Terry Dashner……..Faith Fellowship Church PO Box 1586 Broken Arrow, OK 74013
Introduction: General Ulysses S. Grant was badly beaten in battle of Shiloh, Tennessee. General James McPherson, his aide, reported loss of half of Union artillery and almost one-third of troops during bloody conflict.
Retreat was Grant’s only option, or so it seemed. Against all odds Grant ordered, “Reform lines and we will attack at dawn. We will take them by surprise.” By nine o’clock next morning South’s troops were being routed by surprise attack from weary Union troops. It seems that confederates had felt so secure in previous day’s victory that they failed to stay alert, thus giving up their blood-soaked and hallowed ground.
Someone once said that Christians are most vulnerable to enemy’s attack after a great victory. Why is this? Because there is a real tendency among victors to rest on their laurels after victory, instead of securing their lines in vigilance. Complacency kills.
The Essence of this document: There is a real danger in body of Christ to become complacent after battles have been fought and won. And this should not be. May I ask you a question? Are you alert to enemy’s schemes against you? Or does complacency define your disposition?
This morning I want to share with you three reasons why complacency makes child of God vulnerable to enemy’s attacks. Knowing why complacency happens can help us safe-guard ourselves against it. At all costs Christian should remain vigilant throughout her spiritual journey.
Body of document:I There are several reasons for complacency after a spiritual victory. For one, complacency happens when one in charge fails to recognize her advantage. The one in charge must see benefit in regrouping and attacking until enemy is utterly destroyed. Once you win a spiritual battle don’t fold-up shop and retire. Attack! Okay, so you’ve won a battle, pursue enemy until you’ve won war. In spiritual warfare there are no retreats or awards banquets, only attack. Don’t wait for enemy to hit you, press into kingdom of darkness and fight with Light!
In 1863 President Lincoln was downcast beyond words when General Lee retreated from Gettysburg. In deep despair he penned these words to General George G. Meade of Union Army: “…my dear general, I do not believe you appreciate magnitude of misfortune involved in Lee’s escape. He was within your grasp, and to have closed upon him would, in connection with our other late successes have ended war. As it is, war will be prolonged indefinitely.” The letter was never sent.
General George G. Meade failed, in words of Lincoln, to “appreciate magnitude of misfortune involved in Lee’s escape.” Because Meade let Lee cross Potomac, between July 4 to July 15, 1863, Lee accomplished impossible and was able to fight again, prolonging war. During this short time, Lee established field hospitals to care for 8500 sick and wounded evacuees he brought back with him, many of whom would heal and return to service. He salvaged most of his artillery, returning 6000 wagons and between 30,000 and 40,000 horses and mules. He also brought back 30,000 cattle and 25,000 sheep and thousands of hogs. Whereas this army had been on verge of starvation two months before Gettysburg, he had succeeded in getting supplies enough for war to go on many more months, despite manpower losses. Had Meade crushed Lee’s army in Potomac (flood stage delayed crossing), war would have ended earlier. As it turns out, war continued for another two years with thousands, upon thousands of war casualties.
Remember this point to safe-guard yourself against complacency: After your spar with enemies of darkness, keep attacking until Lord directs you to a new campaign. Never retreat and never allow complacency to enter your relationship with Lord. Press point. Follow through. Take it all way!
II Secondly, complacency comes when we elect to build a port folio, instead of sounding a bugle’s charge. Many in body of Christ are content to relive their past events of victory, instead of “forgetting those things which are behind” and pressing ahead. If you find your conversations about God in past tense, you need to repent of complacency and get in fight of faith.
May I share with you a secret to success for your spiritual progress? It is this: keep moving. Progress along. Don’t stop, and certainly don’t retreat.
Forward movement for believer is permanent. The story is told about great Reformer, Martin Luther. One day his son came home from school skipping and singing. “Why are you so happy?” Luther asked him. “Today we finished catechism,” answered his son. “My, but you are far ahead of me,” said Luther. “I’ve been studying catechism all my life, and I haven’t finished it yet.”