Be On Guard

Have you ever read something that just seemed like good practical advice? It was words you could live by without giving much thought or effort? Until something happens and you find those words aren’t as easy to live by as you thought. Then what? What do you do when you find yourself caught in an unexpected situation? How do you handle it?

Sometimes we just have to go back to the basics of living and follow sound advice. It always helps if the advice we look to is solid biblical teaching.

The Bible is full of sound teaching. Plain old good advice. Verse after verse tells us that we must live godly lives. It also tells us how to live a godly life. We must put away childish behavior and grow strong in our faith. Some of the advice will convict us to change our words, behavior and attitudes. There are the 10 commandments (Exodus 20:3-17). And the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-10). The book of Proverbs is full of encouraging, challenging and rewarding words.

Be on guard. Be alert. Be aware of your surroundings. Is evil present? Should you walk away? Be aware of your weaknesses and temptations. When in doubt, don’t. Watch out for the enemy who prowls around watching for someone to devour. Put on the full armor of God, so you can stand against the devil’s plots.

Stand firm in the faith. Don’t budge when tempted to do or say something you know is wrong. Sin will take you down a path you never meant to walk on. So put on that full armor of God every day. Tighten the buckle of faith. Don’t be wishy washy with your beliefs. Know your convictions and hold to them. Don’t be bullied into something without weighing the cost. Don’t fall prey to watered down spiritual teachings. Know the truth and live it.

You have the Host of heaven’s armies on your side. He’s fighting for you. So fight for him. Fight for truth and honor.

If you are a child of God, then you are a soldier. You are fighting an enemy who wants you and all of you. Can you identify the enemy?


Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. Do everything with love. 1 Corinthians 16:13-14


Be courageous. Heroes are bold and strong. They stand for what they believe. Say no to the enemy of your soul. Just be warned. The enemy may look beautiful at times. Or taste very sweet. The enemy may flash dollar signs and promise untold wealth. Speak boldly the words of truth and correction. Don’t be shy about saying hard things. Be speak kindly. Act mature. Don’t be foolish in the things you say and do. Don’t be a wimp when someone insults you. Be bold. Take responsibility for your words and actions. Just grow up in your faith. Don’t become stagnant.

Be strong. Strength takes work and effort. Perseverance. Strength is born through consistent training. Anyone can be weak. Most are. But true strength comes from battling your worst enemy and conquering your temptations. Satan himself is the enemy of your soul. If someone can learn to bench press 250 pounds, then they can learn the word of God. Nothing is impossible with God.

When your faith is tested, stand strong. Speak words of truth. Don’t fall prey to the enemy’s advances. God is an ever present help in times of trouble. Trust him and hold tightly to his mighty hand.

Do everything in love. Treat others like you want to be treated. Be kind. Don’t cause trouble. Speak truth but speak in love. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes and try walking their road of life. Lend a hand. Smile at a stranger. You don’t have to agree with everyone, but be kind when there are differing opinions. Be respectful. Honor those who have gone before you. Be attentive to those who come behind, for they are watching and listening.

God’s Word is a useful tool for everyday living. Spend time there every day. You will be surprised at some of the historical events. But lessons can be learned from all situations in life. God is faithful. He will direct our lives if only we allow him. But first, we have to know him. We must take the time and effort to build a close relationship with him. Let’s be uncommon people in a common world.

The Raging Battle

A battle has been raging for years. Eons it seems. The human mind doesn’t really know how long. There may not be an accurate record of when it all started. It is the battle of the ages.

There are two warriors. In one corner stands the Lover of your soul. In the other corner crouches the Enemy of your soul. One is the Holy Spirit. The other is an evil spirit. They are polar opposites. The only thing they have in common is that they want your soul. But their plan of attack is nothing alike.

The evil spirit was once a high ranking angel. He decided he wanted to be equal with God. He convinced many other angels to join in his rebellion. He lost. Big time. And he’s been laying out his battleground ever since. Satan is not giving up. He’s all out for blood and souls.

It is a battle of right against wrong. Good against evil. Truth against lies. Love against hate. Light against darkness. Selflessness against selfishness. Life against death. Creator against destroyer. It is a fight for morality in a world filled with immorality.

The enemy aims his fiery arrows at the soul of his target. Some might think having a fiery arrow aimed at them is straight out of an action-packed superhero movie. But be warned. These arrows are aimed to kill the very soul of anyone in its path. The enemy will find your weaknesses and aim point blank at them. 

It will take super powers to resist his advances. A soul can’t resist on its own. The soul needs help. And there is a warrior just fit for the battle.

So, why do so many resist?

Oh yes. A superhero is in the fight. He has powers that can’t be matched. No. He doesn’t wear a cape. But he does bear scars on his hands and his feet. He has scars on his brow that was pierced by thorns. He has a long scar down his side. Oh. He has battle scars all right. 

The lover fights for your soul, as well. He fights with truth. Justice. Love. Patience.  Forgiveness. He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. He gives hope to the hopeless and a path for the lost.


How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness? What harmony can there be between Christ and the devil? 2 Corinthians 6:14-15


The battle has been taken to the streets. To the hearts and souls of humanity. It’s not just between a fallen angel and God Almighty. Oh. They’re at the heart of it. But they each are fighting for your heart. For your soul. For your eternity. They each have a plan of attack. One is based in love and forgiveness. The other in hate and greed.

