A call to run away from complacency.
We like living a comfortable life. Some of us have had dramatic experiences that drew us so much closer to God than we could have ever been under normal circumstances. Others are content to live their lives undisturbed by the truths of the Bible. While there is a time for everything, we should never settle for living our lives in complacency, or being content with what we have accumulated so far in our journey with God. If we read the Bible carefully, we will start seeing that God always calls His people to higher ground. In Jeremiah 9:12-14, God says, Who is the man so wise that he can understand this? To whom has the mouth of the Lord spoken, that he may declare it? Why is the land ruined and laid waste like a wilderness, so that no one passes through? And the Lord says: “Because they have forsaken my law that I set before them, and have not obeyed my voice or walked in accord with it, but have stubbornly followed their own hearts and have gone after the Baals, as their fathers taught them.” When reading portions like these of the Old Testament, we need to understand that God is not just talking to the nation of Israel here but also directly talking to us, today. In the same way that God abandoned their land and left it in ruins, we can also live our lives in desolation and find ourselves wondering why. Though we can find many answers to this question in the sea of Christian literature that exists today, we should come to a sobering conclusion- if we do not walk in careful obedience to God’s voice we will never live in the spiritual richness that God intends for us to experience and our lives will become a wilderness. The Israelites fell in love with the Baals and we can read this portion of Jeremiah unmoved by its message. There are so many idols in the world today but the greatest of all is the idol of self. When we do not obey the voice of God and follow our own hearts stubbornly, we choose ourselves over God. We simply cannot live our lives content because we compare ourselves to the world around us- people whose sins are flagrant- and find ourselves to weigh heavier in the scale of righteousness. We are called to obey God to the very fiber of our existence, to make God our everything, to oppose the flesh and follow the Spirit’s lead on a daily basis, to empty ourselves so that God can fill us with Himself, to not be content to live comfortable lives, to not pray empty prayers, to not read the Bible carelessly but to search out every bit of it with the sincere intention of understanding to the last iota. Run away from complacency! From living your life satisfied with what you’ve experienced of God so far or considering yourself righteous enough. Yes, we can never be righteous enough on our own but Christ can enable us to walk in His righteousness and we should never settle for mediocrity! God reveals Himself to those that seek Him desperately. Time and again, I hear the Spirit of God crying out to us to humble ourselves and to examine our ways. Sometimes this cry is drowned out by the tumult of the world around me or the cares of everyday life, but the cry is always present. You might think your life is not a wilderness but is that true? If we’re not experiencing the true fulfillment of authentic Christianity then we’re not living fully abandoned to God because we are guilty of living in idolatry and we should never be satisfied with such a mediocre existence. In what ways could we be stubbornly following our own heart rather than fully obeying the voice of God? Your life could be lived on the heights of Canaan rather than in the wilderness of self but how few are those that make it there! You could be missing out on so much and not even know it. Are you complacent?