It is definitely an interesting time to be alive. As we watch the book of Revelations unfold, many a time do we, as believers, not appreciate the battle of complacency, especially in first-world countries. In today’s Western world, short of homelessness or borderline poverty, many Christians don’t understand what it means to struggle. While many Christians do understand the struggle – most in the modern world do not. Everything is at our fingertips, from cures to various diseases and the potential to bring food home for the day – we in the Western world have a lot more than we realize. Now, while we need to be grateful for what the Lord has given us – we also need to understand; one, this is not how the majority of the world lives, and two, when everything comes somewhat easy – the devil’s greatest vice is comfort.
When we examine our lives, and we look over our daily tasks, where are you complacent? The reason I ask is not to attack you but to instead ask you to examine yourself as I am examining myself for the vice of complacency. For me, complacency is the second most significant threat to my life short of addiction. Over the last decade, I went from breaking the devil’s hold on my life through addiction to realizing how complacent I have become in my walk with Christ. For example, I get caught up in the routine of work/life, and I stop looking to lean on the Lord. Or, my personal favorite, I get in the way of my own relationship with the Lord. Stuck in my own head, because it’s more comfortable. This is not an excuse, and the Lord deserves more from me, especially after all He has done for this sinner.
So, what is Complacency? Dictionary.com’s definition of complacency is “a feeling of quiet pleasure or security, often while unaware of some potential danger, defect, or the like; self-satisfaction or smug satisfaction with an existing situation, condition, etc. When we become complacent we stop taking risks and we ball up in our comfort zone. Christ does not want us to be complacent in our faith; rather He wants us to lean not on our own understanding, take up our Cross, and follow Him.
Not only do we need to examine how complacency affects our walk – men, we need to examine how complacency affects our leadership. Instead of going out of our way and setting the example, do we just relax? How often have you done that? You don’t need to be a Pastor to lead; leadership starts in the home, it begins with yourself, and when we lead accordingly with Christ as the Head of ourselves – we follow God’s design for our lives. We set the example. The best way to lead is by example; while the world tells us to be one way, we should lead the Right way, and frequently that doesn’t mean saying anything out of the ordinary; it means living Righteously and letting our walk be our testimony.
The totality of complacency is relatively new, while sure, in the past, generations they were faced with some forms of complacency – today, it is one of our greatest threats. In the West, we can do anything and everything without even leaving our couch. We can get groceries, watch movies, work, socialize, attend Church, and so much more. In the West, it’s actually becoming unusual to step outside of your comfort zone and shake things up. If you’ve ever played sports, trainers and coaches will always say that you have to step outside of your comfort zone if you want to grow; with faith, it’s the same in this aspect. We sometimes have to break the routine to realize just how complacent we have become. Christ never called us to fit in or just relax – He called us to step up, speak up, be different, and lean wholly and entirely on Him.
When was the last time you examined your walk? Have you earnestly looked at the uncomfortable areas of your life where you chose to lean on your own understanding instead of on Him? Charles Spurgeon, on Sept. 3, 1882, gave a sermon on this verse; “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.” — Revelation iii. 17, 18.
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Spurgeon opens this sermon; “THESE words were spoken, not to the outside world, but to the Church of Laodicea. They relate to persons who were in a church state, who had been baptized on confession of their faith in Christ, and who were thought to be in a fine spiritual condition. They had a singularly high opinion of themselves, and probably considered that of all the seven churches in Asia they were the first in power and influence. The words before us are as sharp as they are true, and they demand the earnest attention of all professors of our holy faith, for to persons like ourselves they were addressed, and moreover we have the special note of attention — “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” Here the axe is laid to the root, not of the oaks of the forest or the pines of the mountain side, but to the root of the trees of the vineyard, and the choice trees of the garden of the Lord. By this the Lord showed his love to the true ones in Laodicea, according as he saith, “As many as I love I rebuke and chasten.” While reading the text I feel forced to cry, “O my threshing, and the corn of my floor!” Truly the flail must first be used upon the heap that is gathered in the garner. It is all in vain to preach to the outside world unless matters be true and right within.”
Could you imagine for a moment, if Spurgeon were alive today, just how vigorous a sermon he would preach to all of us? Christ wants more from us – He wants us to step outside of our comfort zones and lead people to His truth. We can expect that we will face trouble and drama because we choose to say to the world that lives by feelings that there is an absolute truth and that truth makes people uncomfortable.
In closing, I ask you, fellow believer – where do you stand? Have you examined yourself for the vice of complacency? Let the Lord rule over your whole life, not just where you feel comfortable to let Him in. Let the Lord make you stand out as different from the ways of this world. Break routine. Recognize the vice of complacency. Build that faith-based, intimate relationship with your spouse. Have that uncomfortable conversation with your child about God and His Word. Talk to your co-workers about Christ. Ask questions in Church. Pray whenever and wherever. Start somewhere, anywhere will do, and take the leap of faith.