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Staying Spiritually Alert

When I was growing up and going through my teenage years, I was part of a scouting program at church. It laid the foundation for a lot of things in my life and taught me how to do things I would have otherwise never learned. One of the foundational things it gave me was a code to live by. I can still recite all eight points of the code and their definitions 30 years later. The first point in the code is, “Alert: he is mentally, physically and spiritually alert.” Being mentally alert is to be present in conversations, in life and in preparedness to give an answer for the hope in you. Physically alert is all about paying attention to your surroundings and anticipating what might happen. Spiritually alert is the most important one of all. It’s recognizing that we’re in a constant battle within ourselves between our human nature and the Holy Spirit as well as being alert to our enemy who wants to devour us.

I’m afraid we all get caught up in the daily grind of things that we lose our spiritual alertness. We’ve all been a distracted driver at times when we’ve failed to be alert to the things around us. We’ve had to slam on the brakes to avoid an accident while everything in our car has flown forward. It happens usually when we’re not alert. Just like it is dangerous to drive distracted, it’s dangerous to live out your faith being distracted. 1 Peter 5:8 says, “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour” (NLT). You and I must recognize that our enemy seeks to destroy us. We need to stay alert in order to keep him from sneaking up on us. Remember though that being is alert is different than being fearful. Fear is not from God. He gives us a spirit of power, love and a sound (alert) mind (2 Timothy 1:7).

Staying spiritually alert was something Paul wrote to the believers as well. 1 Corinthians 16:13 says, “Remember to stay alert and hold firmly to all that you believe. Be mighty and full of courage” (TPT). You don’t have to fear the enemy. Greater is He that is in you than he who is in the world and is trying to devour you. Stand firm in your faith with courage, resist the enemy and he will flee. Remember that you are a child of God and have the authority Jesus gave you to overcome. You don’t have to be afraid of the enemy, but you do need to stay alert. Pay attention to what’s going on around you spiritually. What work is God doing in the lives of people you’re around? What work does God have you doing? Satan wants to disrupt progress in both cases. Pray over your family, your friends, your pastors and the work you’re doing. Ask God for courage to stand up against the enemy and to help you resist his advances. Your spiritual alertness may be the difference in eternal life for someone.

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Be Alert

When I was a teenager, I was part of a scouting program at church. One of the things that was taught to us each week was the code of core values that each one of us were to adopt into our lives. To this day, I can recite all eight, and still try to live by them. The very first one was, “Alert – He is mentally, physically and spiritually alert.” I believe there is deep significance in this one for everyone, and that we should all live by it. To be mentally alert is to pay attention and to guard our mind. We have to be careful what we all into it. To be physically alert is to pay attention to our surroundings so we can keep ourselves and others out of danger. Spiritually alert is very similar. Instead of looking into the physical realm, we need to be alert to things happening in the spiritual realm.

Jesus and several authors of the New Testament warm us to be alert, to pay attention and to be vigilant. Each one of us must be aware of danger and opportunities around us. We’re not mean to drift along life being carried by its current. We must live intentional lives paying attention. We are to fight the enemy when he shows up, rescue the lost when our paths cross and ready to give an answer for the hope that lives within us. We cannot let our guard down ever. When we do, our enemy will strike or we may miss an opportunity to lead someone to salvation. Being alert is a core value that every Christian must have and incorporate into their lives.

Here are some Bible verses on being alert.

1. Be sober [well balanced and self-disciplined], be alert and cautious at all times. That enemy of yours, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion [fiercely hungry], seeking someone to devour.

1 Peter 5:8 AMP

2. But since we belong to the day, we must stay alert and clearheaded by placing the breastplate of faith and love over our hearts, and a helmet of the hope of salvation over our thoughts.

1 Thessalonians 5:8 TPT

3. Remember to stay alert and hold firmly to all that you believe. Be mighty and full of courage.

1 Corinthians 16:13 TPT

4. Just make sure you stay alert. Keep close watch over yourselves. Don’t forget anything of what you’ve seen. Don’t let your heart wander off. Stay vigilant as long as you live. Teach what you’ve seen and heard to your children and grandchildren.

Deuteronomy 4:9 MSG

5. Do all this in prayer, asking for God’s help. Pray on every occasion, as the Spirit leads. For this reason keep alert and never give up; pray always for all God’s people.

Ephesians 6:18 GNT

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