David Shane Gosik. The name seems innocuous enough, but he was the cause of much local consternation at Bear Valley last evening. As I was preaching, I looked out at our “full house” to see anywhere from six to twelve men in the foyer rushing back and forth with looks of great concern on their faces. Only when Dave Chamberlin made an announcement following the invitation song were most of us alerted to the problem. There was a man, armed and dangerous, on the loose in the area of Hampden and Harlan. As a crow flies, that is less than a mile from the building. Police helicopters hovered over the building. SWAT teams from two counties were looking for the felon. Shortly after we were dismissed from services, word reached us that Gosik was found in a crawl space outside the Pebble Creek Apartment complex (news via 9news.com).
We live in interesting times. We are more easily on edge at the thought of armed intruders with potentially evil intent. We have had Columbine and Aurora to heighten that feeling of vulnerability. While we are relieved that so many stood ready to protect us from potential harm, we hate to think that there are hardened criminals out there with such little disregard for others’ state of mind or safety.
It is harder for any of us to envision that every time we assemble as God’s people, there is a depraved and most hardened individual who is after each one of us. Can you imagine if Gosik was trying to break down our doors looking for a specific person last night? But the Bible speaks of the devil in those exact terms. He seeks to devour us like a lion seeks his prey (1 Pet. 5:8). He seeks to take advantage of us (2 Cor. 2:11). He seeks to blind the mind (2 Cor. 4:4). He seeks to sway us (1 Jn. 5:19). It has been said that he attends every worship service, but he certain is a powerful opponent out to get us. Thankfully, our protection against him is foolproof if utilized (Js. 4:7; Eph. 4:27; Eph. 6:11ff; 1 Pet. 5:9). But, the first line of defense is to be aware of the danger! The comfort is that Jesus has already defeated him (Heb. 2:14).