“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it” (Proverbs 4:23).

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In the early days of the Revolutionary War, Col. Johann Rall was celebrating Christmas by playing cards with friends on a cold night in Trenton, New Jersey.

Rall commanded a regiment of 1,200 Hessians, German soldiers who had been hired to fight for Britain. Everyone was in good cheer because hostilities had ceased for the holidays—or so they thought.

An informant interrupted Rall’s game and handed him a note about Continental Army movements, but Rall dismissed the man and put the note in his pocket without opening it.

Rall stayed up late playing games, and early the next morning an officer burst into his quarters to tell him Gen. George Washington’s troops were attacking them.

While the Hessians slept, Washington and his men crossed the icy Delaware River by boat and then marched nine miles in the snow to Trenton to launch a surprise attack on the Hessian regiment.

Rall tried to mount a counterattack, but the Hessians were quickly overwhelmed. One hundred men were killed or wounded and about 900 men were captured. Rall was mortally wounded and died a day later. The unopened note was found in his coat pocket.

Rall let his guard down, and it cost him his life.

First Peter 5:8 says, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”

It’s easy to become complacent in our walk with the Lord. There are so many things to distract us from praying, reading the Bible, worshiping or spending time in community with other believers.

I’m guilty of thinking I need to pray but then deciding to watch a little television, which then becomes a lot of television. That’s the way of a sluggard.

Proverbs 26:13-14 says, “A sluggard says, ‘There’s a lion in the road, a fierce lion roaming the streets!’ As a door turns on its hinges, so a sluggard turns on his bed.”

When we don’t guard our hearts, it opens us up to the devil and the works of the flesh. Lions prey on the weak.

Sometimes we might have issues in our lives that need to be addressed, but we try to bury them by occupying our minds and lives with other things. Or maybe you feel like God has called you to do something, like get baptized or share Christ with a friend, but you keep putting it off.

Philippians 2:12-13 says, “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.”

Our relationship with Christ requires daily maintenance.

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>What is the biggest distraction in your life and what can you do to limit it?

>What can you do to make more time to pray and read the Bible?

>Have you ignored something God has told you to do?