Danger

This post is written to link with #Five Minute Friday: write for 5 minutes on a one-word prompt. Today’s prompt is “Danger”.

I have COVID! Yep, after all the precautions, insolations, masks, zooms etc for the last 2 years, now once the danger has passed and precautions relaxed now I get COVID!

But I wonder if that is how it is in life too? In times of danger we have a natural ‘flight or fight’ response, but once that danger has passed so too we drop our guard and perhaps that is the most dangerous time of all?

This is what Peter says:

Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.

1 Peter 5:8

Stay alert! Don’t let your guard down! Watch out!

Why?

Because our enemy, the devil, he is prowling around looking for our weak spot, looking for a chance, an opportunity to catch us.

Sometimes that is an obvious trap and we are immediately on alert, but other times it is drawing us away insidiously to the next “shiny” thing. Or perhaps he exploits our weak areas where we are prone to sin, or he catches us in his web of lies, entrapping us in those doubts and lies till we believe them over the Word of God.

We may relax our guard, we may think we are okay, we may have come out of a big battle and think phew, ‘glad that is over with’, but the devil – he never takes time off, he is always on the prowl.

So let us everyday put on the whole armour of God, for only then can we withstand his attacks:

Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm

Ephesians 6:11-13

So friend, let us spur one another on and remind each other to every day put our armour on because just when we think the danger is gone, it is not.

First Word – Endure

The Word I have felt impressed upon me for this New Year of 2022 is the Word Endure!

The dictionary meaning of Endurance = the ability to continue with an unpleasant or difficult situation, experience or activity over a long period of time.

So endurance is the keeping on going, the getting to the finishing line, no matter the hardships or obstacles along the way!

Now I am no endurance athlete and infact would rather have a soft, easy, cushy life, but the Christian life is not an easy life, we are called into the battle of the war for our souls and we are called to endure, to keep on till the end.

This is the aspect of this word Endure which is impressed upon me, it is not the enduring of our physical, daily hardships, the ups and downs and trials of life, but rather the spiritual hardship, being faithful spiritually, keeping on trusting even when our situations are screaming out for us to question God and His plans.

This passage in Matthew’s gospel shows us that in the last days we will be required to keep on holding on, to endure:

Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers .  And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other.  And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people. Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold But the one who endures to the end will be saved.  And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come.

Matthew 24:9-14

Our faith is going to be called into question, our trust is going to be tested, we will be called to stand up, be different, and keep on believing, keep on trusting, keep on holding on, keep on being faithful, keep on praying, keep on reading, keep on keeping on – Endure.

When life seems full of hard knocks, unexpected challenges and sorrows of the heart there is so often then a battle in our hearts and minds to keep on believing that God is good and that He is good to us. So easy to give up and give in to the questions and doubts of our minds, but as we endure and press on through those questions and doubts we can come to a place of trust, a place of surrender and be given the strength and grace to keep on going and endure.

We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.

Hebrews 12:2

So will you join me as we endure through to the end in the battle for our faith, as we endure in the battle of facts over feelings, truth over lies, as we endure in the battle over giving into weariness, as we endure through the battle for our hearts & minds to be set on Jesus, as we endure through in the battle for our souls?

Will you join me in championing each other, encouraging each other towards the finish line, enduring to the end?

I pray for each one of us this year, dear friends, that we will endure, that we will not give up, that we will not give in, but rather press on, press through, keeping our eyes on Jesus.