We should often take stock of our situation and make whatever corrections are necessary to maintain things in the direction we desire them to go.  The Bible tells us in Proverbs 27:23-24, Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds.  For riches are not for ever: and doth the crown endure to every generation?

            Just because you may be well today, doesn’t mean you will be tomorrow, and just because you may be financially well off today doesn’t mean you will be tomorrow, and if things are going well today, doesn’t mean you just coast through life, because everything is subject to change.  It takes much diligence to keep things in their proper order.  Material goods must be watched over and maintained, and just as they must be protected against damage and theft, so must our spiritual life be.

The Lord Jesus told us in John 10:10, The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

            What does that tell you?  That if you’re not paying attention, the thief will come and take away everything you have, be it riches, houses, health, family, peace or joy.  After all, he has been a murderer, liar, thief and destroyer since the beginning.  And he hates your guts.  There’s not a compassionate or honest bone in his body.

What can you do to stop him?  There is only ONE way to keep him at bay, and that is to be a full-time disciple of Christ Jesus.  Now that doesn’t mean he will leave you alone, it only means that if you apply those things the Holy Spirit gives you, you will be victorious over the devil.  But what if you aren’t diligent to apply those things?  You snooze, you lose.  Simple as that.

I’ve known people who love Jesus with all their heart who have been attacked and knocked down hard for no apparent reason, suffering attacks on their health or whatever, and realized that at some point, they let their guard down, maybe even for a second.  I know, because I’ve been attacked before, and it’s happened to me.  And looking back, it was because I’d let myself go into “coast” mode briefly.  We as Christians can never “coast”.  The road is ALWAYS strewn with potholes, dead end roads, violence, and hardship, and if we think just because we love the LORD, that we won’t face problems, we are DECEIVED, and the devil has already made an inroad to all you have.

Those words in Proverbs 27:23-24 certainly ring true in all that concerns us today.  You don’t just buy a herd of cattle today, put them in the field, and assume all is fine.  You must keep count of them.  By nature they multiply, but they also die, and if you don’t take care of them and keep track of them, one day down the road you may just find out that the herd of cattle you HAD is down to one lonely cow.

You may speak healing verses often over your body, just as I do, but get lazy and let it slip for a day or two, and watch out!  You have an attack on your hands, and of course the first thing you’ll say is, “Hey I thought I was healed by the stripes of Jesus…..what happened?”  Well, let me put it like this: you have a shed in the back yard with valuable things inside, and you have a lock on the shed, but you forget one day to lock that lock.  You KNOW, the one time you forget to lock that thing, someone will notice, and it won’t be to lock it for you, it will be to steal what’s in there.  Don’t think for a moment the devil is lax over his domain.  How else do you think he is able to steal so much from so many?  I guarantee, he or his devils are watching every move you make, listening to every word you speak, in order to catch you in something.

I’m reminded of the story in Mark 12:12-17, how the Pharisees were always out to lay a trap for Jesus, so they could have reason to kill him.

 12  And they sought to lay hold on him, but feared the people: for they knew that he had spoken the parable against them: and they left him, and went their way.

 13  And they send unto him certain of the Pharisees and of the Herodians, to catch him in his words.

 14  And when they were come, they say unto him, Master, we know that thou art true, and carest for no man: for thou regardest not the person of men, but teachest the way of God in truth: Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not?

 15  Shall we give, or shall we not give? But he, knowing their hypocrisy, said unto them, Why tempt ye me? bring me a penny, that I may see it. 

 16  And they brought it. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? And they said unto him, Caesar’s.

 17  And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. And they marvelled at him.

            I don’t see anywhere in the scripture that Jesus ever let down his guard, He was ever diligent to know what the devil was up to, and we should take His example to heart.  Yes, Jesus loved the people, and did good for them, and healed them, but he knew their nature, that evil was continually in their heart.  It’s our nature, for we were born that way.  And though we may love our fellow man, we must always realize there’s a devil out there who will use whosoever will let him, and bring destruction into your life.  Maybe that person is the one you love the most!

I’m not saying to go around being suspicious of everyone. I’m saying, BE DILIGENT!  It is written in 1 Peter 5:8-9,

 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

 9  Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

            There’s an old saying that is quite true, even though it isn’t in the Bible.  “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”  You can be diligent over your thoughts, your words, and your actions, and keep the devil at bay, or you can spend days, weeks, months or years trying to undo the damage he “helped” you do by your lack of diligence.  You can spend time diligently studying God’s Word and speaking and applying them over your family, finances and body, and escape a good many snares of the devil, or you can spend your time trying to clean up the mess afterwards.

You may not escape them all, because the devil is a sly one, even plotting against you while you sleep.  But there’s a responsibility YOU bear in things, don’t try to put it all on the LORD.  He gave you the ability to speak.  WHAT you speak is YOUR choice.  What you do about “maintaining your flocks” is largely up to you. Your choice.  As for me, I’m going to do my homework and try not to give the thief any opportunities in my life.  Life is hard enough already, why make it harder by letting the devil destroy every good thing in your life?

God has given us His Holy Spirit to equip us to be victorious in every situation, but we must make full use, not just a part here and there.  Don’t be a lazy Christian.  You can be a “victim”, or a “victor”, and YOU are the one who determines which.  By taking stock of your life often, you can head off trouble before it starts.