Keys to the Kingdom
On a warm fall afternoon, I was relaxing while reading in the pergola. I was totally focused on the book, and not paying a lick of attention to my surroundings, when I heard the pitter-patter of feet on the flooring. I looked up just in time to see a groundhog quickly trot right by me. He was as cute as he was fat — I guess he’d been stocking up on lard so he could hibernate nicely through the winter. This wasn’t the first time I’d spotted him on my property, but I’d never laid eyes on him this close. While visiting with my daughter about my pet groundhog, I mentioned that I wanted to name him. She suggested Fatty Jacky (a nutty character from the crazy Jerry Lewis movie, “The Disorderly Orderly.“) Since we both guffawed, I knew that was the perfect name for him!
As believers, being asleep at the wheel (not paying attention to our spiritual walk) is very dangerous. God’s Word warns us to stay alert and keep a sharp lookout. Since I wasn’t paying attention to what was going on, Fatty Jacky was able to sneak up on me from “out of nowhere.” However, if I’d been keeping a close watch, I would have seen him coming way before he arrived at the pergola. “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith” (1 Peter 5:8,9 NLT). Just as lions go after the feeble, the young, and the stragglers, the devil looks for those who are isolated, weak, or totally unfocused on God so he can devour/destroy them.
The author of the Book of Hebrews gives Christians practical ways to stay alert. “Our great desire is that you will keep on loving others as long as life lasts, in order to make certain that what you hope for will come true. Then you will not become spiritually dull and indifferent“ (Hebrews 6:11,12 NLT). We’re reminded that loving people will help guard against growing disinterested and becoming spiritual sluggards in our Christian walk. Jesus doesn’t call believers to be passive followers, He calls us to be passionate followers.
There are so many distractions in today’s world. When I fire up my computer, all kinds of stuff pops up. If I’m not determined to stay focused on my goal, I can get side-tracked looking at junk I don’t even want to see or read. The same thing can happen to believers in their spiritual life. It’s imperative not to just go with the flow, ignore God’s Word, or disregard plain ol’ common sense. “This is why it is so crucial that we be all the more engaged and attentive to the truths that we have heard so that we do not drift off course” (Hebrews 2:1 TPT).
“We must keep our eyes on Jesus, who leads us and makes our faith complete” (Hebrews 12:2 CEV). The hymn, “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus,” composed by Helen H. Lemmel bears the truth of this scripture with these lyrics: “Turn your eyes upon Jesus; look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.”
The Key: Keep your eyes peeled so you won’t be devoured by the devil or get run over by a groundhog.