“Woe to you who are at ease in Zion” — Amos 6:1
One of the deadliest luxuries that a Christian can possess is complacency. It is an indulgence ill retained that cannot be afforded and should not be regaled. It should be shaken off as though it were a poisonous parasite, lest it sit fast and suck like a leach, drawing the very life-blood of its victim and leaving him sick and weak, and vulnerable to trouble, ultimate defeat and potential spiritual death. No army can pride itself on past victories; no government can linger on former progress; no active athlete can rest on prior accomplishments; and no successful business can slacken its drive as a result of previous profits or recent riches. If they do, they will be overtaken by their enemies, or competitors when they least expect it. Neither can a Christian live in preceding works of deliverance and development in their lives by the hand of the Saviour – be it spiritual or physical.
Complacency, being smugly self-satisfied or contented; having a feeling of being satisfied with how things are, and not wanting to try to make them better, is a mental state exactly where our arch-enemy, the devil, wants the Christian to be. If we allow ourselves to get there, we have bought the deception and are in danger of losing the battle. Beloved believer, you can be sure that Satan never rests, never gives up, and never stops trying to deceive. He is not content in his ways of evil, never satisfied with his destructiveness upon man’s soul, and his cravings for wreaking havoc never gratified. His sulfurase breath never stops accusing; his reprobate mind never stops plotting and scheming evil; and his diabolical hatred never abates. Let us, therefore, not be languid in our pursuit of righteousness, godliness, and moral rectitude before our Redeemer, who is a holy God.
We need to adopt Paul’s attitude and approach of “I press on”. We need to apply Peter’s perspective of “add” and “possess in increasing measure” that he alluded to when explaining the building blocks of the Christian walk. The day we sit back and rest on our laurels is the day that we begin our decent towards defeat. Complacency has ruined people, communities, and even countries. Complacency is ruining Christians and the Church. In a spiritual sense, this perilous pastime only ever led towards evil in the lives of the Israelites, for which they paid dearly. In the Christian life, its representation is no lesser an iniquity, for which the Lord has warned of His impending wrath, judgement and discipline – and if not repented of, His disownment. Christian, have you been indulging a little sleep, or slumbering a little? Have you been folding your hands to rest – and as a result, been walking in complacency and presumption that all is well with your soul?
As per God’s record of the church in Laodicea, the deception leads the believer to say, “I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing.” But God sees the reality and reveals the truth of what’s beneath the surface, “knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” Let us hearken to the faithful and true words of our Redeemer, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten (discipline).” Let us be zealous (earnest) therefore, and repent. Reader, let not your heart be so hardened that it cannot receive the chastisement of the Lord. Let not the roots of your tree seek its nourishment from the nearby sewer pipes of complacency, rather than from the abundance of the ever-fresh stream that flows from the heavenly mountain. For the danger is that if you do, you will be spewed out of the Lord’s mouth, for you will be loathsome to Him, and your ways will make Him nauseated and sick in the pit of His stomach. You will be useless to God; rejected by Him as being worthless, a castaway, and considered unapproved and a reprobate – as one having failed the test. Rather, let us heed Christ’s counsel, “buy of me gold tried (refined) in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment (garments), 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.”
O my soul, love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might – for therein is thy safety against a spirit of complacency. Rest not on a false premise, a deception that all is well, and that thy soul and spirit need not safeguarding and upkeep. Dear saint, let God’s word preside in your heart richly through His Holy Spirit, bringing forth an abundance of life in power, purpose, productiveness and spiritual prosperity – all to God’s praise and good pleasure.