Tag Archives: Spiritual complacency

Revelation

If only God would just tell me what to do! Have you ever made such a statement? You really want to follow God’s directions in your life but struggle to see clearly. You feel like you are in a fog. That happens when spiritual complacency sets in. To clear the fog, we must develop a hunger for truth (God’s Word), go deep with God, and seek God’s revelation.

In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son
(Heb 1:1-2, NIV)

Intimacy

Moses had an intimate relationship with God. He was God’s spokesperson to the Israelis as he lead them out of bondage in Egypt. Moses faithfully executed God’s plan as it was revealed.

Intimacy is much deeper than a casual acquaintance. Today, many Christians have a casual acquaintance with God. When head knowledge (or awareness) is transferred to heart knowledge (experience), then intimacy can take root. It is great to know that Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins, but it is far more significant when we experience that knowledge by trusting Him in all things.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.
Do not be wise in your own eyes;
    fear the Lord and shun evil.
This will bring health to your body
    and nourishment to your bones.
Prov 3:5-8, NIV

The other day, our pastor said – “Knowledge received and not acted upon is just information. Knowledge received and acted upon is faith.” Intimacy requires going beyond just reading the Bible, attending church once a week, and praying occasionally when a need arises. Intimacy includes transformational experience.

Transformation

The Apostle Paul tells us in Romans 12:2 we should be transformed by renewing our minds.  Furthermore, the Bible tells us we should draw near to God James 4:7-8 and He will draw near to us.

A marriage does not last because of a wedding ceremony. A marriage lasts because two people commit to be true to each other, to grow an intimate relationship and to flee from the life before marriage.

To change from the old way of life (before salvation) to the new way of life (after salvation) requires a continuous effort. The enemy (Satan) wants to keep us from having intimacy with God (John 10:10). He constantly reminds us of our past and tells us we are not worthy of God’s love. That is a lie straight from the pit. When Satan reminds me of my past, I remind him of his future. Jesus defeated Satan on the Cross and has sealed me through the Holy Spirit. Any person who is a child of the King is protected from the grip of evil.

Transformation begins with a conscious change of attitude. Every day when I rise, I must choose what I will believe and what fills my mind and what controls my actions.

I am a child of the King, filled with the  Holy Spirit. My mind is controlled by the Spirit of Truth, not the father of lies. I choose to follow Jesus, not the crowd. My joy comes from my relationship with God, not the world, not my friends, and not my co-workers. I am not perfect; I am forgiven. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Gal 2:20, NIV

Trust me, my friend.You can have intimacy with God. This is what He desires. Nothing the world has to offer can match the joy that will fill your heart once you develop intimacy with God.

Thanks for stopping by, y’all come back now.

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Deep

In the fall of each year, 128 NCAA Division FBS college football teams begin their journey hoping to be one of two teams competing at the National Championship game where only one team walks away with the title and trophy.

alabama-clemson-title-game-trophy

These two teams did not succeed by chance, lottery or by vote. Their teams were not selected from a bowl of names. No, their achievement was based on their commitment to go deep. Their hard work and training instilled a level of confidence and a ‘can do’ attitude.  They worked together as a team, lifting each other up and encouraging each other to push a little harder. Their strength training and emotional preparedness pushed them to this deep level.

In a previous post on Spiritual Complacency, I outlined 4 steps to get our spiritual muscles in shape:

  • Staying Hungry for God
  • Going Deeper with God
  • Getting Revelation from God
  • Living in the Overflow

Going Deeper with God

Knowing who we are in the spirit is important to our spiritual depth. God wants to give us revelation for the destiny and calling He has for our lives. The blueprint for this path can only be accessed in the spirit and understanding our identity in Christ.

Remember I told you that my youngest daughter suggested I write about what God was teaching me. She sent me a new book written by one of my favorite Christian authors, Ted Dekker. The book, titled The Forgotten Way, is a 21 day journal that leads to the discovery of who you truly are.

And interestingly, our church has begun a series entitled Focus Forward. If I am in Christ I am a son/daughter of God. My Heavenly Father approves and validates who I am and He loves me!

nlc-focus-forward

So what are some things we can do to go deeper with God?

  1. Recognize our spiritual identity. 2 Cor 5:17
    Knowing who we are in the spirit is essential to our spiritual life. God wants to show us the destiny and calling He has for our lives. This calling can only be understood by firmly know who we are in Christ. For an understanding of who you are in Christ, click Who Am I? to download 90+ Bible verses that will help you clarify who you are in Christ.
  2. Arm ourselves with God’s word. Eph 6:10-18
    
Our life should be governed by the word of God. The Bible is a spiritual sword that cuts away the false ideas and harmful things the world tries to attach to our life. How can you expect to know what God’s word says if you do not study it (or at least read it).
  3. Deny ourselves for His Kingdom. Mark 8:34-38
    Jesus says we must deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Him, if we are to be His follower (or Christian). We cannot continue in our old way of life before Christ after we become a Christian. While salvation is a free gift from God through Jesus, our lives should be different as we reflect this new relationship. One cannot be married and continue living as a single person at the same time.
  4. Maintain our inner joy and peace. Gal 5:22-24
    The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance (tolerance), kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness and self-control. These are the characteristics that our lives should reflect daily. Initially, it may require an effort on our part to exercise these characteristics. The deeper we walk with God, the less effort it will take.
  5. Grow in wisdom. James 1:2-7
    We all make mistakes. We should learn from our mistakes so we can develop wisdom. We should pray for peaceable and pure wisdom that only comes from God.
  6. Feed our spirit daily. Heb 5:11-14
    The deeper our walk becomes with God, the more Satan will attempt to trip you up. Spiritual battles may become a daily routine. If we do not tend to our spiritual needs, we will become spiritual weak, just as our physical bodies will become weak if we neglect proper nourishment. Feed your spirit daily through prayer, fasting and reading God’s word. Make this a priority!

WOW! That’s deep. Yes it is. We would never attempt to run a marathon without proper training. These steps will prep you for a life changing marathon.

I used to see myself as a physical being with a spiritual side. Today, I see myself as a spiritual being with a physical side. My physical side will decay over time.  My spiritual being will live on forever for I know I am a child of God. Gal 3:26; 4:6. And that is pretty cool.

Next up will be Getting Revelation from God and finally Living in the Overflow.

Hope you are enjoying the journey as much as I am.

Thanks for stopping by, y’all come back.

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Abundance

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.

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