“I will take heed to my ways.” Psalm 39:1
Fellow-pilgrim, do not say in your heart, “I will go here and there, and I shall not sin;” for you are never so out of danger of sinning, as to boast of security.
The road is very miry, it will be hard to pick your path so as not to soil your garments. This is a world of pitch, and you will need to watch often, if in handling it you are to keep your hands clean.
There is a robber at every turn of the road to rob you of your graces! There is a temptation in every mercy! There is a snare in every joy! And if you ever reach Heaven at last–it will be a miracle of divine grace, to be ascribed entirely to your Father’s preserving power.
Be on your guard! When a man carries gun-powder in his hand, he should be careful that he does not go near a candle; and you too must take care that you do not go near temptation.
Even your common actions are sharp-edged tools–you must mind how you handle them. There is nothing in this world to foster a Christian’s piety–but everything to destroy it. How anxious should you be to look up to God–that He may keep you! Your prayer should be, “Hold me up–and I shall be safe!” Having prayed, you must also watch–guarding every thought, word, and action with holy jealousy.
Do not unnecessarily expose yourselves to temptation. But if called to exposure, if you are bidden to go where the enemy’s darts are flying–then never venture forth without your shield of faith. For if once the devil finds you without it–he will rejoice that his hour of triumph has come, and will soon make you fall down wounded by his arrows! Though you cannot be utterly slain–you may be wounded.
Be sober, be vigilant–danger may be in an hour when all seems securest to you. Therefore, take heed to your ways, and watch unto prayer. No man ever fell into sin through being too watchful. May the Holy Spirit guide you in all your ways–so that you shall always please the Lord.
“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation!” Matthew 26:41