1776, the founding fathers signed the Declaration of Independence. Later on that same day, a British armada carrying some 34,000 British soldiers began landing on Staten Island where Lt. Gen. Sir William Howe made his headquarters. On August 22nd, the British began preparing to cross from Staten Island to just south of Brooklyn on Long Island and by August 26th those 34,000 British troops were heading toward Brooklyn which was being defended by George Washington's Continental Army of 13,000 only half of whom were stationed in Brooklyn.
Howe's goal was the capture of Manhattan Island where the British would have control of the Hudson River thus driving a wedge between the Northern and Southern American forces. On August 27th, the British attacked and drove back Washington's men to the Brooklyn Heights. This forced Washington to retreat over the East River to Manhattan Island by a dangerous but brilliant night crossing. Key to the British victory was the Jamaican pass through which the British were able to march a large force and flank Washington's armies from the rear. The Jamaican pass was only defended by five militia officers who surrendered without a shot being fired. The British won the battle through an unguarded approach.
The Christian soldier fights battles on a daily basis. While the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but spiritual ( 2 Corinthians 10:4), we must still keep an eye open on all avenues through which Satan would seek to take advantage of us through his devices ( 2 Corinthians 2:11). If we leave any approach unguarded, Satan will surely use that to devour us (1 Peter 5:8). What are some of these unguarded approaches that Satan may use?
One often unguarded approach is television. Hollywood has influenced the nation toward its liberal philosophy by means of broadcast media. Television allows the liberal media to control the information that most households receive thus being able to influence them toward the desired perspective. The concept of homosexuality has made favorable inroads into the American consciousness largely through television programs that desensitize the subject through humor and sympathetic characters. Television has also undermined the place and authority of the husband and father in the home by casting husbands and fathers as ridiculous and unnecessary relics of the past. Television also has a great effect upon our own personal speech; what is said on television is often imitated by those spellbound by its mesmerizing stars and characters. Satan has slowly and insidiously attacked our hearts through this unguarded approach.
Another often unguarded approach is personal modesty. Once held among us as a personal virtue the very concept of modesty seems to have been abandoned. When the sun comes out in the summer, the action of many is to disregard decency and reveal as much of one's body as possible exposing breasts, buttocks, and bellies for the world to gawk over. And if you ask the average teenage boy what is most attractive to him in a girl, he's likely going to mention some protruding body part. Again, Satan has outwitted many of our youth through this unguarded approach.
Finally, how many of us are so consumed with managing the details of our own personal lives that we can never find the time to do any work for the Lord? We wake up, eat a quick breakfast and then are off to work. We get home, eat dinner, plop down in front of the television and the day is over before we've even given a thought to reading our Bibles, spending some time in prayer, or talking to a friend about the Lord. This process repeats itself for six days out of the week until Sunday, when many have to take the day off because otherwise they don't have any time "for self." Satan has conquered us through this unguarded approach.
How many other unguarded approaches do we have in our life? I'm sure we could all fill in our own blanks. So, the question at this point isn't do we have them, but what to do about them. We must be vigilant in not giving Satan any advantage over us. We need to keep a close watch on those approaches that we often take for granted and leave unguarded. Let us also be sober minded, realizing that Satan can use any avenue we leave unguarded to sway us. We have a good fight to fight; let us fight it with perseverance and truth.
- Kevin Cauley