The enemy is an expert at masquerading around as something he is not. He is eternity’s worst liar. Oh. His lies are good. They fool many a soul. But in the end, they’re lies. He stands against good. He distorts the truth. He creates diversions. He plants discouragement. Discontentment. Doubt. He is looking to devour anyone in his path.

The lover of your soul offers strength and power that is unmatched. The level of his strength and power are absolutely necessary to fight the enemy’s advances. Because the enemy will stop at nothing to take you down to hell with him.

One is the underdog, but he fights a mean fight. He holds nothing back. He goes for the jugular, and he means business. He will not give up on you. He wants your soul, and he will stop at nothing to get it.

One is the victor. He fights a just fight. He makes the rough places smooth. He will go before you as the way maker and stand behind you as your rear guard. He will surround you with his presence. You will never be left behind if he is fighting for you. He loves you.

Here’s the catch. You choose who wins your soul. It’s all your choice. But in the end, the Lover of your soul will win over the enemy. Even if you don’t choose the Lover, he will still beat Satan in the final battle. But your eternity will have already been decided. It will be too late for you to change your mind.

Choose you this day whom you will serve, for the time in this battle is short.

The Goodbye Kiss

It’s all over the news this week. Mainly the Christian news. The guy who wrote a popular book 20 plus years ago has renounced the book he wrote. He no longer believes what he wrote.

What was his book? I Kissed Dating Goodbye. The book is described as an inspiring call to sincere love, real purity, and purposeful singleness. Sounds like a good thing.

Now after all these years, he’s recanted his beliefs. He says what he wrote was all wrong. He’s kissed his marriage goodbye. And he’s given his faith the kiss off. 

What changed his mind? Where did he go wrong? How did it come to this?

Oh. He was only 21 when he wrote the book. Fairly naive. Vastly inexperienced. But I’m sure he had great intentions. You know how it is. 22 years later. Real life happens. You gain life experience in work, love and faith. You question why and how and when. At times you wonder if you’ve got it all wrong or if you’re going in the right direction. But do you just throw it all away? For no good reason?

There’s a lot at stake here for the man. He’s getting a divorce. His family is falling apart. He’s left his wife. He says that significant changes have taken place in both of them over the years. That’s sure to happen to any of us. But what was it that caused him to think his marriage wasn’t worth saving? Oh. I don’t need to know the details. The fact that divorce is in the works tells me all I need to know. And it’s very sad.

He no longer believes the words he wrote. He believes he was misleading people to think that their marriage would be perfect if they followed the teaching in his book. And since it wasn’t all based on Scripture, then it must be wrong. I don’t know. I never read his book. But he’s thrown it all away. Now he’s promoting alternate lifestyles that are definitely not Scriptural.

He’s walked away from his relationship with God. And someone who has a relationship with God squarely knows what the consequences are to just walk away. And he says he doesn’t view this negatively. Does he really know what’s at stake here for him? Does he know that those who walk away from God will walk themselves right into hell? He’s got to know that. And he’s ok with it? Wow. He must really trust those people who have been advising him. He was listening to them more than he was listening to God. When did the Word of God stop being real to him? What caused him to close his spirit to the Holy Spirit?


The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? Jeremiah 17:9


And that’s the problem. Anyone who calls themselves a Christian is capable of doing what Josh Harris has done. Any of us are capable of being tricked and lied to by the enemy of our souls. Satan himself. He will make the dull look shiny. He will make the bad sound good. He will spin lies to appear as truth. He will make hell look attractive. He wants our souls.

Josh Harris isn’t the first to renounce his faith. And the sad news. He won’t be the last.

But what was it that caused him to lose his faith? That’s my question. What was it that made him decide after all these years that a relationship with Jesus Christ wasn’t worth it?

I’ve never met Josh Harris. I doubt I ever will. I’ve just read about him. His website mentions that he had conversations with people who reshaped his thinking. Who, I wonder, was he listening to? Was he seeking advice from godly people who held him accountable? Or was he listening to those who said things he wanted to hear? Who was Satan using to twist words of truth and introduce lies and confusion? It doesn’t always take much to be convinced that truth is a lie. Especially if life isn’t perfect. Because doubt and disillusionment can set in. Even for those who appear solid in their faith.

Look at King Solomon. At the beginning of his reign over Israel, God said he would give Solomon anything he asked for. So he asked God for wisdom. And he used his wisdom to give advice to other kings and queens. They would travel long distances to hear his words. And because of this, he married foreign princesses. He eventually married hundreds of women. Women who did not worship the one true God. They introduced him to their gods. and their ways. He moved from worshiping the only true God to worshiping lesser gods. False gods. His many wives turned his heart away from serving God. How did it come to this?

If we call ourselves Christians, we are in a battle for our souls. Satan is doing everything he can to trick us out of our relationship with God and into a life built on lies and deception. We have to put on the armor of God every day in order to fight the enemy. We must be prepared to fight. We must stay alert to the stop the fiery arrows of the devil. This battle is very real and very dangerous. If you believe there isn’t a fight, then you’ve already lost. Our eternity is at risk.