Not too long ago I was driving through my neighborhood, and everything looked calm and quiet. It was a pretty day, and I was happy because a group of us were going to go see a movie together. I looked down for a moment to send a text, even though doing so is illegal, and in my distraction I hit and killed a dog. It was horrible. I ended the life of a sweet little animal, and caused immense grief to its owners. I would have done anything to make it better, but nothing could reverse what I had done.
It’s was one of those times that my complacency was my worst enemy. I felt invincible in that I didn’t think anything could go wrong. I could break the law, take a small chance, and everything would be fine.
That wasn’t true for me, and it isn’t true for any of us.
One of the greatest evils is complacency.
It is a favorite tool of Satan. It gives him a stronghold in our hearts because we don’t get alarmed at our sin, and thus don’t deal with it.
Complacency numbs us to the truth that there is a battle going on – a daily battle for our own souls, and the souls of those around us. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Eph 6:12)
Make no mistake, Satan IS like a lion prowling this earth and seeking to devour you, me and those we love. (I Peter 5) In our haze of comfortable living, we can’t believe there is danger.. We can’t believe we are vulnerable. We can’t believe that even though we are lax, Satan is not. He is circling around us, around those we care about, with an intense hunger, looking for opportunity, calculating ways to take us down.
And there’s the rub. We don’t believe. We don’t believe Satan is a threat. We don’t believe in the absolute goodness and power of God. And then Satan surrounds us with the niceties of life, distracts us with busyness, and in the resulting complacency, we forget it is a problem to have weak faith.
Satan’s biggest victory in complacency is to keep us from being PASSIONATE BELIEVERS.
God wants to bless us with a life that is rich in closeness to him, abundant with new sisters and brothers. He wants to answer our prayers, fulfill our dreams. God intends for us to have a life of VICTORY! We are to be “more than conquerors!”
Instead, we get caught up in our lives, and, worst of all, become weak in the face of the challenges that come our way. I have been reading “Believe” by Beth Moore, and she reminds us that we can’t be conquerors without something to conquer! We have to have obstacles in order to have victories. Our challenges are opportunities to be receive our blessings through faith.
But we have to really believe. It is as Jesus said in John 6:39, “The WORK of God is this: to BELIEVE in the one he has sent.” We have to make every effort to shake off the complacency and have a shining, invigorating hope in God.
As we work on this, here are some scriptures about the way Satan operates:
- …the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. Mark 4:19
- Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. Mark 4:25
- Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'” Matt 4:15
- Anyone you forgive, I also forgive. And what I have forgiven–if there was anything to forgive–I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes. II Cor 2:10-11
- The great dragon was hurled down–that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.
- “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat.” Luke 22:31
- The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. II Cor 4:4
Here are some of Satan’s goals:
- 1. To cause us to doubt.
2. To cause us to love something more than God. To captivate us by this love, so we become blinded to God.
3. To throw us in confusion through catastrophe.
4. To cause us to worry
5. To make us think God is NOT going to give us all that we think we need.
6. To distract us from what we know to be important
7. To give us dysfunctional faith, having a form of godliness but denying its power
8. To make us LOSE HEART — get worn down, discouraged
9. To BLOCK the light of God any way he can, make us forget about the goodness and faithfulness of the Lord.
10. ULTIMATELY, to keep us from pleasing God with our faith, working with Him, being close to Him.
It is a battle! The threat is real! Satan wants to RUIN the most meaningful, wonderful thing we have. He wants to eviscerate the spirituality of our loved ones. He wants to keep countless others from finding hope, peace or love in God.
Let us NOT drive through life with our head in the clouds. We need to always be sober and alert, (I Pet 5:8) holding up our shield of faith, (Eph 6:16) and wielding the weapons that can DEMOLISH strongholds. (II Cor 10:4)
Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles and PASSIONATELY BELIEVE that our Father will bless us. (Heb 12:1) The best is yet to come.