“Be on your guard”.

1 Cor 15:13 NIV

There is always the need for Christian believers to be alert. For one thing, temptations may come all unexpectedly. In fact, when they do come – they are never expected. It is their surprise factor that catches people unawares and, like a wild animal tracking its prey, they strike when you least expect them to. Friends of Prince Charles of Britain were once killed on a skiing trip in Switzerland. Upon investigation it was found that these people had unwisely ventured into an area that was closed to the public because it appeared that an avalanche could occur there. Warnings had been issued. The avalanche came. Be on your guard, not only with regard to day to day accidents, but spiritual ones as well. Accidents “are waiting to happen”.

But the believers in Corinth were being hammered from a number of quarters as false teachers abounded, trying to make an income for themselves by spreading untrue belief about Christ, God and the church. They are still around, clothed in respectable and intellectual-sounding clothes waiting for the unwary and ill-informed.

Trouble in the church community is another trap waiting to divert the unsuspecting. Arguments, conflicts, relationships, sex, money, and mischief are all-too common problems. These are often tied up with the wielding of authority and sometimes can break out quickly and viciously. Be on your guard for them and do everything you can to work with others, through prayer and consultation, to eradicate these dangers.

Slackening in prayer is another failure which often crops up and causes problems with people’s faith. It is easy to “skip” a day that then tends to become more common until you have, quite unawares, stopped praying altogether. Always be alert and discipline yourself.

Lord, keep me up to the mark all the time.