We hear a lot these days about texting and driving, but there’s a million ways to not pay attention to the road. You could be talking to a person in the car with you, changing the radio dial, reading; I saw a guy on I-75 in Atlanta shaving with a cordless razor. Have you ever driven on auto pilot? Perhaps you’re deep in thought or just daydreaming, then suddenly realize where you are. If you drive a route routinely you do it without really thinking about it. That will become a problem if something non-routine happens, like a car suddenly breaking or kids running out in the road. Drivers don’t have to be drunk or texting to be zoned out.
1 Peter 5:8 says “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” Not living in a drunken stupor is not enough, we have to watchful. We must be vigilant. In chapter 1 Peter tells us to prepare our minds for action. Riding a motorcycle requires more presence of thought driving a car; a few seconds on autopilot could be the end of your trip. Riders are trained to watch further down the road in order to anticipate problems, as well as be aware of what’s going on behind them on the road.
The Church can’t function on auto pilot. Christians must be awake, sober, watchful and vigilant or else we become soft targets for our adversary the Devil. He is like a lion seeking whom he may devour. He is not asleep at the wheel. With single-minded focus his goal is to suppress the Gospel, discourage Christians, pervert out witness and turn the culture against Christ. Don’t take attacks personally; we seek to promote the Gospel of Christ, Satan seeks to prevent it. Atheists may accuse you of having an unscientific mind, supporting traditional marriage could get you labeled a bigot, but the real conflict is not with other people. Nonbelievers are the mission field, not the enemy. “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” -Eph 6:12
Know your enemy. He will use temptation, fear, social and political forces and anything else at his disposal to prevent the spread of the Gospel. He never sleeps, he never tires, and he has thousands of years of experience. We must give more than lip service to our faith. We must put on the full armor of God, and then be vigilantly watchful. A daily verse on Facebook may be a good start, but we must hide the Word of God in our hearts and pray without ceasing.
The fields are white to harvest, but the laborers are few. The Church can’t afford to be asleep at the wheel.