I WAS PREOCCUPIED, IN A RUSH, AND DIGGING THROUGH MY PURSE for my bank deposit while walking into a Bank of America in Claremont, California. With near-fatal delay, I belatedly realized that apparently someone had been speaking to me, “Miss! Miss!” when suddenly that someone was standing in front of me with a gun to my temple. Talk about being completely unaware!
I dropped my eyes from the gunman’s face and stared at the floor; hoping to be viewed as a non-challenging threat to this violent young man before me. I noticed two young adults to my right in the waiting area of the bank, with a small child who had numerous pennies spread out on the table in front of him. All three sat completely still, watching the events unfold before them. I thought only two sarcastic words, “Just terrific.”
The three bank robbers were swift, organized and effective in their getaway with cash-in-hand, leaving a bank of stunned, motionless employees and citizens in their wake. No one was injured, only emotionally traumatized or still in shock. The offenders were later apprehended and convicted; every single person who had been present that fateful day had shown up as witnesses before the judge.
What would have been the turn of events if I had not finally heard the threatening, “Miss!” or if the gunman had interpreted my actions of digging in my purse as searching for a weapon? Would my headstone read: If I had only been aware of what was happening around me!
Have you ever found yourself in a predicament or situation from lack of watchfulness, half-hearted, or deficient surveillance? Someones hurt feelings from a careless comment. A trip and near-fall from not concentrating on where you are stepping, bumping your shoulder as you round a corner, or stepping onto or into something that you’d really prefer not to have. What about waking one morning to discover a ruined relationship from lack of attentiveness and taking the relationship and bond for granted?
Or on a grander scale and abundantly more frightening, are we cognizant of the insipid slowing of personal bible study and prayer with sluggish or nonexistent worship in our lives? The downhill course creeps into our busy schedules, like a thief and the threat is way beyond that of what a mere bullet can do! The busy itinerary can rob us of rich bonding with our Maker now, or the postponement of accepting His Gift damns our soul for eternity since no one is guaranteed a tomorrow to make that decision. My “tomorrow” nearly ended that day during a routine bank deposit, so we truly never know what obstacles we may encounter, when our individual end will be. Serve to endeavor and to “pen Him in” rather “to pencil Him in” to our hectic timetables.
Strong observation of God’s sovereignty drove Nehemiah to intercession for Israel and the reestablishment of Jerusalem’s citizens. Our ears must distinguish the Lord’s leading, moment by moment. We are accountable for warning others of impending dangers, Ezekiel 33:6. Yet, how can we do that if we ourselves are not considering our environment, our enemies, or the predicted events and calamities! Seriously, God drew us a prominent map, are we aligning our awareness to the True North on that map? Heeding His warnings and direction is imperative and He could not be more abundantly clear about what we will face now or in the end times, but we must notice and respond, prepare physically AND spiritually, not as spectators but as trained, perceptive warriors. We are not ignorant to the end times, we have been forewarned.
We are instructed to be watchful for His return because it is ever-approaching, James 5:7-9 Matthew 24:32051 Matthew 24:42-44 Matthew 25:13 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 not to waste time Ecclesiastes 12:1 for the time is near Revelation 1:3 (which is an urgent call to obedience not a reference to a specific historical time) and to guard, or to be vigilant at the gate for the regard of our physical and spiritual enemies. Zechariah 12:3 1 Peter 5:8 Ephesians 6:12
Ephesians 5:8-10 “You were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness and truth, 10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord.”
We do not stumble about in the darkness, we are paying attention and keeping our focus on the Light of the World, Jesus Christ of Nazareth. The prophetic Word of God is trustworthy. We yield our lives to the authority and inspiration of Scripture, placing our faith in His Word. To live our lives in light of Jesus’ coming, so that we will be found faithful when He comes, looking forward with hope to the coming of a new heaven and new earth where righteousness will rule.
2 Peter 1:16-21 ” For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. 17 For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a Voice came to him from the Excellent Glory: “This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased.” 18 And we heard this Voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain. 19 And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; 20 knowing this first, that no prophesy of Scripture is of any private interpretation. 21 for prophesy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”
Let’s live the light, eyes wide open, fully aware of our commission, hope and future.