If the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert.
As the verse above from Matthew states, if you knew when a burglar was coming, you’d double-bolt the doors, you’d secure your valuables off-site, and you’d call the police and have them positioned where they could make an immediate capture. You’d leave no possibility for the intruder to get inside.
But when it comes to keeping out the enemy of our souls, we’re not always as diligent. We don’t take quite the same pains to keep our hearts out of reach of harm’s way. We don’t check all the windows–the points that offer him the easiest point of entry into our lives. Things like the following:
- Isolation–Being alone should be an automatic signal to keep your guard up. Temptations seem particularly tempting when no one else is looking. The lures of laziness or mindless television or Internet pornography may be more enticing when you’re alone or away from home.
- Bad company–If the enemy can’t get you when you’re alone, he may try to make his ways seem more appealing through the influence of someone who is already caught up in his web–a coworker, an old friend, a next-door neighbor.
- Fatigue–When you are unusually drained or under exceptional stress, it’s much easier to compromise.
- Pride and arrogance–Sometimes when life is going well, you may not feel as much need to pray. You fool yourself into believing you can handle yourself just fine without God’s help. But this is when Satan sets you in his sights.
There is never a time when you can’t be on the alert, constantly watching and praying. Even the devil has a hard time defeating that kind of alarm system.