We don't have to be shaken up by lies. Always be spiritually watchful and awake on the job.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again radio friends. How in the world are you? Yes, that little greeting establishes the fact that this is your good friend, Bob Cook. I’m glad to be back with you to share for a few moments, from the Word of God.I’ll tell you, I get blessed by it anyway. So if nobody else gets any help, yours truly gets blessed as, as we look together at the Word of God.
We’re walking through 1 Peter. Chapter 5 is the location and verse 8 is the verse: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary, the devil, as a roaring lion walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him steadfast in the faith.” Now I mentioned to you that that word ‘sober’ means ‘cool’ and ‘calm’ and ‘collected’ and ‘dispassionate’ and ‘temperate’. Don’t lose your cool, you don’t have to be shaken because the devil or those who serve him, are opposing you. You don’t have to be shaken up.
You, Christians don’t scare because they don’t have to scare. That doesn’t mean that you’ve lost the capacity to be afraid. If, if you see a man or a woman who has no capacity to fear at all, they need, they need therapy, they need help. Something wrong in the house upstairs. There may be a light on but nobody is there. So, I don’t mean that you won’t ever get frightened, there, or that you’ve lost the capacity to be afraid. I do mean that you don’t need to scare when you know the answer to it.
Let me give you a simple homely, illustration. Have you ever stayed in a house that was strange to you? Let’s say you were a visitor in someone’s home, or let’s say you had just moved in to a new house. All right, now the day is over and you go about the few chores that you have to do as you finish the day. You turn out the lights and you check all the doors to see they’re locked. And you turn down the thermostat so that the furnace won’t be going all night. And you say your prayers and you go to bed. Now you’re trying to compose yourself to get to sleep. And you, you go through the routine that everybody seems to have. You first turn to one side, then to another, and you, and you, you, you get to a place where you’re reasonably comfortable, and where the lumps in the mattress fit the lumps on your body, (Laughs) you know.
Jack Wyrtzen stayed at our house one time, and he said, “I didn’t sleep very well ‘cause the lumps in your mattress are not like the lumps in my mattress, and they didn’t fit my body.” (Laughs) Well, so you go through that little routine. And finally you’re just about to go, go to sleep when you hear a strange sound, CRAAAACK! And you say, “Whatever is that? Oh is there somebody here? Is there somebody walking around? Did someone break in?” And you hear that, that, that cracking, or creaking, or groaning. You know houses talk, you know that, don’t you?
And so you hear that sound. And then by and by you, you identify it as being, well it’s just the, it’s just the sound of the house. And after you’ve lived there for a while it gets to be kind of a friendly sound. And, and you sometimes wait to hear the sounds that the house itself makes in the quietness of the night hours, and you’re not afraid anymore. Does, do you identify with that, any of you? I’ve been through it myself, and I, I know exactly how it feels.
Sitting bolt upright in bed and say, “Is there somebody here?” you know, and getting ready to throw something at the intruder. Well, all it was, was the house settling a little, or just, just talking as houses do, in the quiet of the night. Then you got used to it, you don’t scare. Why? Because you know the score, you know what’s happening. Say, can you apply that to your own life as it, as it relates to the things through which you have to go day by day; and specifically as it relates to the opposition of the person who is the enemy of your soul, the devil? Can you realize that he’s a beaten foe; that Jesus conquered him at the cross; that he’s a deceiver and, and he’ll always try to trick you; that he’s an accuser, and he’ll always try to accuse you – he’s called the ‘accuser of the brethren’; that he is a liar – Jesus called him that; and a murderer – Jesus called him that?
Realizing who and what your opposition is, and that that opposition has already been defeated at the cross – you don’t have to scare. Why? Not because you’re incapable of fear, but because you understand what’s going on and you know the answer. Well, Hallelujah. “Be calm,” he said, “don’t loose your cool.” Yes, you’re up against a roaring lion, trying to scare you off; trying to say, “If you live out and out for the Lord Jesus, you won’t get promoted on the job; if you’re a faithful, witnessing Christian, you won’t be popular; if you’re a real Christian, you’ll never get a date; if you’re a real Christian, you’ll never find somebody that wants to marry you, and you’ll be lonesome and single all the rest of your life; if you’re a real Christian, you won’t make any money; if you’re a real Christian, you won’t succeed.”
Don’t believe it, don’t believe it. The devil’s a liar. You don’t have to let him shake you up, and frighten you. Take the Word of God instead. The Bible says that, “The person who follows, who loves the Word of God, and who meditates upon it, and follows what it says,” it says, “whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” God is the God who makes you to succeed. Joshua 1:8 said, “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein. For then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, prosperous; and then shalt thou have good success.”
