Vigilant. It means to be watchful. As a society, we tend to be very vigilant with our stuff. We lock our houses when we leave. Some people even have cameras and security systems in place. We lock our cars when we leave them parked somewhere. We have safes to make sure expensive items are locked away and not easily accessible. We have privacy settings and passwords in the cyber world. There are all kinds of ways we practice vigilance with our things.
But how are we being vigilant with our souls? Our hearts? Our minds?
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about
like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
1 Peter 5:8
This verse makes me think of those “Call of the Wild” shows I used to watch as a kid. The big wild cat would lay low in the shadows, watching as its prey foraged for food. Its prey would lift its head in caution, but when not noticing any danger, would continue on its way, completely distracted with what it was doing, as the predator creeps closer and closer till at last pouncing and devouring its prey. Satan does not always attack us in obvious ways. He lays low. He waits till we are distracted and not paying attention. And then he pounces.
Distraction. It is the opposite of vigilance. And we can become distracted by many things in this world. We can become distracted by anger, pride, bitterness, gossip, perfection, social media, material things, money (having lots or having little)…anything that takes our mind off the Kingdom and makes us lose focus The list is endless. It can even be things we perceive as good that can distract us.
In the story of Mary and Martha, it says that while Mary was sitting at Jesus’s feet listening to His teachings, Martha was DISTRACTED with serving.
Lot’s wife. Instead of listening to God’s instructions, she became DISTRACTED with her love and curiosity for her hometown.
We must be vigilant. We must be watchful about what we let into our hearts and our minds. Just as we are careful about who we let into our homes, we must be even more careful as to what we allow into our lives, our hearts, and our minds. Think about it…if we were as vigilant with our lives as we are with our things, what a better place our minds and hearts would be in.