One of the most effective war tactics is the art of befriending the enemy in order to determine their weakest points, and using those points against them. Under this guise of friendship, the opponent has no idea of the damage he is about to undergo, and without warning he is completely destroyed.
We have all been witnesses to friends, families, celebrities, etc. who were very strong and rooted in Christ but fell along the way. Often we cannot wrap our mind around why and how something like that could happen to them. Truth be told, no one sets out to backslide, it is usually a slow fade. That slow fade starts when we become friendly with the things of the flesh and of the world, which inevitably destroy us. Often the root cause for this is complacency; where we feel we have gotten so strong in Christ that NOTHING can touch us. I believe that Apostle Paul had been a witness to the effects of such complacency, and that is why he warned us “You could fall flat on your face as easily as anyone else. Forget about self-confidence; it’s useless. Cultivate God-confidence.” [1 Corinthians 10:12, The MSG].
Through complacency we no longer “guard our hearts with all diligence” [Proverbs 4:23, NIV], and instead of being “strong in the Lord and in the power of his might” [Ephesians 6:12-18, NIV], we become strong in ourselves. With time, we start to entertain the little sins that we would initially flee from, and after a while they become normal to us. What we don’t realize is that through these actions, the enemy initiates a deceptive invasion and one he has gotten a foot, he is certainly going to take a mile.
There is a Akan adage which when directly translated says, “if an animal were to bite you, the animal would have had to be residing under your clothe”. This adage is often used in instances where close friends or family members have betrayed each other. Yet, when I think about this wise saying, my mind goes to two scriptures by James and Jesus. We are told “And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else. Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death” [James 1:13-15, NLT]. Also, we are reminded that, “But whatever comes out of the mouth comes from the heart, and this is what makes a man unclean and defiles [him]. For out of the heart come evil thoughts (reasonings and disputings and designs) such as murder, adultery, sexual vice, theft, false witnessing, slander, and irreverent speech. These are what make a man unclean and defile [him]; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him unclean or defile [him]” [Matthew 15:18-20, AMP].
Is there an “animal” hiding underneath the cloth of your heart, ready to bite you through its deceptive invasion? If you are not too sure, follow the ways of King David who prayed, “Search me [thoroughly], O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there is any wicked or hurtful way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” [Psalm 139:23-24, AMP].