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1 Peter 5:8 (NKJV) Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

The main topic of most Christian teaching today is “what does it do for me”; why? That’s what sells books and fills churches. Biblical teaching on living a serious life, keeping careful watch out for sin and spiritual dangers, and being on guard for Satan is not rah-rah “Jesus will improve your life” stuff.

And yet, the message to the Church all through the New Testament is to be on guard, be alert, be watchful, be careful, be cautious, be spiritually aware, be serious minded, avoid worldly and trivial time-wasting pursuits, run from sin and wickedness. If you only took cues from books and preaching today, you’d think God’s primary concern for us was our feelings, our pleasure, our entertainment, our satisfaction and our very focused self-consideration.

Be sober: to be solemn, serious, sensible and mindful. Of course you could extend this to mean avoiding drunkenness too (or any mind altered state), but it’s much deeper than that. It’s an awareness of the seriousness of sin, and the imminent return of the Master which could come at any moment. If you knew, or truly believed, that Jesus was returning today, would you waste your day on trivial, worldly, fleshly nonsense? No. It would focus you on what is important, and what needs to be done. Soberness.

Be vigilant: to keep careful watch, to be alert, to be on guard. It is a state of readiness to take full advantage of every opportunity for righteousness, and state of alert to avoid all potential evil.  Like a vigilant soldier on guard duty who is ready to fight the enemy and come to the aid of his allies.

Think It Over: Be sober, be vigilant… why? Because the most powerful being God ever created went rogue. He and his pals are prowling the earth looking for those they can devour and destroy. The easy targets are those who are engaged in the silly, foolish and trivial; and those who they can catch off guard. Is that you?