I think it would be prudent for us to sit up and pay attention. These are warnings. Warnings intended to keep us from danger or harm. So maybe that means that the consequence of not heeding the warnings are avoidable should we just take note of what is being said.
Be alert: 1 Peter 5:8 says Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The Devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping.
Be vigilant: Deuteronomy 4:9 Just make sure you stay alert. Keep close watch over yourselves.(guard your life diligently) Don't forget anything of what you've seen. Don't let your heart wander off. Stay vigilant as long as you live. Proverbs 4:23: Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the issues of life.
1 Corinthians 10:12: Therefore let anyone who thinks he stands [who feels sure that he has a steadfast mind and is standing firm], take heed lest he fall.
I came across a passage from Daniel months ago. Its words continue to echo in my head still. I am no theologian. I am just a girl who's after the heart of God and is desperate for Him to show me SOMETHING about WHO He is in every passage I read. I have not studied in detail the book of Daniel or the prophetic meanings of all of the dreams found in this book.....but I DO know that God showed me something of value in this particular passage so I will share it with you.
In Daniel 11 Daniel is prophecying about the reign of 4 Persian kings. I fully intend to go back and study the book in depth. But a particular passage stood out to me when I got to verse 32. The king of the north will play up to those who betray the holy covenant, corrupting them even further with his seductive talk, but those who stay courageously loyal to their God will take a strong stand. 32 ""Those who keep their heads on straight will teach the crowds right from wrong by their example. They'll be put to severe testing for a season: some killed, some burned, some exiled, some robbed. 34 When the testing is intense, they'll get some help, but not much. Many of the helpers will be halfhearted at best. 35 The testing will refine, cleanse, and purify those who keep their heads on straight and stay true, for there is still more to come.
Here was a prophetic word that the king would single out those who weren't committed....those who were easily persuaded.. But those who took a stand and "kept their heads on straight" would lead others by example. They will be tested and it will be intense...it will be rough. But the battle will only refine, cleanse and purify those who maintain their resolve with diligence. There are those who will be caught off guard. Unaware of the impending attack. Not ready. Easily persuaded. Easy prey. But then there are those who are alert. Ready for anything and everything that comes their way.
What is it that could threaten your faith?A death of a loved one? Heartbreak? A disappointment so big it affects who you are? Temptation? Job loss? A bad report from the doctor? A tragedy of any kind? Marital conflict? Financial struggles? Things will come at us. And at times we will be hit HARD.But what will our response be?!?! Will we be ready to withstand the attack? Will we RECOGNIZE it as an attack? Are we aware of the enemy's tactics? Will we be resilient? Will we maintain our stance and our determination to stand up for righteousness and justice? Will we have a resolve to do what it is right in the face of a decision!?! Will we be able to keep our heads and stay focused so that we will respond with wisdom when such an attack arises? Or will it come upon us unaware...and leave us in panic and completely broken...surrendering and abandoning the fight. The enemy knows where we are weakest and how best to attack. He wants to overwhelm us with anything he can use to distract us from what it is we are here on earth for. He knows how a great a purpose we have to fulfill here on earth!!!! Even if he cannot defeat us entirely, he will try to keep us from living effective, productive, joyful, abundantly blessed lives. He will try to overwhelm us with things that would threaten our faith and try to weaken our resolve to stand in the face of adversity and attack. Maybe for you it's fear (for ANY reason), or pride, greed, unforgiveness, bitterness, resentment, temptations, envy, strife, doubt, hurt, a judgemental spirit, prejudice, tormenting thoughts and battles or the mind, feelings of unworthiness or inadequacy, timidity......whatever it is for you that would catch you off guard and cause you to lose your HEAD...to lose your focus. He would love nothing more than to keep us from serving our INTENDED purpose here on earth. The attacks will surely come. If we are ready we shall be able to say, "Bring it on! I am making a stand that I will NOT give in! I will NOT surrender! My GOD is my defender! My GOD is my healer! My GOD is my provider! My GOD gives me strength to overcome my enemy." Always carrying the Truth as your banner!!!!!!!! Ready for anything and everything. We don't need to be in fear of attack. Just on guard. Aware that at any moment something may come our way that would threaten our ability to stand strong. We are to live by the Truth of God's Word, it is to be the plumb line with which we evaluate every situation, every decision, every response, every thought, every feeling.
If you're ready for it then you will be as it says in 2 Cor. 4:8-9 We are hedged in (pressed) on every side [troubled and oppressed in every way], but not cramped or crushed; we suffer embarrassments and are perplexed and unable to find a way out, but not driven to despair; We are pursued (persecuted and hard driven), but not deserted [to stand alone]; we are struck down to the ground, but never struck out and destroyed.
No one is exempt. If you think you are standing.....take heed...........you could be the one who is overcome.Will you be caught of guard or will you be ready for it with a resolve to maintain your ground to not be deceived when you prevailed against.
A Fight to the Finish
And that about wraps it up. God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we'll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.
Be aware. Be vigilant. Be alert. Be diligent. Keep your head!!!!!!!