The danger of complacency

It’s easy to become spiritually complacent, to get comfortable where we are, to forget what’s at stake.

Suppose you’re fighting a battle in the middle of a great war, completely surrounded by the advancing enemy.

What would you do?

Kick off your boots and enjoy a latté while you read the morning newspaper?

It’s a ludicrous picture, but it’s something many of us do.

We’re tempted to live our lives as if there’s not this huge cosmic struggle going on. Just do our jobs, manage our to-do lists, pay our bills, and act like there’s no Satan, no “spiritual forces of evil,” as Paul puts it.

That’s a deadly approach.

C.S. Lewis said that we make two mistakes when we think about Satan and his demons.

Some of us respond with superstition . . . we might overstate Satan’s power. Superstitious folks see Satan everywhere they look.

Others respond with what Lewis calls substition, which understates Satan’s role in today’s world.

I think most of the folks I know (including myself) fall into this camp. Blinded by our modern understanding of reason, we’re more likely to believe that everything has a rational, physical explanation.

People do bad things because they make bad choices, had a rough upbringing, inherited bad genes, or have a mental illness.

Is it also possible that they fell under the sway of Satan and let him take over their lives?

I think so.

Peter’s warning still applies:

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8).

I think we need to be more aware of what Satan is doing in the world, and particularly what he’s doing in our lives.

If you’re a Mom or Dad, he’s after your kids, and he’ll do anything to win their hearts.

If you’re married, he’s after your marriage, and he’s trying to drive a wedge between you and your spouse.

If you’re single, he’s trying to undermine your relationships so that they pull you away from God.

Regardless of where you are, he’s after you, and he’ll pull every trick in the book to convince you that your relationship to Jesus really isn’t that important.

Don’t let him intimidate you—he can’t overpower God, of course—but don’t underestimate him either.

We’re in a fight to the death, and eternity hangs in the balance.

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