Our world today is more watchful than it has ever been. We watch over almost all our possessions like a hawk. We guard everything. Buildings have security guards, houses and cars have locks and security systems. Our valuables are under lock and key. Mobile phones, banking, and other important security applications are password-protected. We conscientiously watch over everything that is important and valuable to us. When God instructs us to watch our lives and our doctrine closely, I believe it is the same. Our lives are important and valuable to God because this life that He has given us is His and not ours. God wants us to be saved and to be holy like He is. He wants us to be a godly testimony of His truth and His holiness.
Sadly, many Christians today do not invest the same amount of reverence and diligence in guarding our lives and doctrine. As I write this, I must repent of my own lack of vigilance too. Our way of life does not bring honour to Jesus. We allow ourselves to be too careless with how we live and what we believe in. We know we must guard our lives, but we do not know how.
We are to guard our hearts first, more than anything else, because everything flows from our inner life and our character. God instructs us throughout the Bible to watch what we think, see, do, and say, where we go, how we live, and who we mix with. The key to guarding our lives is to stay near to God. To do that, we must draw near to God. We draw near to God through our private communion with Him by reading the Bible, praying, meditating, and worshipping in the spirit. Cultivating our inner lives through our private communion with God is our utmost priority as a follower of Jesus. Mere resolve does not cultivate true spiritual maturity and holiness. In the same way students can’t expect to achieve a glowing report card by burning the midnight oil only during exams period, it is neither reasonable of us to expect to be strong in our faith, nor for God to move in our lives and circumstances when we read God’s Word and pray periodically only out of our needs. Even more so, we can’t complain that God is silent when our bibles have been closed, and our prayer lives have been non-existent. Those who are truly hungry for God will seek His presence always, no matter the circumstances and without expecting a handout from God in return.
A.W. Tozer wrote in one of his books, “There are rare Christians whose very presence incites others to be better Christians”. Are we one of these rare Christians? Do we inspire others to be better Christians? We must be careful how we live and who we spend time with because the only bible some people may ever read is us. Their interaction with us will either lead them to or turn them away from Jesus Christ forevermore. If we are honest before the Lord, we must ask God to forgive us because we are the problems at times. We have conducted ourselves in a way that is no different from the godless. We have made compromises for the sake of fitting in. We take comfort in our false sense of security that we are better Christians than others. We have failed to live set apart for God. Alas, our Christlikeness is not defined by our positions or attendance in church. To become a Christian who can truly reflect Jesus and shine brightly for Him, we can only grow in the garden of obedience. Obedience to God blesses us and transforms our hearts and minds to be more like Him each day.
I pray that we will all guard our lives and doctrine so well that when the world sees us, it makes them question their own unbelief in Jesus!
Monday: Ephesians 5:15-16
Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
Tuesday: Proverbs 4:23-24
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips.
Wednesday: Proverbs 4:25
Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you.
Thursday: Proverbs 4:26-27
Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.
Friday: Psalm 141:3
Set a guard over my mouth, LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips.
Saturday: 1 Peter 1:14-16
As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”
Sunday: Psalm 128:1
Blessed are all who fear the LORD, who walk in obedience to him.
All scriptures are quoted from the New International Version (NIV).
By Katherine Han