Dangers to your faith. I was struck with this phrase in my daily devotional. Hindrances, hang-ups, but
dangers? Are they what I think they might be? After all, satan is subtle, deceptive:
“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring
lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand strong against him and be strong in
your faith.” I Peter 5:8-9 NLT
When I was in high school, I went out to my car at the end of the day to head home. I turned the key just like every other day, only this time it would not start. When I called my dad, he decided to send out a wrecker. This totally embarrassed and annoyed me. I was just out of gas! But the back story is key. You see, this was not the first time this had happened. My dad had been dealing with me about watching my gauges, making time for routine maintenance, and paying attention to warning signs that would indicate a problem. It was best to be preventive than be neglectful and cause major issues, or to find myself stranded somewhere (there were no cell phones in those days!). He continued to remind me that vehicles need three things to run efficiently…gas, oil, and other fluids, and it was my responsibility to make sure my car had those three things. I was simply ignoring that responsibility and all the signs. So now? I was dealing with the consequences…it turned out to be much more serious than just being out of gas. Does anyone know what a cracked engine block is? Well I do unfortunately, and I learned at a young age. It was a costly repair and one that left me without my car for about a week. And something simple like noticing my oil light, could have prevented this. Did it place me in any immediate danger? No. This time I was just inconvenienced. But failed brake lines could have. Again, simple things looked at carefully during routine maintenance checks could prevent dangerous situations…if I would be aware of the dangers, pay attention to the warning signals, and take the time for regular maintenance checks.
Our spiritual lives can often feel that way…like we’re coasting along, no problems, believing everything is fine. We mindlessly travel this faith journey, not sensing any immediate spiritual dangers. We are not looking for them. But neglect and just plain ignorance can be dangerous, especially when our “great enemy” is lurking about just waiting for an opportunity to pounce. We’re easily lulled into passivity and lassitude. Or perhaps a tiny temptation presents itself when we’re most vulnerable.
It is our responsibility to “be on guard’. We have to be aware of the dangers to our faith and do what is necessary to provide satan no open door to our hearts.
I don’t know what dangers to your faith there might be, or where you may be tempted to be lax in your faith journey. I just know the Scripture admonishes us to be alert, watchful, vigilant, to see our faith strengthened and steadfast. We are to be continually “growing in grace and the knowledge of our Savior” (2 Peter 3:18). Are you growing? Do you know more of Jesus today than yesterday? A year ago? What hardships or challenges may have sidelined you, or brought you up short of His grace and peace and joy? What has dulled your senses to the glories of Christ?
Don’t be ignorant of the dangers to your faith. Don’t disregard the warning signs. It may be as simple as a subtle shift in thinking, an annoyance, a distraction, an unresolved offense. It may be physical pain or even a tragedy that shakes the very foundations of all we believe. It happens when we least expect it, catching us off guard. Just be aware. Stay in the Word. Stay connected with your church and community of believers. Stay sensitive to the Spirit’s quiet promptings. Stay in worship mode - prayer, gratitude, giving, worship and praise music, service to others.
Don’t find yourself stranded along your faith journey.