November 20, 2012

Are You Spiritually Complacent?

November 20, 2012
Spiritual complacency is a danger that lurks near the door in all our hearts. In our leadership team meeting this month, these questions were part of a challenge given to our pastors and deacons by our senior pastor Mike Summers.

Ask these questions of yourself and consider the state of your own heart.

1. Do I reflect a practical indifference to basic spiritual disciplines?

While we would agree that prayer, the study of God’s Word, personal worship, giving, and service for Christ are to be priorities for the believer, do your actions actually show (by inconsistency or neglect) that you are indifferent to these things?

People who are spiritually complacent do not get there suddenly; it happens gradually. Over time they grow lukewarm to spiritual things and gradually the spiritual temperature of their heart begins to show in their actions. There is no real dependency on God, which is reflected by a lack of prayer. And where prayerlessness abounds, the fire goes out. When a Holy-Spirit-infused passion gets replaced by a dull and lifeless sense of duty there may still be light, but it is without heat. There may still be activity, but it is without power.

2. Do I withdraw from engaging with the body? 

Do I find reasons to justify pulling away from fellowship with others in the church? Am I involved in helping anyone become more like Christ? Do I come to worship only because it is expected or because I am a pastor or a deacon? Do I make it a priority to pray for others and do I take advantage of opportunities to be with others so that I can love them, serve them, support them, assist them, edify them, exhort them, and encourage them in their faith?

3. Have I taken on a self-sufficient approach to life? 

Do I see myself as not needing anything? Is my opinion of myself so high that I don’t think that I need the ministry of others in my life? Do I view God’s church as unnecessary for my growth and sanctification? Do I approach life as a Lone-Ranger-Laodicean Christian who has become so self-sufficient that I am in need of nothing?

4. Have I adopted a cynical attitude toward life and a critical spirit toward others? 

Am I always looking at what is wrong with the church rather than what God may be doing that is right in the church? Am I hyper critical of my wife, my children, my friends, and my church?

5. Do I withhold investing my time, resources, and spiritual gifts from being used for Christ? 

Have I justified being selfish with what God has entrusted to me to be used for His glory?

If your answer to most of these questions was “yes” then you are spiritually complacent and what you need is revival. The good news is that you are now aware of it and can do something about it. In Psalm 85:6 the psalmist cries out to God to bring, what has died, back to life. He is calling on God to revive and restore a spiritual vitality that had been lost.

Revive Us Again


In Psalm 85 the psalmist recognizes a desperate need for God to work in the hearts of His people. His prayer reveals several things to us:

Psalm 85:6 - Will You not revive us again, That Your people may rejoice in You?

1. There is a personal recognition

See your complacency as a need for revival.

2. There is an essential request

Ask God to revive you out of the slow death complacency causes.

3. There is a spiritual renewal

God alone restores spiritual vitality where there was complacency. Spiritual complacency is not broken by trying harder, doing more, or acting better. It is only broken through God’s work of spiritual revival. But to revive us, God first has to break us. Many who are considered heroes of the faith experienced what it means to be broken (Psalm 51:8, 17).

Spiritual brokenness is not something that can be manufactured or manipulated. It is a work of God on the life of the believer who sincerely desires the Lord to be the all-consuming passion of His life. It is the result of spiritual honesty and is the first step in the revival of a man who is spiritually complacent.

4. There is a joyful result

Joy is the fruit of revival! Self-sufficiency makes us self-centered, self-absorbed, and self-confident. This causes us miss out on the joy that is found in finding our satisfaction and fulfillment in God alone.