• Our hope-filled future is bound up in sharing the story of Jesus, in discipling others, in bringing those disciples together into communities of believers, and in developing and releasing those believers to create other communities... till Jesus the King comes again!

Standing at the window of complacency

complacent425I received the note below from a WT colleague in response to my post on “how not to let the Gospel change our hearts”.  I thought it was a powerful reminder of how the Gospel works deeply in our hearts and so I share it with you, with the permission of the author:


“Yesterday as I stood at our window I felt a heart of gratitude for the reprieve of the past two weeks. The weather grew a few degrees cooler and a sweet breeze swept into our 37th floor windows. I had been getting so low emotionally due to the heat that it had taken the wind out of my sails and I was left feeling rather defeated and dazed, unable to move forward in any direction that would lead to any productivity.

Then the whirlwind of the holidays came and it forced me to move forward-sweeping me quickly and completely  into ministry hospitality mode; but just two days after Christmas I got sick and had to slow again to a crawl but this crawl was not one of complacency but one of necessity and blessing. I began to rest physically and also rest spiritually. I reached for the Word to find delight. Between resting, reading and good conversations with my husband I began to take a look backwards and forwards. I looked backwards to where I have been this past year in my walk with the Lord and I looked forward to a new place of where I felt the Father longed for me to reside.

Today the heat is back but so is a fresh passion and desire to fall in step with the Father on His Kingdom journey.

I sense God is moving me into something new. I can’t totally place my finger on what this is; but I sense it is a time in my life to go deeper into the Word, and to live in the fullness of the Word of Truth of what I already know and to be watching for whom God will bring my way to live the life of the Gospel with.

Several years ago I felt bound up in the rules of the church that I had grown up in. I was tired of the guilt I felt when I didn’t have my “devotional” time, and then felt God was pleased with me when I  checked off each time I read the Bible and prayed. I knew that time in the Word was needful for my spiritual growth, but I wanted to flee from the oppression I felt of having to earn God’s favor. I remember very clearly making a decision that I would not read my Bible unless my heart hungered and yearned for God.

I can see God smiling at my decision. Over the years I have read the Word and I have read it often. God was faithful to woo me and draw me in to Himself with a hunger for righteousness; but lately, these many years later I have come to a new place of thirst. As I reflect on this past year I praise God that despite my human efforts at trying to quell my legalistic bent- He loves me enough to pour into me a thirst that can only be filled with communion with Him and time spent in His Word.

I resonated deeply with the quote that David R. recently put in his Thoughts Along The Journey.

John Calvin wrote these penetrating words back in the 1500s: “Complacency can exist even without any belief in works.  For many sinners are so drunk with the sweetness of their vices that they think not upon God’s judgment but lie dazed, as it were, in a sort of drowsiness, and do not aspire to the mercy offered to them.  Such sloth is no less to be shaken off than any confidence in ourselves is to be cast away in order that we may without hindrance hasten to Christ, and empty and hungering, may be filled with his good things.”

As we take a quick glimpse back at this past year and place our gaze forward for what 2014 holds, I wonder where we have become complacent. What areas of our lives have we drowsily gone through the motions but have not experienced the depth of the sweetness of God?  What area of our lives has become rote, where we find that our robotic motions hold no luster of the richness of the Gospel or passion for the lost?

I would urge each of us to ask God to give us a new hunger and thirst for righteousness this year, so that we don’t lose the window into the world in which God has called us to reach. I feel compelled to ask myself and to invite you to ask God to draw each of us out of our complacency and fill us with the sweet-richness of all God longs to show us about Him and to move us in step with His Story and where we fit in this dialog with the world around us.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.” Matthew 5:6-16”

One Response

  1. Thanks for sharing this honest and transparent account. There is much truth and wisdom here about godliness and genuine freedom in Christ, without legalism’s bondage or it’s antithesis–careless liberty!

    I am sure many of us have experienced obstructive busyness and unwelcome barrenness which leave us feeling guilty or ashamed because we neglected or excused devotional times. But we must learn to keep the various means of communion with God open, and one way is to keep on dwelling in Scripture. Another is to choose by faith to abide in his love and grace and not depend on our acts of devotion.

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