Awake and Vigilant

3 Magnify the LORD with me; let us exalt His name together. 4 I sought the LORD, and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears. 5 Those who look to Him are radiant with joy; their faces shall never be ashamed. Psalm 34:3-5

You can leave this quarantine better than when you entered it, in every way.  Have you had this thought?  Have you heard this in your spirit?  I have heard it, and some of my family and friends have as well.   As I was praying about how to take advantage of the opportunity the Father has presented, the following scriptures began to flow through my mind:

Romans 13:1-14 And do this, understanding the occasion. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, for our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is nearly over; the day has drawn near. So let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. 14 Instead, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the desires of the flesh.

Psalm 36:7-9 How precious is Your loving devotion, O God, that the children of men take refuge in the shadow of Your wings.  8 They feast on the abundance of Your house, and You give them drink from Your river of delights.  9 For with You is the fountain of life; in Your light we see light.

There is an opportunity for us, the people of God, to humble ourselves, sincerely seek His face, and to hear from him.  As Psalm 36:9 states, in His light, we see light.   To me, that means the closer we get to Him and the more time we spend with Him, the more we can discern what is Him and what is not Him.   As we increase the light we see, we increase what we can see.  In His light, we can clearly see how to navigate the circumstances around us.  We receive clarity so that we are not moved, and clarity so we don’t become deceived or distracted.  If your vision is obscured, it is much easier for you to be deceived and distracted and for fear to come on you. 

In a time like this, with so much uncertainty and fear, it is tempting to feel overwhelmed by it all and to anesthetize ourselves by falling back into old habits, mountains of food, or endless hours of television.  The flesh is more vocal now than before because there is more temptation to fear around us.  If we let our minds focus on fear, if we keep fear generating things before our eyes, it will rob us of our faith.   This time calls for discipline, consistency, and steadfastness. 

1 Corinthians 9:24-27 Know ye not that they that run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? Even so run; that ye may attain. 25 And every man that striveth in the games exerciseth self-control in all things. Now they do it to receive a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. 26 I therefore so run, as not uncertainly; so fight I, as not beating the air: 27 but I buffet my body, and bring it into bondage: lest by any means, after that I have preached to others, I myself should be rejected.

To hear from God and to come out of this closer to God, stronger in faith, and victorious over our circumstances, we must cast out fear.  We cast out fear by guarding our hearts and by building ourselves up on the love that God has for us. We need to become even more rooted in the love of God so that our fears are starved, and our faith is fed.

1 John 4:15-19 If anyone confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 And we have come to know and believe the love that God has for us. God is love; whoever abides in love abides in God, and God in him. 17 In this way, love has been perfected among us, so that we may have confidence on the day of judgment; for in this world we are just like Him.  18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment. The one who fears has not been perfected in love. 19 We love because He first loved us.

1 John 3:1,3 Behold what manner of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God. And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him. 2 Beloved, we are now children of God, and what we will be has not yet been revealed. We know that when Christ appears, we will be like Him, for we will see Him as He is.

Psalm 121 I lift up my eyes to the hills.  From where does my help come?  2 My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.  3 He will not allow your foot to slip; your Protector will not slumber.  4 Behold, the Protector of Israel will not slumber or sleep.  5 The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is the shade on your right hand.  6 The sun will not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.  7 The LORD will guard you from all evil; He will preserve your soul.  8 The LORD will watch over your coming and going, both now and forevermore.

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