Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. –1 Peter 5:8
Early Native Americans were some of the best hunters in history. A combination of patience, wisdom, knowledge of the natural world, and respect for their place in it resulted in the skillful artistry of the hunt. One tactic in particular illustrates this beautifully. When hunting buffalo on the Great Plains, hunters would cover themselves in buffalo hides and carefully approach the grazing herd virtually unnoticed. With ease and skill, the hunters would kill dozens of buffalo before the rest of the herd was aware of the intruders. When the herd finally realized the attack, they began to stampede, but the hunters were far away in safety. Once the herd cleared, the successful hunters returned to retrieve their kill.
We have a word for this type of “sneak attack” today and it is called desensitization. When people are sensitive to something, they are keenly aware of what is happening around them physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Therefore, when we become desensitized, we become dull to what once drew our attention. This is a spiritual landmine and one that deserves our consideration. Eugene Peterson’s paraphrase of the Bible, The Message, gives the warning this way: “Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping. Keep your guard up.”
It is likely that today many of us would be caught napping, not paying attention to the bells and whistles going off around us. We live in a society where we are surrounded by pride, envy, deceit, division, selfishness, and many other ills. I suspect that much of this doesn’t even raise a red flag with us anymore. As a people of God, we are called to be set apart. May today be our wake-up call.
1. In what ways have you become desensitized to the devil’s sneak attack? Answer the same question for your kids.
2. How can you and your family fight desensitization?
Proverbs 6: 16-19; 1 Peter 5: 8-11