2 | Be Unsuspecting
(Four Ways to Be Easily Conquered, Pt. 3)
Sleeping in the Enemy’s Lap
How was Samson captured?
A sleeping person is easy to conquer, even one who is otherwise strong when awake and motivated. All the strength and skill in the world benefit a person nothing if they are asleep and oblivious to the presence of the enemy.
Being unsuspecting is a great way to be defeated.
The scouts for the tribe of Dan reported excitedly that the city of Laish could be captured despite the impressive walls. A reason this fortified city was so vulnerable is noted in their description: “When you get there, you will find an unsuspecting people” (Judges 18:10).
Sounds like many people, including many Christians. We may have, at one time, been very intentional about our defense and preparedness, but we have now become, for all intents and purposes, demilitarized.
No more watchmen vigilantly scanning for potential threats.
No more self-discipline to stay in shape for action.
Prayer, which was once an urgent survival mechanism, has become an optional “To Do” item.
The sword of the Word of God has rusted from lack of use.
And rather than carefully suiting up in the full armor of God first thing in the morning, we casually slip into sweats, dressing for comfort instead of conflict.
And who could blame us? After all, why all the vigilance and preparation if we don’t expect an attack?
The Devil’s Greatest Trick
And he is very persuasive!
There’s a reason for the popular saying, “Ignorance is bliss.” We deeply want to believe we are safe and secure, and many would rather be oblivious than to acknowledge the reality of an enemy whose sole purpose is to steal, kill and destroy.
In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, British novelist J.K. Rowling gives us a vivid embodiment of blissful ignorance in the character of Professor Umbridge. See the short video below.
(You can watch the full 2:42, or skip ahead to :50.)
Umbridge, teaching the Defense Against the Dark Arts class, announces that a theoretical knowledge of defensive spells rather than experience and practice will be sufficient for the students. The students object, arguing that only experience, not theory, will prepare them for attacks. Umbridge scoffs and naively assures them there is no real enemy, so they need not prepare so rigorously.
It certainly is more pleasant to believe there is no enemy.
But what we don’t know can still hurt us a great deal. In fact, being unsuspecting makes us all the more vulnerable, Samsons sleeping while the enemy cuts our hair and binds us.
A Call to Arms
So when you have enjoyed peace and favorable conditions long enough…
When your days no longer feel like warfare…
When you have had enough victories to feel strong, almost invincible…
When you have ample resources and safeguards in place to give you peace of mind…
When you are finally enjoying prosperity and security…
… BE CAREFUL!
If you want to continue being easily conquered, remain unsuspecting and at peace.
But if you want to be unconquerable, remain watchful, disciplined and vigilant, especially when there seems no reason to be.
“If you think you are standing firm, be careful that you do not fall” (I Corinthians 10:12).
Keep your guard up, and you will never be caught off-guard.