Judges 10:6 “Then the children of Israel again did evil in the sight of the Lord…”
Acts14:15 “Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men, of like nature with you, and we bring you good news, that you should turn from these vain things to a living God…”
Jeremiah 23:22 “But if they had stood in My council, then they would have announced My words to My people.”
Mark 9:19 “O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you?”
We all can get off track; chasing after idols, playing around with the forbidden, participating in gossip or slander with a neighbor or against a co-worker. We are also prone to following after charismatic spiritual leaders, becoming comfortable in relying on the weekly inserts in church bulletins to inform our lazy minds what God is saying (at least to the televangelist or pastor). Why is it so easy and dangerous to run with the crowd? I think it is complacency. Complacency is a lack of effort, a slipping away from spiritual vigilance over our soul. We let day after day go by without so much as a glance at the Word of God or a heartfelt, intercessory prayer for others. It may be difficult to identify how our morals, beliefs, and intentions have been compromised. We cannot see it happening. Yet, our testimony, (not the one that brought us to Christ, but the one that we speak every day with our words and actions) points to this falling away. Over time, we will have to admit we have been compromised when our omniscient God pulls us up abruptly with the words, “…cut it off; it is better for you to enter [eternal] life…than to be cast into hell.” Strong words, I know. Yet I have seen the devastation when a believer falls into the death grip of denial and immorality. Years of wasting away a life once devoted to the things of God, now self-serving. The collateral damage will require the faith of saints and the mercy of God to repair.
I once heard that most Americans are but a paycheck away from homelessness. In the same way, our spiritual bank can become low in reserves of truth, belief, faith, utter dependence on, and gratitude to God. We will find ourselves homeless, holding onto the transitory thoughts and mores of our world and our own darker imaginings. Our good deeds will not save us; avoiding the reckoning will not delay the inevitable; minimizing the consequences will not justify us. We can tough it out and hope the saints are wrong, or we can repent and return to diligently seeking the Master’s face, asking for His mercy, putting away the things that interfere with discipleship, then serving Him with our whole heart. My own conscious tells me this is so – have mercy on me, oh Lord.
From the archives. Originally published July 27, 2013.