I am dedicating the next several posts to an instructor from college who preached a message titled “Traps Of The Devil”. John Garlock taught homiletics at Christ For The Nations Institute in Dallas TX for several years as well as training pastors around the world. I can still remember his sermons almost twenty years later and they still impact my life today.
The trap of tranquility is a deceptive trap. The bible says in 1 Peter 5:8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Striking prey unaware or lulled into a false sense of security. The trap of tranquility is perfect for this skilled hunter.
Native American Indians used their own trap of tranquility to hunt ducks. Since bows and arrows are not effective against ducks, they developed an ingenious solution. Pumpkins. That’s right, pumpkins. They would float pumpkins down the river past the ducks. At first, the ducks fly away. After all pumpkins don’t usually float down river. Eventually though, after several pumpkins have floated by, the ducks no longer sense a threat. Soon they will realize the threat is very real. One or two hunters finally carve out a couple of pumpkins. Wear them over their heads, and begin to stealthily wade down stream towards dinner. Once upon their tasty meal they grab the unsuspecting ducks by their webbed little feet and drag them under the water. I suppose there are worse ways to go. The only thing left is to decide is how to prepare their well deserved meal.
How do we keep ourselves from falling into the trap of tranquility? I have a few ideas.
- Mind your surroundings. When it comes to the devil an extended period of peaceful surroundings probably means you are being stalked as prey.
- Know yourself. What are the weaknesses in your life the enemy might exploit. We all have them so don’t be shy of examining yourself for them.
- Know your enemy. If the devil is anything, he is predictable. When it comes to his trap of tranquility he springs it pretty much the same way every time. Ask yourself if there is anything in your life that appalled you just a short time ago, but now they seem unthreatening?