WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
JULY 25TH, 2021
TOPIC: DON’T BE COMPLACENT.
BY T. O. BANSO
“Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:12-14 New King James Version).
Complacency is a virus that could infect every aspect of someone’s life. It is a disease that has affected people’s spiritual life, marriage, academics, profession, and so on. There exist many casualties of complacency who could be blaming others for a situation they are responsible for.
The Cambridge Dictionary defines complacency as “a feeling of calm satisfaction with your own abilities or situation that prevents you from trying harder.” Complacency is resting on your laurels. It is “self–satisfaction especially when accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary).
Complacency could be so dangerous sometimes as to lead to loss of life or cause serious losses. The Collins Dictionary describes a complacent person as someone who is “very pleased with themselves or feels that they do not need to do anything about a situation, even though the situation may be uncertain or dangerous.”
Don’t be complacent. Some people are complacent about their spiritual life. They are complacent in their walk with God. They could become complacent because of the exploits they think they have made, making them feel better than other persons. Comparison could lead to complacency. The apostle Paul says in 2 Corinthians 10:12 that those who only compare themselves with each other, and measure themselves by themselves are not wise.
Don’t be complacent. If you’ll walk with the Lord, you must always forget the past and move forward. Don’t be too impressed by your spiritual exploits! Paul, after several years of walking with the Lord, was still not impressed about his record of performance, the sacrifice, etc. He said he had not achieved anything but was pressing forward.
Paul says, “That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead” (Philippians 3:10-11 New King James Version). A Christian who loves the LORD is never satisfied with his current spiritual position; he is not complacent. He makes every effort to grow spiritually.
Paul continues, “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:12-14 New King James Version).
Before this letter, he had done exploits for Jesus in the Gospel ministry. But he was not complacent. He put behind all his accomplishments and reached for the greater goal of reaching the end of the race and receiving the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
The apostle Peter says, “But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, adds to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:5-8 New King James Version).
Part of Paul’s prayer for the Philippians was that their love for each other would overflow more and more, and they would keep on growing in their knowledge and understanding (Philippians 1:9). Don’t be complacent. Keep moving ahead, walking with God. Don’t get carried away by whatever spiritual experience you have had. God wants to show you greater things. He wants to do greater things through you. It is not yet time to retire. Until the rapture, you must keep yourself in constant fellowship with God. To be complacent is to backslide.
Twenty-four years after Abraham left Haran in obedience to God’s call, He told him, “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless” (Genesis 17:1b New King James Version). One could be wondering if Abraham had not been walking with God those years. One could be thinking that God should be commending a man who had obeyed Him to leave his country, relatives, and father’s house, for the land He promised to show him (Genesis 12:1).
But the Bible says, “When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, ‘I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless’” (Genesis 17:1 New King James Version). Did you see that? Ninety-nine years old man! It wasn’t that he wasn’t walking with God, but he must not rest on his laurels. His walk with God must be continuous and get better until he died.
There is no room for complacency in your spiritual walk. Don’t be complacent in studying the Word of God, obeying Him, worshipping Him, praying, fasting, evangelizing, giving. Don’t be complacent in doing all that God expects of you. “He has made clear to you, O man, what is good; and what is desired from you by the Lord; only doing what is right, and loving mercy, and walking without pride before your God”(Bible in Basic English Micah 6:8).
Don’t be complacent. It could lead to backsliding. Hebrews 10:38-39 says, “‘Now the just shall live by faith; but if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him. But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul” (New King James Version). Only those who endure to the end shall be saved (Matthew 10:22; 24:13; Mark 13:13).
The Laodicean church, in the book of Revelation, was complacent. The Lord said to her, “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth” (Revelation 3:15-16 New King James Version). Don’t be complacent.
You could be doing very well in your academics. Maybe you always come first in the class or you’re the best in a particular course/subject. Possibly your Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) in the university currently puts you in First Class. Don’t be complacent. The race is yet to finish. Try harder. It is not over until it is over!
Don’t ruin your marriage because of complacency. Keep working on your marriage even when you seem to have no issue now and all is at peace. Don’t let the devil take you unawares due to complacency. A good marriage can get better; it can become a great marriage. On the other hand, Satan is lurking around to attack a good marriage. 1 Peter 5:8 says you should be sober and watchful for your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour. The devil won’t succeed again you and your home in Jesus’ name.
The people of Laish, a Canaanite city, as recorded in Judges 18, were complacent. They were living quietly and without thought of danger. They never envisaged there could be a war and didn’t prepare and didn’t have allies. They continued to enjoy prosperity. Suddenly, one day, the tribe of Dan attacked them and put them to the sword without mercy. They burnt down their town and changed the name of the city to Dan (Judges 18:7, 27-29). The people of Laish paid dearly for their complacency.
Don’t ruin your business, ministry, career, and so on by complacency. Whatever your success in any area, don’t be complacent. You must go beyond maintaining your success to replicating it by helping other people to succeed. Don’t become selfish. That was the problem of the rich fool in Luke 12 whose ground yielded plentifully. He harvested more than what he had expected but, unfortunately, he couldn’t manage his success.
Luke 12:16-20 says, “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’” (New King James Version).
The rich fool was complacent. He had no plan for going forward. He wanted to retire and selfishly eat what God had cased his round had produced! Proverbs 1:32 says the turning away of the simple will slay them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them. Don’t be a fool.
The Lord said, “And it shall come to pass at that time that I will search Jerusalem with lamps, and punish the men who are settled in complacency, who say in their heart, ‘The LORD will not do good, nor will He do evil’” (Zephaniah 1:12 New King James Version). Settled in complacency is, literally, settled on their lees, that is, settled like the dregs of wine. Not only men, as seen in this scripture, could be complacent, Isaiah 32:9 also talks about complacent daughters. Men and women should not be complacent.
Amos 6:1 says woe to those who are at ease in Zion, and trust in Mount Samaria, notable persons in the chief nation, to whom the house of Israel comes. Whether you’re a man, woman, pastor, or Christian, or whatever you are, don’t be complacent.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, help me not to be complacent in my walk with you and every area of my life. I shall be fervent in the Spirit, not lukewarm in Jesus’ name. Father, deliver all those who are complacent and help those who are casualties of complacency to recover.
(For over 600 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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