The old statement, “Idle time is the devil’s play ground,” is not found in the Bible. But it certainly is relevant. There is a great danger in becoming complacent spiritually.
We are living in perilous times and there are many pitfalls arrayed against our lives by the enemy. In Matthew 10:13 (Message) Jesus said, “Stay alert. This is a hazardous work I am assigning you. You are going to be like sheep running through a wolf pack, so don’t call attention to yourselves. Be cunning as a snake, inoffensive as a dove.” The Amplified Bible says, “Behold, I am sending you out like sheep in the midst of wolves; be wary and wise as serpents, and be innocent (harmless, guiless, and without falsity) as doves.”
The Dangers of Carelessness and Overconfidence
Amos 6:1 tells us, “Woe to them that are at ease in Zion and trust in the mountain of Samaria.” The ABPS Translation says, “Woe to those who are careless in Zion.” NAB declares, “Woe to the complacent on Mt. Samaria.” This scripture is warning Zion, or the church of today, to beware of the pitfall of complacency. It is very interesting that they were on Mt. Samaria. Could it be that Mt. Samaria represents being on top? Could it mean they possibly reached a certain measure of success by climbing the latter of achievement and once arriving there, they got sloppy, complacent and careless? John of the Cross once said, “Anyone who is lukewarm is close to falling.” C.H. Spurgeon declared, “Stagnation in the church is the devil’s delight.”
Complacency Can Open the Door to the Enemy
Proverbs 1:32 (ASV) warns us, “For the backslidden of the simple shall slay them, and the careless ease of a fool shall destroy them.” The JPS translation says, “For the waywardness of the thoughtless shall slay them, and the confidence of fools shall destroy them.” Complacency can be defined as, “Satisfied, content, apathy and unaware of possible danger.”A.W. Tozer once said, “Complacency is the deadliest foe to all spiritual growth.” 1 Peter 5:8 admonishes us, “Be careful! Watch out for attacks from Satan, your great enemy. He prowls around like a hungry roaring lion looking for some victim to tear apart” (Living Bible). The NLT says, “Keep awake! Watch at all times. The devil is working against you.” We must stay spiritually awake and sober and avoid spiritual lethargy.
David’s Complacency Leads to His Fall from Grace
2 Samuel 11:1,2,4-5, reveals King David’s transgression due to complacency. “And it came to pass, after the year was expired, at the time when kings go forth to battle, that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried still at Jerusalem. And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the King’s house: and he saw a beautiful woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon. And David sent messengers and took her; and she came unto him, and he lay with her; for she was purified from her uncleanness; and she returned unto her house. And the woman conceived, and sent and told David, and said, ‘I am with child’.” Here we find King David falling into the sin of adultery, murder and then its cover up. God sent the prophet to expose David’s sin and to reveal the consequences. The question we have to ask is, “Could this have been avoided?” I believe the answer is yes! All King David had to do was, “go forth to battle.” But, instead, he stayed back, became idle, complacent and careless and walked straight into a trap satan had set for him.
Keep Our Lamps Burning
In Luke 12:35, Jesus said, “Let your loins be girded about and your lights burning.” The NLT declares, “Be dressed for service and keep your lamps burning.” I believe as we live soberly and stay alert, we can avoid the many pitfalls of this sobering and dangerous hour. Psalm 119:9-11 says, “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to Thy word. With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”
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