prey? Check out the research…

  • Lions seek to catch prey unaware, often slipping up on them unnoticed (when is the last time the enemy got up in your face? That’s not how he operates. If he were that obvious we’d all be better off.)
  • Lions go after loners – those who have wandered from pack (a great reminder of why we’re not to forsake assembling together — there’s strength in numbers!)
  • The lion’s body is made for catching prey – fur acts camouflage (the Word says the enemy disguises himself as an angel of light – looking like “one of us” and blinding men and women of God that you would never expect.)
  • Lion’s often get close to their prey before actual attack (lions usually get within about 30 feet of their prey before pouncing on them and devouring them. Our enemy needs only a toe-hold.)
  • Lion’s are smart (and so is the enemy. It’s dangerous to underestimate him — and yet foolish to overestimate him as well. As a Christ-follower, it is our responsibility to know the Word for ourselves and to know what we believe and why.)

Someone said that spiritual alertness is not easily maintained, but it is absolutely essential for us and for those under our care. It was referring to King Hezekiah and how, as King, it was his responsibility to remain spiritually alert for the sake of those God had placed under his care.

I don’t know about you, but that’s a tremendous responsibility not only for pastors and teachers but for parents as well. It’s not just about us, is it?

King Hezekiah’s decisions had long-lasting consequences — and so do ours. Every decision we make today – good or bad – will set a long-term result or consequence into motion.

If that doesn’t awaken our spiritual senses, I’m not sure what will.