Satan uses quite a collection of weapons against the godly. His attacks are highly specialized. He always uses "the effective weapon of choice." His objective is always the same: in each situation, do as much damage as possible. He does not use the same weapon against every godly person.

Godly individuals exist in a variety of different circumstances. Satan rarely attacks anyone with a weapon he knows will be ineffective. His purpose in the attack is to create distressful temptation and struggle.

Never doubt Satan's ability to choose an effective weapon! Peter was one of Jesus' "inner three" apostles. God revealed to him that Jesus was the Christ (Matthew 16:17). Even the other eleven did not understand that truth! Peter was the confident champion of Jesus the Messiah. The last night of Jesus' earthly life, Jesus told Peter that Peter would deny Jesus that night (Matthew 26:34).

Impossible! Peter was certain death itself could not make him deny Jesus (Matthew 26:33,35)! Yet, before daylight, Peter said, not once but three times, that he did not know Jesus (Matthew 26:75).

How could "the impossible" happen? Did Satan use alcohol, drugs, a seductive woman, greed, or jealousy? No. In that situation, those were ineffective weapons. Ineffective weapons would strengthen Peter, and that was not Satan's goal! Satan used an effective weapon, a weapon Peter regarded stupid and ridiculous. He was strong! He was sacrificial! He paid great prices to follow Jesus!

Satan's weapon? Complacency. "Oh, no! Peter's situation was highly volatile--the last supper, the garden, the prayers, the betrayal; Jesus' arrest, trials, and humiliation! Those circumstances were too volatile for complacency!" A form of complacency thrives in volatile situations. In volatile situations, it is a powerful form of temptation. It counts on volatile situations to make it effective.

What form of complacency is that? The complacency that convinces you strength comes from faith in yourself. The form that convinces you the present situation does not equal your past performance. The form that convinces you that you are "right." The form that makes it easier to pass judgment on the moment instead of opening your mind to consider the complexity of the situation.

Peter was certain he was strong because of his commitment and conviction. Peter was certain he was equal to the situation because of his past performances. Peter was certain he understood God's will, and it did not include Jesus' death. So, in the certainty complacency produces, Peter judged the moment instead of opening his mind.

It always is easier to judge the moment than to open our minds and hearts--and think. It always is easier to pass judgment than it is to see and deal with complexity.

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 25 February 2001

 Link to next article

 Link to other Writings of David Chadwell