Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Alert - Danger, Will Robinson!
Psa. 36:11 Do not let the foot of the arrogant tread on me,
or the hand of the wicked drive me away.
Mark 13:33 Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come.
Mark 13:37 And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake.”
My husband teases me because there are entire gaps of American culture about which I seem to know nothing because of living overseas. However, I do remember from time to time seeing the old black and white sci-fi show with the Robinson family. I believe it was the robot who was always warning Will about the danger that could be lurking.
The word of God also warns us of the dangers which may be lurking. The Psalmist knows that it's easy to be led astray. There will always be the arrogant around us who may be willing to stomp on us. Or, looking at it from another perspective, our own arrogance may lead to our own destruction. Either way, the presence of arrogance is a danger. When there is arrogance, an attitude develops in which we are no longer teachable. We know it all! However, compared to God, we will never know it all. We will never even come close. Therefore arrogance in any form is destructive.
The wicked try to lay their hands on us. Danger! Their hands can drive us in the wrong direction. When I think of the wicked laying their hands on me I think of it as if they are beating me and knocking me one way or another. However, my guess is that in reality, it's in more subtle terms. The wicked gently lay their hands on us and try to influence the trajectory of our lives. The problem is that we may not even recognize the danger! They come in as friends and try to help give direction to where we are going.
But it is Jesus in his gospel message who gives us the greater warning. Danger -- be alert! This is in response to the disciples wanting to know the time of Christ's return, but Jesus tells them that no one knows that, except the Father. Followers of Christ are not supposed to worry about the speculation of dates and times, but rather are to be alert -- staying awake!
Jesus knew that there would be distractions to the Christian walk. There is nothing more that the enemy would want to do than to derail a faithful follower of Jesus Christ. Therefore there are the warning bells, the danger signs.
There are practical aspects to avoiding the dangers which will take us off track. Foremost is that we are alert and awake! Too many of those who call themselves followers of Jesus Christ live in a Christian daze. They do not take the time to know him in a serious way and so they live lives which may be influenced by everyone and everything around them. Wake Up! There is real danger surrounding us.
Look out around you and see who you are spending time with. What kind of influence do the people around you have on your life? Are you spending time with the proud and arrogant? Do they trust in themselves? Danger! This attitude can lead you to self-trust and your dependency on God will be gone.
Whose advice are you following for the day to day choices in your life? Who is gently nudging you in the direction you should go? Often it is in retrospect that we discover a very simple nudge in one direction takes us on a trajectory from which it may be difficult to recover. If we recover early on, the distance between where we should be and where we are is not too great. However, if we wait too long, we will discover that we are now miles and miles off course and the baggage which has been collected on the wrong path is almost crushing. Danger! Be alert! Only allow God to guide your course and give you direction, or you will end up on the wrong path.
Stay awake! Don't let yourself go to sleep spiritually. Rather, be an active and alert member of the kingdom on a daily basis, serving our world as a reflection of Jesus Christ. Ultimately that is his call to each and every one of us. Don't spend all your time trying to figure out when Jesus is coming back, but rather, engage in a hurting world that needs to see Jesus!
Yes, Will Robinson -- there is danger ahead. However, if we stay alert and we stay in the Lord, we can maneuver the obstacles that are put in our path. "With God, all things are possible."
Lord, may I listen to your warning signs, being an alert follower of Christ in your kingdom. Amen.