And they came to Laish, to a people quiet and unsuspecting, and struck them with the edge of the sword and burned the city with fire. And there was no deliverer. (Judges 18: 27-28, ESV)
Many times our safety, security, and affluence leave us vulnerable to apathy, temptation and downfall.
Have you ever found yourself in the middle of a horrible situation wondering, “How did I get here? How could I have been so stupid to do something like that? How could something like that happen to me?” If we are completely honest, we could all probably admit to being there.
The Danger of Complacency
In today’s reading, we find the inhabitants of a place called Laish. They lived in security, were quiet and unsuspecting, lacked absolutely nothing, and were very wealthy. In other words, they had it made in the shade. They enjoyed a carefree, though highly unguarded, way of life. Unfortunately, this throw-caution-to-the-wind lifestyle was their downfall. They were vulnerable – an easy prey for the Danites, a marauding tribe of the Israelites.
Similarly, a carefree mindset of living a quiet and unsuspecting life and being spiritually deficient, indifferent, and inactive lull many Christians. We grow oblivious our full-time spiritual enemy who is constantly on the prowl (like a roaring lion). Additionally, this enemy intently seeks any opportunity to catch us off guard and cause us to fail (1 Peter 5:8). We often fall prey to temptation simply because we grow careless regarding our spiritual growth. Subsequently, we fail to proactively stand against sinful desires and habits.
To help us avoid being caught off guard and experiencing such destructive spiritual downfalls, God gives specific instructions. His Word:
- Warns those who are spiritually proud to guard against sinful vulnerability (1 Corinthians 10:12).
- Cautions us to be “sober-minded” and “watchful” at all times in our defensive stand against the devil’s skillful and deceptive temptations (1 Peter 5:8).
- Instructs us to arm ourselves with God’s spiritual weapons (His Word, His Spirit, His righteousness, His truth, His salvation, etc.) to “stand firm” in the face of evil (Ephesians 6:13).
- Directs us to submit ourselves to God and proactively resist the devil (James 4:7).
- Motivates us to put on the mindset of Christ (Philippians 2:5)
- Encourages us to bring every thought under the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5).
- Counsels us to actively safeguard our heart with all diligence (Proverbs 4:23).
- What are some ways I am growing spiritually complacent?
- In what area(s) of life am I most vulnerable to spiritual attack?
- What daily steps am I taking to resist evil and fully embrace God’s righteousness?