Christmas has come and gone; we are in the final week of 2016. We’ve experienced an abundance of gifts, food, and family gatherings. The minds of many are held captive as they enjoy playing with their new and cool gifts. Think about a cool gift you received 5 years ago. Does it still capture your attention? Has something newer taken its place?
Think about relationships. That first kiss, or the perfect mate that captured your heart. Years later do we feel the same way? I can remember the joy of meeting Jesus. My mind was like a sponge. I wanted to learn more about Jesus so I spent hours reading the Bible, attending various Bible study classes. I remember listening to various popular and gifted Christian authors and speakers as I drove from place to place.
But then life happens. Things get in the way of the ‘honeymoon’ phase of Christianity. And eventually, the joy that was once there is dulled by things that are not important. Complacency has taken root. In chapters 2 & 3 of the book of Revelation, the Apostle Paul writes letters to 7 churches. The letter to the church at Ephesus address this complacency:
Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. Rev 2:4, NIV
So, what happened? I believe it is possible for Christians to lose the joy they once had because that is Satan’s goal.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. John 10:10 NASB
Jesus want believers to experience an abundant life, yet Satan wants to rob that from us. Satan does this by slowly attacking us in various ways. I recently read an opinion article on Chrisma News titled “8 Signs You Are Under Spiritual Attack. The number 1 sign is a lack of spiritual passion.
“The enemy comes to steal your tenacity for the things of God. Suddenly your prayer life seems stalled. Your commitment is tested and you can’t seem to push though. You feel as though you are just going through the motions.”
While reading that article, I thought about the early Christians in Ephesus who were characterized as having lost their first love. Acts 19 tells a powerful story about the spiritual life and growth in Ephesus. Real revival was happening as the Apostle Paul ministered there. People were being saved, they were being baptized in the Holy Spirit, Paul’s preaching reached thousands, supernatural miracles were happening. The dramatic change Ephesus experienced due to the spread of Christianity impacted the businesses related to idol worship. And Satan did not like that at all.
In a letter the Apostle Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus we read how the church flourished in spite of the stronghold Satan had over the community through idol worship in the Temple of Artemis (also known as the Temple of Diana). Paul offers two prayers of encouragement for Christians in Eph 1:17-19 and Eph 3:16-19. And at the end of the letter, Paul encouraged Christians to remain strong by putting on the full Armour of God (Eph 6:10-17).
Is it possible for Christians to keep spiritual complacency out of our lives? I think it is more than possible. It will take work – and it will be worth it. What must we do to avoid spiritual complacency? I believe we must develop our spiritual muscles by:.
- Staying Hungry for God
- Going Deeper with God
- Getting Revelation from God
- Living in the Overflow
Come back to find out how we do this?
Thanks for stopping by, y’all come back now.