Complacency Hinders Our Joyful Obedience to God
Recently, I have become cognizant of a striking, yet very common thought which I feel that the Holy Spirit has been calling me to share in the form of a blog post. The thought revolves around the importance of ensuring that we, as believers, do not allow ourselves to become complacent.
A wise person once told me that it is easier to overcome rejection now than it is to overcome regret later. In my view, this statement has groundbreaking significance in everybody’s lives. Despite life’s obstacles and the seemingly innumerable forms of rejection we must contend with, it is integral that we never give-up. Not giving-up means fighting to transform our God-honoring and Kingdom-furthering dreams into realities. This means that we need to learn from our failures rather than allowing them to dictate our future. It is a common knowledge that overcoming complacency tends to involve a high level of opposition. Being different and not conforming to the ways of this world may mean that we as Christians are labelled and even at times treated differently. However, being like “…foreigners and strangers…” is exactly what God calls us to be like (1 Chronicles 29:15). In a similar way, Romans 12:2 teaches, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind”.From my personal experience, it is exceedingly easy to fall victim to this trap of “complacency”. Sadly, I feel that a good number of Christians(myself included) are very prone to becoming “creatures of habit”, being afraid to leave our comfort zones, potentially leading to the tragedy of us refraining from pursuing godly risks. The Bible (specifically New Testament) is replete with examples of ordinary people, trusting in an extraordinary God, who took huge leaps of faith, and consequently undertook sizable risks for the sake of furthering His Kingdom. What’s worth noting as well is that these ordinary people followed the path of obedience despite tremendous levels of uncertainty. God desires for believers today to do the same regardless of how daunting the uncertainties of our futures may be. We are able to become courageous and joyfully God-obeying people through trusting in Him, and by always leaning on His strength firmly believing that we “…can do everything through Christ, who gives [us] strength”(Philippians 4:13).
Isaiah 41:10 encouragingly reminds us:
“So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand”
God expects joyful obedience from His followers and rightfully so considering that He has already given us the greatest Gift of Himself through the person of Jesus Christ. Having said this, the form of obedience that God desires is certainly not an obligatory or even a duty-bound one, but rather one that believers can authentically delight in. Both God’s continual sanctifying grace and His unending flow of mercies empower us to work out what His Holy Spirit has already worked in us. In doing so, He will progressively change us from the inside-out starting with providing us with a new heart (Ezekiel 36:26). Through being faithful to the Lord, the Holy Spirit will gradually change the affections within our hearts engendering an irresistible desire for us to pursue this form of obedience. This irresistible desire comes from a reverential and awe-inspiring view of God’s Supreme and Surpassing Worth over all things. Then His Spirit will enable us to be fruitful for His Kingdom while equipping us for every good work (Hebrews 13:20-21).
I pray that as a Church we can more readily and fully submit to You and Your Divine Will through pursuing joyful obedience in You regardless of the risks that may be involved. Help us to step out of our comfort zones through taking leaps of faith by trusting in You knowing that You will empower us by Your Spirit. In Jesus’ Name, I pray with confidence. Amen.