The Calamity of Complacency
by Pastor Kimberly Lemler
I met a woman a few years ago who came to me for counseling. She was out of sorts with her life and was trying to find answers as to why things were not going in her direction. Her health was in decline, her marriage was heading south, and her finances were at the bottom of the barrel. “Disaster” was written all over the cover of her own life’s novel.
Upon further examination of “Diane’s” situation, it became clear to me where the root of the problem lay. She had been very successful in all areas of her life and was on top of the world. Prayer, attention to the Word, and worship had been her mainstay. Then she got off track when she began listening to some of the extreme “grace” teachings that have become so prevalent today. Long story short, she stopped repenting, speaking the Word, doing the Word, and “rested” in her belief that no matter what she did, grace would cover it and there would never be any consequences to her actions. She got complacent…
Complacency is a tragic human condition and is defined as: “self-satisfaction accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies.” How often do we see a business lose customers because they are content with status-quo products or services? Or a teacher loses the attention of her students because she won’t go the extra mile? What about a political candidate who thought he was a shoe-in, but wouldn’t pay attention to the needs of his constituents and consequently, coasted on his laurels and lost the election? Complacency is without a doubt, pure laziness.
There is a misconception in some circles within the body of Christ today that grace equals “do nothing.” This doctrine says that “doing” means reverting back to “The Law” of the OT and that repentance is no longer necessary, and grace is all we need. To them, grace says, “Que sera sera… whatever will be will be”, as long as we have grace. Diane learned the hard way that complacency was a huge open door to calamity, and it was through that open door where she allowed the enemy’s foot to enter and wreak havoc with her life.
In the Bible there are numerous examples of complacency and its consequences, but one in particular is when Christ spoke to the church at Laodicea. He told them, “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth… I stand at the door and knock.” Jesus waits for the door to be opened and shows the paradox of grace and personal responsibility.
New Testament Christians are called to be “doers of the word and not hearers only.” They are called to be vigilant and to resist the devil. They are called to fight the good fight of faith and to take up all of the spiritual armor and to use it. Our faith will not work for us, if we do not put corresponding action with it. (James 2:17)
Grace is a gift. As Christians, we live in a continuous state of grace before God. Grace is wonderful and I thank God that His grace picks me up when I stumble and fall. We certainly do not deserve grace, this unmerited favor, but we received this precious gift when Jesus became our Lord. Grace is not an excuse to stop DOING the works of the Lord and following all of His NT commands. Grace does not exclude obedience. When grace is taken out of its proper biblical context, complacency enters… and where there’s complacency, calamity will rise to meet it.
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour.” – 1 Peter 5:8
©Words To Heart Ministries, Inc. 1993-2019. God’s Healing Power Radio Ministry. GodsHealingPower.org. Pastor Kimberly Lemler. 2012.
Are You Religious?
by Pastor Kimberly Lemler
Many times over the years people have asked me upon our first meeting, and not knowing anything about me, if I am “religious”. My answer to that question has always been and always will be, “No, praise God!” My answer is then interpreted to mean that I don’t believe in God. But nothing could be further from the truth…
Christianity is not a religion – it is a relationship with Jesus Christ. It’s a relationship where His Spirit dwells in us and by faith we believe His Word and trust Him completely with our lives. There is a special bond between the Creator and His children. We live in Him and He lives in us.
Religion is merely a set of man-made ideas, rules and regulations that appear on the outside to be a good thing, but in God’s reality, are only smoke and mirrors. Jesus hated “religion” and spoke harshly to the Pharisees who were judgmental, full of spiritual pride, power hungry and outright hypocrites. They were spiritually dead in their hearts.
‘Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces. You yourselves do not enter nor will you let those enter who are trying to.” - Matthew 23:13
“Woe to you…you are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside, but on the inside are full of dead men’s bone and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.” – Matthew 23:27-28
Jesus did not mince words! He could very direct and harsh with his criticisms. People tend to think of Jesus as this mild-mannered man who tiptoed through the tulips, but in truth, He was bold in His statements and told it like it was. It was His way or the highway and we all need to be mindful of this, as this sentiment is reflected in John 14:6… “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Religion is a cocoon. The cell wall of that cocoon is impermeable, not allowing God’s truths to enter in and keeping toxic beliefs and actions trapped inside. It has a choke-hold on people and it strangles and kills from the inside.
Any religious practice that becomes more important to a person than our Lord Jesus Himself is an idol and the people bowing down to it are idolaters. This happens within the life of the church and we see this in the form of excessive focus on the committees, the fundraisers, the worship music, the building, the routine, the statues, and even the denomination itself. People get hung up on all of these things and make it their focal point and motivation for attending services. Church becomes a Christian country club instead of a place to simply worship Jesus.
A friend of mine went to hear a famous preacher one time, and she said that the people in the audience were chanting his name, awaiting his arrival upon the stage. They were putting that man upon a pedestal like a rock star, and folks, this is pure idolatry. Now , that preacher was the one taking the heat from other ministries looking for a reason to criticize him; but the fact is those people in that meeting were the ones at fault…those CHRISTIAN people, I might add.
“But cowardly, unfaithful, and detestable people, murderers, sexual sinners, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars will find themselves in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death." – Rev: 21:8
So many in the church today are performing perfunctory religious practices that are void of a true connection with our Lord and deep down inside, they are empty souls, hungering and thirsting for something with meaning. That “something” is a true, loving relationship with our Lord. We need to trust in Jesus and what He did on the cross for us out of His love, and not what we can do in our own merits.
Are you religious? Do you believe that keeping rules and regulations will please God and win you a ticket to heaven? Examine yourselves today…
“Keep examining yourselves to see whether you are continuing in the faith. Test yourselves! You know, don't you, that Jesus the Messiah lives in you? Could it be that you are failing the test?” – 2 Corinthians 13:5
©Words To Heart Ministries, Inc. 1993-2019. God’s Healing Power Radio Ministry. GodsHealingPower.org. Pastor Kimberly Lemler. 2009.