When I was taking karate lessons, I enjoyed listening to my sensei (teacher) revel in stories of his former students. He recalled a time when he was in a restaurant and saw one of his students, a black belt, standing at the bar. He crept up behind her and surprised her by grabbing her. She immediately screamed and cowered. He laughed and mockingly exclaimed, “What kind of black belt are you?”
He smiled at me and shook his head. “I expect that kind of behavior from a white belt beginner student. She was a black belt and should always be on the alert for an attack. She should have been aware of her surroundings and always maintain a defensive posture.”
I nodded and hoped that, someday, I would achieve the level of alertness that was expected of a good student of the martial arts. There is a definite parallel in our Christian walk.
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
1 Peter 5:8 (NKJV)
My spiritual vigilance and awareness often flounders at the level of a white belt beginner in the martial arts. The lust of my eyes and flesh and my pride are not of the Father but of the world. I fail to recognize the insidious traps of pride, selfishness, and materialism that Satan uses to entice me and cause me to take my attention away from God. Like the former student of my sensei, I have allowed my spiritual alertness to atrophy or be distracted and I must continue to immerse myself in God’s Word and prayer to keep the vigilance that God expects of me as His child.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.