ODJ: keep your guard up

February 27, 2014 

READ: Deuteronomy 4:1-9 

But watch out! Be careful never to forget what you yourself have seen. Do not let these memories escape from your mind as long as you live! (v.9).

A young man and several friends drove to a ski resort, went through a gate that contained warning signs about the dangerous condition of the slopes and started snowboarding. On the second trip down the mountain, someone shouted, “Avalanche!” but the young man couldn’t escape and perished in the cascading snow. Some in the media severely criticised him for being a novice, but he was actually an “avalanche-certified backcountry guide”. An avalanche researcher said that seasoned skiers are most likely to be seduced into faulty reasoning. He said, “[The young man] died because he was lulled into letting his guard down”.

As Israel was preparing to go into the Promised Land, the Lord wanted His people to keep their guard up. So He commanded them to listen to and obey all His words (Deuteronomy 4:1-2). And in case they had trouble obeying, Moses reminded them how God judged those who disobeyed and blessed those who obeyed (vv.3-4). Remembering this history would be the motivation and basis for their unconditional obedience. At every turn, they needed to examine themselves and keep watch over their inner lives (v.9). This would help them avoid external spiritual dangers as well as inner spiritual apathy. But this wasn’t just for them; it was also for future generations. Obedience to God’s standard would be the key to future success.

It’s fairly easy for us to let down our guard and be lulled into a state of forgetfulness, apathy and self-deception. So it’s essential for us to offer God a fresh commitment to obey all of His Word. Let’s renew our knowledge of the Scriptures and our commitment to them and let’s wisely leverage opportunities to pass them on to the next generation. —Marvin Williams

Read James 1:22-24 and see why it’s important to keep your guard up by your obedience to God’s Word. 
When do you tend to let your spiritual guard down? What will you do to renew your commitment to God’s Word and remain alert for dangers to your faith?