(Originally written for 2005 New Year)
Lot of hopes for a new beginning on a clean sheet stir in your heart. Many decisions to say goodbye to sinful habits are made. A renewed effort is made to seek God. You long for His blessing on your life and work this new year.
It will come. This can be the year of the Lord’s favor for you. But it does not happen automatically. There is something that you need to set right before God can bless.
It is not a question of one particular sin that you repeat again and again that prevents God from blessing you. But it is an attitude. This attitude looks innocent and harmless. But it builds a huge wall; rising between you and God’s blessing day by day. This wall has to be razed to the ground. Then His blessing shall flow like a river into your life and flow out to others out of its fullness.
What sin is it that is like such a huge wall? It is the sin of complacency. One dictionary defines complacency as: “A feeling of satisfaction with yourself or with a situation, so that you do not think any change is necessary; the state of being complacent1.”
This sin of complacency is what destroyed the Israelites from enjoying the fullness of the Promised Land of Canaan. Joshua asked this question to them: “How long will you wait before you begin to take possession of the land that the Lord, the God of your fathers, has given you” (Joshua 18:3 NIV). Their failure to take possession of what God had given them was due to complacency.
They were happy as they were. They did not want to conquer further. You have to remember that God had already given them the land. But it was their duty to take possession of it. Sadly, they were complacent and failed in their duty. That meant that they failed to fully enjoy what God had already given them. Instead many perished.
Are you not in a similar position today? The Bible says: “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are `Yes’ in Christ” (2 Corinthians 1:20a NIV). The question is how many of these promises have become a reality for you? Remember, already they all have been given to you in Christ. If you are not enjoying any of these promises even now it is only because of your complacency in claiming them.
This attitude is dangerous. For in Christian life if you do not move forward you are moving backwards. Every new day is an opportunity to move forward. So is a new year. If you fail to move forward, know for sure that you are moving backwards.
If you look back and find that you have remained at the same position for many days then think again. You have been complacent. This year God may not permit you to remain so. Remember the warning to the Church in Laodicea: “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So because you are lukewarm–neither hot nor cold–I am about to spit you out of my mouth …Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent” (Revelation 3:15,16,19 NIV). Let this new year be a God-given chance for you to repent of your complacency. If you do not do so God will rebuke you and discipline you. This is not to take revenge on you, for “He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities” (Psalm 103:10 NIV). But this is a sign of His love: “Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness” (Hebrews 12:10 NIV).
This passage further tells you that no discipline is pleasant but is painful. But later it brings good. It therefore exhorts you to strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. In other words; get out of your complacency.
The Bible Speaks on Complacency
A few points on complacency emerge from the verses above:
New Year Prayer