Keep alert, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong. 1 Corinthians 16:13 NRSV
For several years, Janice and I would visit her family each June in Apache Junction, Arizona. While there, we would take in the different sites. One day our explorations led us to a ghost town and museum with trails behind. Along the paths were signs "Warning: Snakes on Trail," instructing walkers to remain alert.
Just as those signs warn us to be watchful for physical safety, scripture cautions us to protect our spiritual security. We are encouraged to remain on constant guard against potential threats and temptations, stay steadfast in our convictions, and stand fearless and strong. The moment we encounter those spiritual threats, we may feel ill-equipped, despite knowing what we should do. (Confession, my first instinct on spotting a real snake sprawled across the trail is to freeze, the second is to run in the opposite direction.) But in those moments of fear and uncertainty, God stands by, ready to guide us around the snakes back into the safe trails.
Father, thank you for your continual love and protection. Help us to be watchful against sin, to remain unwavering in your truth, and to be bold and strong in faith. When we become fearful, let us remember we do not walk alone; you are with us. Amen.