But a few months down the track, my 'Yes' and 'Amen' has turned to a 'meh'. Perseverance and standing firm on his promises has slowly ebbed away and complacency has cunningly taken hold. I partially believe in the promise, but will I wait for it? It seems questionable right now. I'm tired of what I feel God has said and I'm no longer stirred by what he made it clear that he would do…plus I'm bored of the idea of that word.
I don't even understand it and how it can work without some kind of miracle (hmm). Sometimes I feel embarrassed by it. My energy for that fight is running on low.
The Message Bible translates God's word to me as "This vision-message is a witnesspointing to what's coming. It aches for the comingâ€"it can hardly wait!And it doesn't lie.If it seems slow in coming, wait.It's on its way. It will come right on time."
The dictionary tells us that not only can complacency be about feeling smug with ourselves, it's about being unaware of "some potential danger or defect." Is it therefore dangerous that I become complacent and lack-lustre about my situation, thinking God will do it anyway?
And how do I make that soul shift, with an energetic heart ready to believe and surrender my will to be aligned to God's will for me?
Psalm 95 verse 2 commands us to "come into his presence with thanksgiving"; David praises with his "inmost being" in Psalm 103 verse 1…and even after Jonah's whale experience, he has a "voice of thanksgiving" – now ready to actually follow through with the very thing he ran away from confronting. (Jonah 2 verse 9). Many times through the bible, it is with thanksgiving that the men and women are able to hold firm to God's promises. The Psalms could even be re-named as 'The Thanksgivings", they are so full of 'Yes' and 'Amens' to God.
There are times
There will be times when we may not feel like praising God, but Psalm 50 verse 23 shows us that, "The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me."
And it is New and Old Testament theology; Hebrews 13 verses 15-16 talks about it too – "Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise – the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased."
A sacrifice? What does a sacrifice of praise actually mean? It might sound like an oxymoron, but means that it costs me something. Have you ever heard someone talk along the lines of, "I will praise him through and despite my circumstances"? Jonah may have resolved to praise God, but it was still from the inside of a whale's stomach. If you want to be removed from your challenging situation (or vomited out of a whale's stomach…), then turning your complacency to praise might be your catalyst for change.
And remember, when our hearts are not praising God, they start to harden. To paraphrase Mars Hill Church, when a heart is not saturated in thanksgiving to God, it immediately begins to dry out, harden, and fail. Therefore, if our hearts are only saturated during happy times, then during tough times, hearts harden and close down. In short, they don't need God. They turn away; they complacently deal on their own with their situation. Our peace and joy can easily vanish and we are left empty and confused.
Praise brings an intimacy with God that invites him into every part of our lives. Worship brings us into his presence as Psalm 100:4 declares; "Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name."
If every act of praise brings intimacy with God, can we have a focus of praise in all that we do? So that every act becomes an act of worship? I'm committed to making this my pattern – to keep remembering that every small detail I do, is in honour of him, to praise him, to thank him.
It might be worth asking for forgiveness around your complacency – God's grace always reconciles us to him. And ask Him to give you a thankful heart – thankfulness brings us back to right place – when we see God's goodness we are reminded of what he has promised.
Try it. You'll be surprised at how your heart lifts to believe again. I was too…
References found at:
Amanda Robinson is originally from The Lake District in the UK. Amanda works in Publishing in Auckland and is passionate about seeing Christians bring salt and light into the media, arts and creative industries. She is also working on fighting her FOMO and doing less.
Amanda Robinson's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/amanda-robinson.html