SCRIPTURE:  “Jesus turned to Peter and said, 'Get away from me, Satan!  You are a dangerous trap to me.  You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.'”  Matthew 16:23 NLT
    As the fictional space-traveling vessel journeyed through space, approaching another familiar-looking vessel, the villainous leader of the former nefariously and sarcastically remarked that they were all just ‘one big happy fleet.’ His wicked plan was to blast the more benevolent and unsuspecting vessel of souls  into smithereens!  However, the occupants of the latter vessel, believing  the occupants in the first spacecraft to be in imminent danger, did not raise their defense shields as they approached.  Shortly thereafter, all their naivete quickly dissolved under the evil aggressors’ attack! 
   Time and experience have taught me that no matter how long one has been trusting in Jesus, we should never neglect to prayerfully strap on each piece of our God-given spiritual armor-- no matter what our planned destination. The provisions described in Ephesians 6:10-18 must be daily applied.  We must refrain from proceeding through our days on “automatic pilot,” or with “shields down!” You may be at work, in the supermarket, or even at church—it doesn’t matter.  Matthew 26:41 and 1 Corinthians 16:13 both admonish us to watch and pray, to be on the alert!  In an unguarded moment, ANY of us can allow incoming remarks and thoughts from within and without to throw us off the Christ-pleasing pathway.  Is not this to be every Christ follower’s highest goal?  Living a life that gladdens the heart of our God our Savior?  If we, like the Apostle Peter in the title verse, are not thoughtful prior to speaking, or fail to pass the remarks that others make to us through our shield of spiritual discernment, as did our Savior-- in keeping with 2 Corinthians 10:5-- then we, too, may easily be blown off-course saying and thinking things that grievously misrepresent our Lord!  Shields UP!  Praise the Lord!

PRAYER: Dear Father, since You’ve described us as being “fearfully and wonderfully made,” we Your twice-born children have the capacity and  divine tools  whereby we can practice  spiritual alertness every day.  Help us to perfect this practice!  Thank You, Lord, in Jesus’ name.  Amen!
By Denise Diggs

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