Repent of Spiritual Complacency: The Call
Monday, April 6, 2020
Devotional for Day 20
“I know your works, that you have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead.” - Revelation 3:1 (ESV)
The book of Revelation offers the good news of a triumphant end! It’s the projection of ultimate victory and the clarion call for every believer to persevere in faith, examine the heart with diligence and to remain watchful. The tenor and tone of the book leave no stone unturned as it even calls the most earnest of believers to address easily ignored stumbling blocks; snags, like that of complacency.
Song of Solomon 2:15 says, “Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom” (NIV). In other words, when what was prized is soon taken for granted; or, what was valued becomes expendable; when what was idealized is no longer highly regarded; or, when loyalties are treated with indifference or familiarity, it means that we’ve become complacent. Whether we realize it or not the fox is eating at our vine—our connection with the Father! And, we’re called to catch the culprit, that soothing voice of self-justification, because complacency is not without consequence.
Whether towards life or activities or people, complacency is an insidious contentment of self-satisfaction. Which is why complacency towards a personal relationship with God is just as egregious as any other sin—it misses the mark and is a transgression against the One who has given All to reconcile with humanity. So, it grieves His Spirit when the desire to please Him has been replaced with a greater desire to please self.
And, as Christians, we understand that pleasing self is antithetical to the Gospel of Christ—the Gospel, that is, the good news of a Savior who gave of Himself, was obedient to death, who laid down His life, and of whom, we are told as children of God, to imitate. So, when our priorities are misplaced it can be as simple as making a choice between what is good and what is God, and choosing good. As simple as deciding between responsibilities verses relationship and choosing responsibilities. And, it’s not because we don’t have good intentions, but rather, we’ve let our guard down and allowed what feels right to be right; and as a result, we’ve turned our trust, our hope, our focus elsewhere.
Spiritual complacency doesn’t begin with malevolence, but rather, an excuse that has grown into contentment. It is when we wake up on a random day and realize that we have not read our Bible, have not prayed, and for more days than we’d care to acknowledge, we have scarcely considered His will concerning life itself; but even more, we’ve been content with living at a distance.
Hence, our name alone is alive, but by default we not only trample the Son of God underfoot, but we have begun to count as a common or ordinary thing the blood of the covenant whereby we’ve been sanctified, and we’ve insulted the Spirit of grace, in the process (Hebrews 10:29). Thus, Revelation 3 calls us to wake up and align our lives with our title—not because it’s convenient or even comfortable, but because we are alive in Christ, made new and living according to His purpose and grace, no longer our own. We have a new identity as Christians, so we live up to a new call.
That is, we align our purpose with our call as disciples, our call as imitators of Christ, our call as holy, our call to the covenant of a single allegiance—Christ alone. To love Him above everyone and everything—that is the call.
And if we’re honest, it may not be the first thing on our minds as Christians, so John exhorts each of us to prepare, to make ready for Christ’s return. Not in a lackluster or familiar way, but in a way that daily demonstrates a careful heed to the things we have heard and known, whereby our knowledge of God informs our response in the world; where our convictions for Christ shape life decisions, and where our confession of hope is the explanation for righteous zeal. It is our call.
A call that’s hard, but a sacrifice proving that He’s worth it.
Father, we thank You for Your love that warns us of spiritual complacency. For, You give wisdom and out of Your mouth comes knowledge and understanding, and so, we humble ourselves before You today, and ask that from this message we would not find condemnation, but with conviction, we would awake from complacency and to a daily commitment to the call—where we truly align our response to life with our complete surrender to You. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Ministry Fellow, Christian Union Nova