Cover 2017-10-29

Ron Writes


In a couple of weeks our TWO42 groups will be discussing “Overcoming Complacency.” This caused me to ask myself, “do any Christians think they’re complacent?” Certainly, there aren’t any Christians who want to be complacent. Often after an event, I wonder if I could have done more. Sometimes I wish I were more thoughtful, but I usually don’t think of myself as complacent.

If complacency is the negative I want to avoid, what would be the opposite that I want to embrace? It would be someone on fire for the Lord, full of spiritual energy, one who has great vigor or zeal for God. Instead of asking how to we keep from being complacent, it might be better to ask how we might be filled with zeal.

We’re all zealous for something. We’re zealous against things we hate and zealous for things we love. None of us is without zeal. I guess the real question is do we have zeal for God and His church? In studying about this matter, I discovered that the Puritans put a great emphasis on zeal. They concluded that God stirs up our zeal through ordinary Christian disciplines. They narrowed it down to four things that God uses to stir up our zeal. The list grabbed my attention because it reflected on things emphasized in Hebrews, which seems to deal with eliminating complacency.

1. Prayer. The basic reason that Christians don’t have more zeal is they haven’t humbly asked God for it. Hebrews often speaks of approaching God’s throne with boldness and confidence. Do we ask for zeal? Or for diligence? Do we believe that God can and will give it to us?

2. The Word. What can feed our passion better than the Word of God. Hebrews sees it as “living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword.” Whether it’s being read or we’re hearing it preached, it fuels our zeal.

3. Church Attendance. Hebrews makes it clear that this is a way to provoke love and good works. There’s a contagious quality to zeal. Those who are close to the flame catch fire, while the coals that are alone grow cold.

4. Repentance and Resistance Against Sin. Hebrews sees a real danger in hardened hearts. He specifically warns against being “hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.”

Is it possible to do these things and remain complacent? We’ve seen it too often to think otherwise. The key is not to merely participate in these disciplines, but to seek zeal through them. Let us therefore, be zealous for God!