I once heard someone say, “you have to be vigilant and have your ears on.” While this was used as parenting advice, it struck me as something more.
As Christ-followers, we are called to listen for God’s voice and to guard our hearts against transgression. We are to fear the Lord and the Lord only. To do so, we are to be vigilant when it comes to what we allow near our hearts. As Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” The last thing we want to do is carry the guilt of something that could have very well been avoided.
Continuing, Jeremiah 17:10 says, “I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.”
We will go through trials, but when we do, we must understand that we are to hold fast to our faith and keep persevering. If we throw up our hands, that is what we receive. Nothing. No gifts, but evil.
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.Matthew 6:19-21 (NKJV)
The question many of us have is, why. Why does God allow the bad to enter into our lives in the first place?
Adam and Eve sinned and disheartening as it is, we, their descendants, are still living in the consequences. Bad things are going to happen—devastating things. However, know that they are not going to waste. These are the moments that strengthen us and reveal the painting of a test… A test that we can pass with an understanding of God being greater than all or that we can give up on, receiving no crown.
12 Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. 14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. 16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.James 1:12-17 (NKJV)