It was a cold evening on the high ground. I briefed my platoon sergeant and my orders were clear. Keep guards awake through the night. We are on the perimeter and cannot afford to let the enemy overrun our lines. Around 2:00 a.m. I awoke. Quietly I left my position to walk the line. They were all asleep. Position by position I grabbed their M16’s and machine guns until I had every weapon I could snatch. Then in a cold fury that comes when life-saving orders are disobeyed I watched in silence as my embarrassed platoon sergeant rousted every squad and ripped them with words on fire.
Soldiers who can remain awake go to sleep on duty when they don’t really believe an enemy is near. After prolonged periods of inactivity they are lulled into a false sense of safety. I despise complacency. I’ve seen what it can do in my own life and the lives of those around me. It is one of the most sinister enemies we Christians face. It is like taking drugs in small doses until over time the buildup renders the user useless.
Amos 6:1-7—Woe to you who are complacent in Zion, and to you who feel secure on Mount Samaria, you notable men of the foremost nation, to whom the people of Israel come! . . . You put off the evil day and bring near a reign of terror. You lie on beds inlaid with ivory and lounge on your couches. You dine on choice lambs and fattened calves. You strum away on your harps like David and improvise on musical instruments. You drink wine by the bowlful and use the finest lotions, but you do not grieve over the ruin of Joseph. Therefore you will be among the first to go into exile; your feasting and lounging will end. (NIV)
A complacent Christian is not aware enough of danger to care. His lack of vigilance threatens his buddies’ lives as well as his own. Complacency says, “I don’t need to exercise it’s more fun to eat.” “Don’t tell me what to do, I like my life the way it is.” Complacent Christians develop the knack of being critical. They justify not taking action by finding fault in the action or inaction of others. Maintaining comfort becomes more important than truth itself. Just ask Peter. He thought Jesus was overly morbid. He assured Him of his love. He fell asleep when Christ most needed his prayer support. What did he do when his Master was seized and his affiliation questioned? Betray! Betray! Betray! Maybe we ought to listen to this seasoned apostle when he writes, “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” (1 Peter 5:8,9 NIV)
Danger past, God forgotten.—Scottish Proverb
©2000 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)