Be constantly maintaining a careful watch over yourselves and the flock, with a view to guarding yourselves. - Acts 20:28 WEGT
A disciple of Jesus is a protector. The pattern maker for a protector is Jesus. As the Good Shepherd, Jesus positioned Himself between the sheep and wolves. Knowing your own condition is the first step in fulfilling the call to protect others. Are you healthy or compromised? A compromised under-shepherd is a liability, a hindrance. A good under-shepherd maintains vigilant watch over himself so he is healthy, prepared, and able to protect those in his care. I am responsible for the maintenance of the life God gave me. There is no auto-pilot switch, no shortcuts. A young convict whom I was mentoring struggled with unforgiveness toward his father. Over the months of our discussions and prayers, progress was like trying to walk through Jello. As I asked the Lord to remove any obstacles, the Holy Spirit began to remind me of my own status. How could I expect to speak with power to a man held hostage by unrepented anger if I was unwilling to repent of my own anger? My unrepentance left me unprotected from the enemy’s accusations. The log in my eye hindered me from assisting my brother with the spec in his. I lacked power because I was at odds with God. As I repented and kept on the alert regarding the temptation to return to anger, the Lord began to empower my words. I began to protect myself, maintaining my repentance and freedom. Only then was I able to help the young man. In protecting myself, my healthy status allowed me to help others effectively. Daily Battle Order: Stay vigilant and aware of your condition. Ask the Spirit to convict you of hidden sin so that you may run in such a way as not to run aimlessly. Repent quickly! Discipline your body and mind so that, after you have brought the gospel to others, you will not be disqualified. Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.