Many years ago I spent some time in Israel, working as a volunteer at a Christian guest house near Haifa. The summers were long and very hot and one of the things that the volunteers used to look forward to was a trip down to the beach in Haifa on a Sunday afternoon. When we arrived it wasn’t long before we were wading into the inviting blue, warm waters for a cooling swim.
There were certain parts of the beach that were designated as areas that you could swim from, because these were overlooked by lifeguard towers. But lurking much further out was an unseen danger, strong undercurrents, and if you swam too far out you could soon be in difficulty and be swept away.
We would often hear a warning being shouted out in Hebrew from one of the watchtowers to any swimmer that had swam too far out. They would shout out that he or she was in danger and needed to return closer to the shore immediately.
As believers, the world can be like that for us. We can venture out into it and not realise the unseen dangers that are lurking out there. Temptations of many kinds are waiting to trap us, and if we’re not careful they’ll act like undercurrents drawing us away from the Lord.
Jesus knew that the world was a dangerous place. In today’s reading He says that He’s given us His Word and, although we’re in the world, we don’t belong to this world. The world will hate us. One of His last prayers was that His Father would protect us from the world.
As we travel and go about our daily routines in this world we need to be alert for that warning voice of the Holy Spirit. We need to have our spirit tuned into Him, to follow Him and be obedient to His leadings, for He sees the dangers that we can’t see, and He’ll keep us safe from them. We’re told in Peter’s epistle ‘Be sober; be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a lion, seeking whom he may devour’ (1 Peter 5:8).
Prayer: Dear Father, thank You that You’re with me always. Please help me to draw close to You daily, and stay alert at all times, so I can hear Your still, small voice showing me the way to go. Thank You that You left Your Spirit to watch over us and protect us. Amen.