Mark 13:37-“And what I say unto you, I say unto all, Watch.”
Vigilance implies a state of alertness. It means simply, to watch out for possible danger. For believers, vigilance means to be both physically cautious and spiritually alert, so as to avoid the things that may cause us to fall into Satan’s trap or derail our walk with God.
1 Peter 5:8-“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”
The devil’s most potent weapon is deception. Only by being vigilant and sober, can one avoid his deception.
How Can we ensure Vigilance?
1. By being prayerful. Mathew 26:41-“Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Ephesians 6:18-“Praying always with all prayers and supplication in the spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplications for all saints.” Prayerfulness keeps us away from sin by engaging our mind and preventing it from wandering into ungodly territories. We may need to also fast, to make us more focused and sensitive when we pray.
2. By being spiritually discerning. Hosea 14:9-“Whoever is wise, let him understand these things; whoever is discerning, let him know them. For the ways of the Lord are right, and the righteous will walk in them. But transgressors will stumble in them.” To be discerning means to show good judgment, or prudence. It is the ability to distinguish between what is good and what is evil. It can equally be referred to as the Spirit of Wisdom, which Solomon asked for in 1 Kings 3:9, and got. Without the Holy Spirit leading one, there’s the danger of falling into evil traps. Proverbs 15:21-“Folly is joy to him who lacks sense, but a man of understanding walks straight.”
3. By testing everything against the Scriptures. 1 Thessalonians 5:21-“Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” If we make the Word of God our barometer and line up everything that comes our way, against it, it will be hard for us to derail in our christian race or fall into Satan’s trap. Eve did not test the serpent’s suggestion against God’s Word, rather, she simply took it hook, line and sinker, and completely jettisoned God’s Word, Genesis 3:1-6. On the contrary, when satan tempted Jesus after fasting for 40 days and 40 nights, Jesus lined up every offer made to Him by satan against God’s Word, found them contrary to God’s Word, and promptly rejected them, Mathew 4:1-10. The Word of God should not just be our barometer, but also, our Lamp and Light, Psalms 119:105. The word of God is an illuminator.
4. By avoiding carelessness. Esau carelessly sold his birthright to Jacob, Genesis 25:29-34. The five foolish virgins missed the Bridegroom due to carelessness, Mathew 25:1-13. In 2 Kings 20:12-19, King Hezekiah carelessly showed off his treasures to Babylonians who would later capitalize on his folly. In 1 Kings 13:1-24, the Young Prophet lost his life due to carelessness and naivety.
5. By being calm in victory rather than over-rejoicing. 1 Peter 5:8. We are most vulnerable, soon after victory. If we over-rejoice and let down our guard, the enemy may strike suddenly. We see this often in football games. While a side that has just scored a goal is still busy celebrating, the opponent counterattacks and nicks in a goal! When God has just given you a victory, rejoice cautiously.
In conclusion, it is imperative to note that perpetual vigilance is the price for eternal life. Mathew 24:13 says only those who persevere till the end are saved. Only five out of the ten virgins whose lamps had oil till the end, went in with the bridegroom, Mathew 25:1-13. May we be found still awake and watchful when the Lord comes to take us home.