<<protect, watch carefully>>
Jesus said He desires to shelter or cover us like a mother hen shielding her chicks from what has the potential to destroy them (Lk 13:34). This requires submission and obedience from us, confident His ways are best and for our highest good. Paul was confident God was able to guard what he had committed to Him (2 Tim 1:12). He has our best interests at heart.
Allow God’s Spirit to protect your spirit, placing your mind and body in submission to Him (Phil 4:7). The truths of God’s Word have a role to play in renewing and channelling our thoughts towards Him. With the help of the Holy Spirit guard the spiritual deposit entrusted to you so you are not deceived and lead away by error (1 Tim 6:20; 2 Tim 1:14; 2 Pet 3:17). Even religious leaders can be living and teaching error, so we should be testing its validity against what the Bible says (Mt 16:6, 22:29; Act 17:11). To guard against error and being lead astray by Satan's deception we must walk humbly with Jesus, be obedient to the Holy Spirit and have the Bible as our constant authority in our lives, not the opinions and ideas of fallible humanity.
Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life – Proverbs 4:23
your vulnerable areas, so your defences are not breached (Mal 2:15,16; Prov 4:23; 1 Cor 16:13; Eph 6:11-18; 1 Pet 5:8). Because the heart is a powerful force that drives our actions and influences our thinking and behaviour, it can either lead us down a path of righteousness or a path of destruction. Our hearts are susceptible to sinful thoughts, attitudes, and beliefs. Hence, we must be mindful of what we allow into our hearts; for everything we do flows from it (Mt 12:34,35). Monitor your heart's attitudes, and the resulting words and actions when you or others are having a bad day. When we guard our hearts, we are protecting ourselves from external and internal factors by taking responsibility for our mental, psychological, and spiritual well-being. Self-control is vital to be disciplined to turn away from compromising situations and to monitor the entry points so you don’t feed rubbish into your mind, for no wicked thing or inappropriate thoughts should be allowed to have ‘mind time’ (Job 31:1; Ps 101:3; Phil 4:8).
Be on guard 24/7
“consider the pathway you take, making level paths for your feet” (Prov 4:26, 16:17). To a large extent the choices we make determine our future – we reap what we sow. “How can a person keep their way pure? By living according to your Word” (Ps 119:9). Ask for God’s help as well as doing what you can to provide protection.
The Bible says no one knows when Jesus will return to take the Christians to heaven so it warns, “Be on guard! Be alert!” (Mk 13:33). Live each day so you will not be caught unaware or unprepared with un-confessed sin.
We are to be ‘our brother’s keeper’ too, by ensuring they are not taken captive by evil desires (Gal 6:1,2; Col 2:8; 2 Tim 2:26).