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1 Peter 5

Carve the very nature, the very heart of Jesus into me, Lord

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AWARE — “Keep a cool head. Stay alert…” (v 8 MSG)

Life can move slowly when I’m anticipating something wonderful, or life can become such a flurry of “to-do’s!”  In the midst of the changing pace of life, my emotional altimeter can register me as cruising along at heights that make me a peer to an eagle, or having me look up to see the underside of a slug.  My health can be waning or wondrous; my finances can be managed or meager.  Life is just life in this human body.

Then … there’s my faith — the part of me that’s not dependent on my humanity.  Rather, my faith is an outgrowth of my spirit as it moves and breathes in rhythm with Your Spirit.  It’s this essential link to You that carries me through whatever life in this body brings.  It’s my faith in You, Father, that allows me to be aware of the enemy’s schemes.  The more I stay in Your Word, the closer I stay to Your side, the better I keep my eyes on You; then my faith just knows when it’s not YOUR voice speaking to me.  You can take care of whatever tricks the enemy tries, and You’ll always keep me safe.

ALERT — “Keep your guard up… (v 8 MSG)

My faith isn’t an afghan I pull over myself, curl up in and then sit on the couch, watching life go by.  You’ve instilled this belief, this trust in You, inside of me so that I can be active in this world, introducing and drawing others to You.  While I’m serving You, wherever I am, through whatever means, You call me to be alert to the one who’s been messing with Your plan since creation.  You call me to keep my guard up, so that I’m not tempted to listen to the enemy instead of YOU.  Thank You for giving me a “shield of faith” as protection for my heart and mind, body and soul, while I’m serving You in this world.  (Eph 6:16)

(Could You just see it, Lord, if this were an “afghan of faith?”  I’d get up, wrap myself in it, have to keep pulling it up around me as I went through the day … Oh, I’d be protected from the cold perhaps … but “flaming arrows from the evil one” (Eph 6:16) would toast that “protective” wrap in no time!  I’m just glad that it’s YOU who’s chosen the metaphors when it comes to helping me follow You!)

ABIDING — “Keep a firm grip on the faith.” (v 9 MSG)

“In His kindness God called you to His eternal glory by means of Jesus Christ.  After you have suffered a little while, He will restore, support, and strengthen you, and He will place you on a firm foundation.” (5:10 NLT)

“…and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” (5:10 NIV)

It’s the tough stuff of life that challenges my faith, that causes the question to arise within, “Give up or go on?”  Still, it’s that same tough stuff that grows my faith, that moves the affirmation to spring forth, “I’m Yours, Lord.  Let’s do it!”

FAITH — it’s what You’ve given me, Lord, to keep me AWARE, ALERT and ABIDING.  No wonder You describe this as a “shield of faith” (Eph 6:16).  As I carry it, I can stay aware of what transpires around me.  I can be alert and ready to use it for protection from the enemy’s attacks upon my mind and heart.  And by holding it in front of me, I can press forward through ANYthing as I follow You!

Thank You for this gift of faith in You.  I trust Your skillful hands, Father, as You continue to fashion my life to be just like Jesus.  Amen.

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