There is a spirit which lingers in the shadows and threatens to rock the very core of my faith, the values of my family, and the discipline of my children. It is not the spirit of pride or anger or selfishness. Although all of those things may result because if it.
It is the spirit of complacency. Often he hides under false labels like grace or rest. He tells me since God’s love is not dependent on works, I can be passive in my walk with Him.
Experience has shown me the danger of this skewed way of thinking.
I spent seasons of my life when I held to the belief that I could abide in Christ without actively seeking Him. There are few times in my life where I felt more spiritually starved and alone. Instead of filling my mind with whatever was right, pure, lovely, and praiseworthy, I filled my mind with whatever happened to be in front of me at the time. (Philippians 4:8) Elicit television. Social media. The endless stream of gossip, internet, and slander.
After months living this way, James opened my eyes to how dangerous spiritual despondency can be. This verse gave me chills the first time a read it:
“You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that- and shudder.” (James 2:19)
There are many things which vie for my attention in this world. Some of them very good and worthy of my time. My kids, my husband, community service and creative interests. But the minute I desire any of those things over my relationship with Christ, it becomes an idol.
Keeping God’s love has nothing to do with my decisions, but glorifying Him has everything to do with my decisions.
My choice to spend time in His Word, praying and listening for His voice. My decision to worship even when I feel like complaining. The more time I invest in my relationship with Him, the more his love will become evident in my life. As I let His Spirit speak to me through his word, I learn to recognize his voice more clearly.
When I study scripture, I realize few passive verbs used. We are to be active in our faith and pursuit of the Lord. Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”
This verse does not tell me my heart is guarded, and thus give me permission to be passive and complacent. It tells me I must actively guard my heart.
How many times have I allowed my heart to be embittered and broken simply because I did not guard it? Letting the Lord break your heart for the calamity and the corruption of this world is completely different from allowing it to be broken simply because you wandered away from the Truth.
Today my prayer is that I will combat against my phlegmatic nature, actively seek my Creator, and protect my heart and the hearts of my children against distractions which threaten to steal our joy.
To fight the spirit of complacency I must hold tightly to the Spirit of Truth.