“You must warn each other every day, while it is still ‘today,’ so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God.” (Hebrews 3:13 NLT)
As believers one of the easiest things for us to do is to get lazy. We want to sit around and consider how good heaven will be, so much so we tend to forget we’re in a war. It’s like a soldier looking at pictures of his wife and cleaning his weapon while the enemy is advancing on his position.
There will be plenty of time in heaven to bask in the grandeur of it’s splendor, but for now our attention needs to be on the majesty of our Commander-in-Chief, the Lord Jesus, and on those He’s commissioned us to reach in His name.
These are the days we’ve got to continually be warning one another of the dangers of losing our focus on Jesus. Satan is so subtle, yet so persistent. It starts with an errant thought, word, or action that can lead us down a rabbit hole of distraction. In these last days, whether ‘til Jesus comes or calls us home, we need to be diligent, not only doing God’s will in our own life, but encouraging each other to stay strong and alert.
The Lord has given each of us a mission and a sphere of influence in which to carry it out. It’s no accident you live where you live, work where you work, shop where you shop, vacation where you vacation, hang out where you hang out, play where you play. Nothing we do is done in a vacuum. God engineers circumstances in each of our lives every day to put us in front of someone who needs a word from the Lord.
It may not be a Bible verse they need as much as a word of encouragement. Maybe they just need to know that someone notices them and cares for them. And too often that “one” is someone in your own household. We never know when we’re telling them goodbye if we’ll ever see them again this side of eternity. Satan loves it when we get under one another’s “skin,” silently sulking because we got our feelings hurt.
We’ve got to get over ourselves! We can’t let pettiness rob us of an opportunity to be Jesus to someone He loves and wants to bless, while we’re too busy pouting to be concerned about someone’s soul. The word used in the verse above that is translated “warn,” means “to call to one’s side, call for, summon.” It can mean “to admonish or exhort, even to beg, entreat or beseech.” But it can also mean “to console, to encourage and strengthen by consolation.”
What’s my point? Satan will do anything he can to put a wedge between us and another believer. Maybe what someone said came across wrong, when they just got bad news and their words had nothing to do with us. We’ve got to turn our self-focus to others-focus; we’ve got to be attentive to the Holy Spirit who will que us when someone needs a kind word or a hug rather than a scolding.
Rather than being hypersensitive about our feelings, we need to ask the Lord to help us be more in tune with what’s going on in the people around us, especially those we most want to influence positively for the Lord. Exhortation can be a valuable tool for helping us and others stay on track and not allow the enemy to deceive us or harden our heart to the voice of God.
If someone speaks in a way that is offensive to you, before you bite their head off ask the Lord to give you sensitivity to His voice. Maybe it’s Him trying to get your attention and that approach is the best way to get through to you.
Food for thought.
Blessings, Ed 😊