Two great words, you might think they came straight out of, of Dale Carnegie’s teaching –‘Prosperous’ and ‘Success’. God is the God of success, not of failure. You don’t have to get scared by the roaring of your adversary. God can see you through, and make you the best that He can make you, as a born-again human being. You don’t have to lose your cool. It’s good, isn’t it? Now the other side of it, he says, “Be vigilant, be vigilant.” Life does not have to take you by surprise, and you don’t have to be a victim of Satan’s deceptions. Vigilant, what does that mean? It means ‘giving strict attention to’, ‘being alert’, ‘being watchful’.
I flew a good many miles in the ‘Youth for Christ’ days, with Paul Hartford, my dear friend who still lives in the, in the Bay area down there around St. Petersburg. He doesn’t fly an airplane any longer, but now he, now he counsels people because God has given him some very wise approaches to life. But he, he was a missionary pilot for years. And so it was my privilege to fly with him to different meetings around the Caribbean, and, and to the island world and so on. One of the first times that we took a trip together I said, “Paul, teach me something about flying.”
“Well,” he said, “the first lesson you need to learn is to imagine that your head is on a swivel, and you keep looking around,” he said. “There, there will never be a time when you can say to yourself, ‘I don’t need to watch, now.’” He said, “Always be looking around you to see what’s, what’s around.” Well that was good advice. I don’t know whether people who teach flying say it in that way. But it most certainly is good advice not only for flying an airplane, but for driving a car, or just for living in the turbulent century in which we find ourselves. Be vigilant, what does it mean? Be alert, don’t be drowsing and sleeping on the job.
I was involved, as some of you remember, back in the early 1980’s – whenever it was ‘83 or ’84 – in a head-on crash driving across a bridge, a two lane bridge. And all of a sudden this car swung out, and we had a head-on collision. And the Lord took care of me. I got, just got a broken rib or two, and some bruises. The car ultimately got fixed up, never ran the same after that, but, but you know what happen? Well the dear old man got out and, and looked at me and he said, “I think I must have fallen asleep.”
Well, you chose the wrong time to, to take a nap, didn’t he? Oh yeah. (Laughs) He said, “Be alert, stay awake.” You know, one of the things that’s so sad is that when the Lord Jesus needed somebody to pray with Him, to watch with Him and to pray with Him there in the Garden of Gethsemane, just moments before Judas was to arrive and betray Him to the rulers; in those moments, He said, “Tarry here and watch with Me.” And He came back and found them sleeping. He went away and prayed the second time, came back, found them sleeping. He went away the third time, came back and they were still, had fallen off to sleep again.
Now I’ll grant you that it had been a long day, and they were tired. And sitting there in the warm darkness of the Garden of Gethsemane, it was, it was certainly an effort to keep awake. So they gave in to sleep. But it was the wrong time to take a nap. And so He said sadly, “Sleep on now and take your rest. Rise, let us be going. Behold, he is at hand that doth betray me.” Says, “Well, you had your nap now. I had to do my praying alone. The angels came to comfort me, which you didn’t, you didn’t you were sleeping.” See, stay awake on the job for God. There’s never a time when you can say, “It doesn’t matter now.”
You do your best to be polite to people at work, but when you come home you reserve the right to grumble, and be impolite to the family. You say, “It doesn’t matter, I’m at, in my own house.” Oh yes it matters. A lot of you is rubbing off on those with whom you live. Yes it matters, very, very much. You’re on a trip, you’re a long way from home. Nobody knows you, and so you say, “Well it doesn’t matter what I do now. I can engage in this, or that, or the other activity. I can watch this, or that, or the other film.” And maybe you are tempted to, to take a drink or two.
You’re not a drinker in the, in the Christian community in which you live. But you think, “Oh well, it can’t do any harm to have an occasional beer,” and maybe you’re tempted that way. Whatever it may be you say, “Well I’m, nobody knows who and what I am, and it doesn’t matter.” Oh yes, it matters, oh yes, it matters. You’re always on the job, you’re always on display, you’re always like a person, in an amphitheater with the angels and the demons watching you.
“We’re made,” Paul says, “a spectacle, unto men, and angels and demons.” You’re always on stage, in other words. Yes it matters. Stay on the job, stay alert for God. Be alert, be watchful. Life doesn’t have to take you by surprise. My old boss Vic Cory used to say, “You don’t have to have a high coefficient of gullibility in order to be spiritual.” Be watchful. And then he said, “Give strict attention to, give strict attention to.”
A friend of mine had a diesel, a Mercedes diesel. And so it, it needed fuel. And she drove up to the gas station, and said, “Fill it up!” And turned away from the car, and was fooling with something rather in the, in the glove compartment while the attendant was putting fuel in the car. Unfortunately he put gasoline, in the tank. And when she started up the engine, you know what happened. Well they had to get a new engine, that’s what happened. She wasn’t watchful, she wasn’t paying attention. She could have avoided it, but she didn’t. And so, we close this broadcast by reminding you that you do have an enemy. He’s a beaten foe, but God says, “Just stay awake and stay on the job.” Good idea, won’t you say?
Dear Father today, keep us on the job; watchful, alert, calm, trusting. I ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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