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Monday, December 02, 2019


We complain about it on one hand, but, on the other, we sure like our lines. We like to know the proper steps to ending alcoholism and the protocol for gaining godliness. We want things to be cut and dried. This teacher -- good; that one -- bad. "That group is evil, so even if the songs they are producing are correct and worshipful, we will avoid them because it's clear that group is evil." So we look for rules and regulations and definitions that are clear and concise. "Is it a sin to get a divorce?" "Well, that all depends." And we get restless. "'That all depends'? Just tell us yes or no."

Peter wrote, "Be sober, be vigilant" (1 Peter 5:8). He gives a reason. "Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour." Peter is not alone. Paul wrote, "Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves!" (2 Cor 13:5) John wrote, "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God" (1 John 4:1). You remember the Bereans. They were so noble-minded that they actually checked up on the Apostle Paul "to see whether these things were so" (Acts 17:11). Jesus said we were to "keep on the alert at all times" (Luke 21:36). A running theme, then.
So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. (1 Thess 5:6)
We would like rules and plans and patterns and protocols. We aren't really keen on "Be vigilant." We aren't happy with "Keep alert at all times." We'd prefer a checklist and be done. Looks like that's not the way it works. Instead, be vigilant. Test yourself. Test the spirits. Examine the Scriptures. Pray. It may not be as simplistic as we'd hoped, but it won't be boring.

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