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The Dangers of Complacency and the Delight of Christ

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Introduction

In a recent survey commissioned by the American Bible Society, people from all walks of life from all over our country were asked about how the Bible influenced their lives. They were given five areas to choose from and align themselves.
The first was Bible Centered. This meant that they interact with the the Bible frequently and it is transforming their relationships and shaping their choices.
The second was Bible Engaged. This meant they interact with the Bible frequently and it is transforming their relationship with God and others.
The third was Bible Friendly. This meant they interact with the Bible consistently and it may be a source of spiritual insight and wisdom.
The fourth area was Bible Neutral. This group interacts with the Bible sporadically and it has little spiritual influence.
The fifth area was Bible Disengaged. This group interacts with the Bible infrequently if at all and it has minimal impact on their lives.
Of the people surveyed, 5% were Bible Centered. 19% were Bible Engaged. 19% were Bible Friendly. 9% were Bible Neutral. 48% were Bible Disengaged.
Almost half said they interact with the Bible infrequently if at all and it has minimal impact on their lives.
There are many reasons for this I assume, but as a Christian, I can’t help but wonder if the way I have lived my life has influenced others to be Bible Centered or Bible Disengaged.
Now, more than ever, we must love and live in a way that compels others and leads others into a saving relationship with Christ. But it seems that we as Christians have fallen into a sense of complacency.
We have become a society that is ever growing in self sufficiency and we find careless security in that self sufficiency. That is the definition of complacency.
I find it interesting that about 3000 years ago, King Solomon, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, warned us about being complacent.
Listen carefully to this passage from .
Proverbs 1:32–33 NIV84
For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them; but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.”
Waywardness is just like it sounds. It is a going away from something. In this case, it is a going away from God and His ways. The Hebrew word is mesubot. It means falling away; apostasy or faithlessness.
It is interesting to me that King Solomon used words that we have not as waywardness and then in the same sentence used a word that means complacency.
There are those that believe they can do their own thing. They strive to get away from religious restraints. They want to make things easier and to take short cuts.
When we make those short cuts, we become content with where we are and allow our environment shape us instead of us shaping our environment.
I have been told that if you put a frog in a pot of boiling hot water it will jump out as soon as it is put in there. However, if you put that same frog in a pot of cold water and turn the heat up gradually, it will stay in the pot and unknowingly die because it becomes adapted to its surroundings.
Part of the problem of complacency is the result of our instant gratification society. We want things our way and we want them right now. We don’t want to work at building relationships because we are too busy doing other things than to put the time and effort into those relationships that is needed to make them special.
I have been told that if you put a frog in a pot of boiling hot water it will jump out as soon as it is put in there. However, if you put that same frog in a pot of cold water and turn the heat up gradually, it will stay in the pot and unknowingly die because it becomes adapted to its surroundings.
The Bible does say “good things come to those that wait” right? Well, no you won’t find that wording exactly in the Bible, but you will find verses like:
Lamentations 3:25 NIV84
The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him;
Galatians 5:22 NIV84
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
Psalm 37:7 NIV84
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.
When we stop putting our hope in the Lord and waiting patiently for Him, we have a tendency to become a complacent people.
2 Timothy 4:4 NIV84
They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.
It is
The waywardness leads to complacency. When one becomes complacent, they don’t even know it.

How Do You Know You Are Complacent?

As I said, the problem is that no feels that they are complacent. So, we have to look inwardly, asking the Father to reveal to us areas in which may lead to complacency.
Psalm 139:23=
Psalm 139:23–24 NIV84
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Here are some things you might find:
You become too easily satisfied. Let me explain:
You feel you are doing all that is necessary in your spiritual walk by coming to church once a week and praying occasionally.
You feel like it is the work of anyone but you to reach others for Christ.
You are no longer moved by a message or a song in a service. In fact you are completely critical of it.
You are quick to make excuses for your lack of growth.
You are constantly critical and perhaps even say, “that won’t work.”
Challenges are allowed to become obstacles, obstacles are allowed to become barriers, then those barriers become excuses.
You don’t have enough time.
You are busy, but your time is not strategically being used for the Kingdom of God.
Since time is being filled with work and busyness, it is easy to dismiss using it for the glory of God…you end up spending your time on what you have always done.
You are no longer teachable.
When you are complacent, you resist being pushed or challenged.
You tend to know it all.
The words, “We ain’t never done it like that before” or “we always have done it this way.”
Someone said that insanity is doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results. The same is true in our spiritual lives. We can’t just get by on attending a service here and there, reading our Bible once in a while, and offering a few prayers. In doing so, we become complacent.
I read of an interview several years ago where Coach Mike Krzyzewski was asked about a certain player winning his first championship in the NBA. The real question, Coach K said, would how winning his first championship would affect him. would it quell a fire on would it start a bonfire?
Would the desire to win more championships make him hunger more or would he be satisfied? Would it be a catalyst of make him coast?
Far too many of us let the fires die. Far too many of us become complacent. See the dangers of complacency?
The Bible speaks harshly about the dangers of waywardness and complacency. It says waywardness kills and complacency destroys. Does that sound familiar?
John 10:10 NIV84
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
The alternative is the delight of Christ.

The Delight of Christ

Aren’t you glad that scripture offers another chance? Aren’t you glad that scripture has the word BUT inserted here?
“But… whoever listens to me will live in safety and be as ease, without fear of harm.”
“Whoever” shows me that it can be anyone. Notice the description in :
John 3:16 NIV84
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Whoever means me and it means you. Does that verse still get to you or are you complacent with it?
Whoever does what? “Whoever,” says King Solomon, “Whoever LISTENS.” Listens means hearkens, attends, heeds, hears, or pays attention.
Do you know the difference between hearing and listening? Hearing is a physical process. Listening is a mental process where we attempt making meaning of we hear.
Proverbs 12:15
Proverbs 12:15 NIV84
The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice.
God’s way is always better than my way. What are you listening to?
Are you listening to the wisdom of God?
How does one listen to God?
We listen by being available to do so.
Psalm 46:10 NIV84
“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
I have to make sure that I am making time to be still. Overcoming complacency means moving away from the routine and creating an opportunity and an environment where you can grow.
2. We can create an attitude of being open to hear from God.
Philippians 2:5 NIV84
Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
John 4:10 NIV84
Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”
James 4:10 NIV84
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
John 4:10
3. We must be able to recognize the voice of God.
The way we learn is understanding Who He is as He reveals Himself in scripture.
Numbers 23:19 NIV84
God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?
Psalm 89:34 NIV84
I will not violate my covenant or alter what my lips have uttered.
Psalm 89:14 NIV84
Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; love and faithfulness go before you.
Psalm 89:
4. We remove the obstacles that hinder us by clearing and renewing our mind.
Romans 12:2 NIV84
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
5. Invite the Living Word to help you when you read the written word.
1 Corinthians 5:3 NIV84
Even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit. And I have already passed judgment on the one who did this, just as if I were present.

Standing on the Promises

Lastly in this powerful passage, we see what happens when we turn from waywardness and move away from complacency. When we turn to turn to our Lord and listen, we “live in safety, will be at ease, and without fear of harm.”
The word safety in this context means a permanent settled condition without fear of danger. It is a place of confidence and security.
To be at ease means to be without anxiety. No worries.
Without fear of harm means wickedness, depravity, misfortune or disaster will not prevail.
It seems throughout the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, that God has designed each of us to live, to thrive, to grow, and to produce.
Waywardness, complacency, or living the way God designed us to be?
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