The cost of complacency
I remember the moment I realized I was a complacent woman. Sometimes the truth hurts and this was one of those times. Until that very moment, I would have never thought of myself as complacent. In fact, God was developing within me a real passion for Him and for His Word. As such, I was seeking Him in a greater way and devoting more and more of my time in service to Him and to His. But I was still complacent. In some ways I still am. I hate that because there is a cost to complacency.
How did I come to understand I was complacent? I came face to face with the Word of God. Specifically, Isaiah 32. There I saw that the women who were at ease and complacent were being told to "rise up." A verse later the women at ease and who were complacent were being told to tremble, be troubled, take a look around and then mourn and weep over what they were seeing. These women were comfortable and secure and this had caused them to be careless. I learned they no longer cared about what was going on all around them but cared only for their own comfort and ease. Otherwise they would not have been told to "rise up." So how does complacency look in my life?
It looks like…
…A lot of time, energy and effort making sure I live in comfort and security.
…Spending hours tending my stuff and accumulating more.…Pursuing the "American dream" rather God's will and plans for my life.
…Seeing what others have, are pursuing and doing and letting that be the measure for how I am doing in my own life.
…Doing everything I can to keep from sacrificing any of my comfort and what I’ve determine brings me security.
Being complacent is the exact opposite of trusting in and relying on God. For trusting and relying on God ALWAYS, ALWAYS means getting out of my comfort zone and walking away from what I consider secure.
Complacency has cost me God ordained moments. You see, to pursue what God has planned for me means giving up my plans for a life of comfort and ease. That means giving up something or being uncomfortable in some way. My complacency causes me to put my needs above the needs of others. So then, my complacency cost others. I mean just look at Isaiah 32 and what had happened to the land and to the people because of complacency.
More and more every day, I realize how much I have bought into the "American Dream" that I should have and hoard. I have so loved the world and the things of the world. I have been so easily distracted and bought into so many of the lies the world has offered and I am SO ashamed.
Complacency has cost me years of denying myself, taking up my cross and following my Jesus (Matthew 16:24)
Complacency has cost me untold moments when I could have "gained Christ" but didn't because I was unwilling to "suffer loss" (Philippians 3:7-14).
Complacency has cost those God has put within my reach and influence because I have been and am unwilling to get out of my comfort zone, give up my comforts & ease. So it means others go without. Complacency costs me the experience of finding all my joy in God, having all my needs met in God or being totally satisfied in God.
Complacency costs me untold opportunities to bring God glory by proving He really is my Provider and that suffering for His name sake really is a gift.
God's Word has opened my eyes and what I see is that God wants me to live a life totally abandoned to Him so that I can fulfill His purposes for my life. It means trusting in and relying on ONLY Him. It means walking by faith but in order to do that I have to KNOW Him and the only way to KNOW Him is to KNOW His Word. I understand now that I cannot step out in faith and follow Jesus if I don't know Who it is that I am following. Praise be to God I do KNOW. But I’m also learning what it really means and looks like to FOLLOW Jesus.
To follow Jesus will cost me my comfort and life of ease. I will have to deny myself. It will cause me to have to “rise up” and follow Him. How did we get so far from the truth? Truth has stumbled in the streets (Isaiah 59:14). We preach another Jesus and a different gospel (2 Corinthians 11:4).
I am tired of paying the price of complacency and I am tired of making excuses for myself and other complacent Christians. Living out of our comfort zones isn't easy. Denying me of what I want and think I need - dying to self is painful. I don't want to suffer - but if I'm not denying, dying and suffering - can I really call myself a follower of Christ? What does staying in my place of complacency say to the world about what I really believe? How does my complacency distort the character and glory of God? What will happen to the world around me - around us - if I/we don't “rise up” out of our place of comfort, ease - complacency?
I call myself Beloved of God. Years ago, I claimed Philippians 3:7-14 as my life verses (I know, obviously clueless). But today I am taken back by a fresh look at these truths from God's Word and also from Romans 8:16-18 which says...
"The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us."
"If? IF? IF INDEED I WHAT????? What I BELIEVE determines how I live my life. Does my life say that ....
...I suffer with Christ?
...I consider the sufferings of this present time not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed?
...Whatever things were gain to me those I counted as loss for the sake of Christ?
Oh God, what does my life say about what I really believe? I am so tired of missing the mark, living the life of complacency. I want my life to SHOUT your trustworthiness and faithfulness because I trust in and rely on YOU and YOU alone. I want to live a life totally surrendered and submitted to you no matter what it costs me. Please God - don't let me miss another minute of what You want to do in me and through me. Cause me to fully understand what it means to find ALL my joy in YOU. Help me to experience being full in the fullness of YOU. Help me to remember that glory awaits me and nothing this world has to offer or can take from me can compare to that!