Matters of Faith: Stay Connected and Remain Alert!

“Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.” Luke 21:38 (NKJV)

Spiritual awareness and physical alertness should be self-evident. In order to be safe and protected, to take advantage of every opportunity that is presented to us, we must be watchful and mindful of our physical surroundings. In the same way, it is just as important, if not more so, to stay connected to our creator if we are to have a healthy awareness of the spiritual part of our being. As is alluded to in the text, we are not just physical beings, we are spiritual also. Dr. Wayne Dyer said that “we are spiritual beings having a human experience.”

Recently, I was graphically reminded of the physical part of our lives. I saw two things happen that stimulated my understanding of just how fragile the human condition really is, and why Jesus told His disciples to watch and to pray. Without going into specifics, I witnessed both a physical and a cyber-attack. Both victims were attacked without provocation or forewarning. Both suffered injuries that will take time to recover from. Both are now more aware than ever that they must always watch as well as pray.

The text shares a conversation by way of a parable (an earthly story with heavenly meaning) that Jesus is having with His disciples. He tells them that they will know it’s time for the summer to arrive when the fig tree grows buds. So too, when the things come to pass that He mentions in the text, it will indicate that the Kingdom of God is near. He tells them to take notice of themselves; their behavior, their actions, their thoughts and their deeds, lest they be found carousing, drunk and burdened with the cares of this life; caught unaware and unready. That’s when He tells them to “Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.”

Our eternal destiny is conditioned by our spiritual awareness and the relationship we have with the Savior, but He is the same one who tells us that we must be mindful of our present, i.e., our physical situation, so that we are keenly aware of those things that can tear at our flesh and corrupt our souls. Anger, fear, resentment, revenge, and hate are all emotions that can be triggered when the flesh is attacked physically, or in our postmodern era, electronically. We must stay connected spiritually and remain alert physically! Watch as well as pray.

Rev. J. Loren Russell is an associate minister at both Goodwill and The Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx, President/CEO of The JLR Company for Church Financial & Strategic Consulting, host of “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” on Soul 1 Radio, Monday’s 8:00 – 10:00 PM (626-226-1448), and author of Matters of Faith: The Book

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