Have We Forgotten?

Philippians 1:3-6 “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;.”

“We have forgotten the gracious hand which has preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and have vainly imagined in the deceitfulness of our hearts that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving Grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us.”

Abraham Lincoln

Complacency is dangerous, its a position that denotes a feeling of smug or uncritical satisfaction with oneself or one’s achievements. Most people who are reasonable would never even think of labeling themself with such a designation; the issue is, we do it all the time.

We have a moderate amount of success and then sit back and rest on our laurels. In the world, when it comes to money, careers, or power, I suppose people can get away with a certain amount of complacency without even noticing. In the Kingdom of God, complacency leaves the man or woman of God suseptible to attacks of the enemy.

Spiritually, a Christian who becomes complacent has placed themself in harms way. The self-satisfaction of any spiritual victory leaves a person in a weakend state of self-reliance. The moment a warrior for Christ thinks higher of themself, they place themself in a position to fall.

Jesus was never complacent.

What was it that gave Jesus the drive to keep pressing forward, to not rest in past victories but ever looking forward to the present circumstances?

One word: Vision

Vision for Today

2 Peter 3:11-13 “Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.”

The vision we carry today are the building blocks we set in place for tomorrow. This vision is not our own but is founded on the Word of God by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit working in our lives. The Lord sets our future, prounounces our future destination with an assurance to rejoicing with Him into eternity. As we keep our eyes forward, we can see more clearly as to what is necessary today.

Holy conduct is conduct that is meaningful, purposeful, and set apart for the glory of God. Living life as a member of the Kingdom of God is not an attempt to act holier than everyone else, it becomes a heart issue dedicated as a loving sacrifice to God’s glory.
If holiness is to be set apart, godliness is to exemplify Christ through obedience.

Holiness is the endeavor, godliness is the means.

We hasten for or desire earnestly the great and coming day of the Lord. It is through this hastening that we perserve hope. Hope does not sit back complacently and rest on its accomplishments; it perseveres, it presses on through trial and difficulty, and it remains steadfast and unwavering in commitment.

Can you think of anything else that has similar characteristics of hope?

Love.

“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” 1 Cor. 13:4-7

Love never fails.

So you may ask, how you can persevere when you are weak, feable, broken, or unable to because of limited resources?

1 Thessalonians 1:2-4 “We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers, remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father, knowing, beloved brethren, your election by God.”

Remember, you have been chosen by God for a purpose. He didn’t choose you to be some guy you admire in missions or some lady you think has it all together…He chose you because He made you, He created you, He forms you into His image and will complete the work when it is done.

God’s love never ends.

Vision for Tomorrow

Matthew 6:33-34 “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

The vision we have for tomorrow is developed by the understanding of living righteously today.

We could get so caught up in a future hope that it draws us into a holding pattern of waiting for Christ’s return; we could lose valuable time that God has given to us now. We have no idea how much time we have left on this earth, we don’t know if our health might change overnight, or opportunities that present themselves could fade away and be lost forever.

We know what we must do…now go do it.

Seek the Lord with all your heart, don’t lean on your own understanding, allow Him to take care of the details in a world that might seem overwhelming when in God’s eyes it moves according to plan.

I know a lady that was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer on Dec. 2nd. On Dec. 25th she died. The day before she was diagnosed, she had a stomach ache and went in to see a doctor, nobody, including herself thought her time was so short.

Acting in Good Faith

The faith it takes to trust in the Lord grows the more you use it. Stop exercising your faith and it grows stale like a loaf of bread left out to spoil.

Complacency not only takes your eyes off of who it was that completed the good work, but when placed on yourself it tends to water the seeds of fear.

Zephaniah 1:12 “And it shall come to pass at that time
That I will search Jerusalem with lamps,
And punish the men
Who are settled in complacency,
Who say in their heart,
‘The Lord will not do good,
Nor will He do evil.’

In the soon and coming day of the Lord, it is the complacent who will be caught unaware. Resting on their false hope of strength and power, they will find out too late that their strength wasn’t enough.

After Israel was delivered from the oppression of Egypt, the Lord God warned them about complancency:

Deuteronomy 8:14-17 “when your heart is lifted up, and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage; who led you through that great and terrible wilderness, in which were fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty land where there was no water; who brought water for you out of the flinty rock; who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do you good in the end— then you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth.’

Complancency has found its lot with a host of people:

  • The wicked (Psalm 10:4)
  • Foolish Shepherds (Jeremiah 10:21)
  • Deceived at heart (Ezekiel 33:31)
  • The sluggard (Hebrews 6:12)
  • The adulterous woman (Proverbs 30:20)
  • False healers (Jeremiah 6:14)
  • The foolish builder (Matthew 7:26)
  • The foolish worker (Luke 12:47-48)

There are so many incidences of complacency leading to ruin, it would be wise of us to regard ourselves that we might not settle into this same behavior.

If we forget what and who got us to where we are today, we will forget in whom to trust for our future tomorrow. The attitude of love toward God is to trust in His provision as we continue to press on. We press on with what we have and what we can do…nothing more, nothing less.

Take what God has given you and offer it back to him in service. You will find the return will be worth far more than the offering.

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