If there have been two particular tactics being used by the Enemy this day and age, it has been complacency and/or despair. I find that, at times, I am either in one one or the other. Sometimes, depending on what side of the bed I woke up on. It’s been especially noticeable, lately, that I tend to drift towards one end or the other. I find myself either wanting to ignore things or when I focus on them, I tend to want to be fearful. We know that either is not of God and they are not proper options as Christians. These are just a few thoughts I have had on them as I have worked through them.
One definition of complacency is a quiet pleasure or security while unaware of potential danger or defect. It is to keep your head in the sand. It’s understandable for our current situations because we feel helpless. We don’t want to feel helpless and we also don’t want to feel scared. So we keep ourselves occupied with our own lives in the hopes that whatever is going on “out there”, it won’t come here. The danger with this is that we are trusting in a false sense of security. Bad things do happen and they can come right to our doorstep. We end up ultimately unprepared and in the despair that we were avoiding in the first place. Also, we can be spiritually rendered useless.
Despair, on the other hand, is the feeling of complete loss or absence of hope. This is also an understandable place to be if we are only looking at all what is going on around us. It is dangerous because we either wear ourselves out trying to compensate for every “what if” depleting our resources, time, and energy as well as be emotionally/spiritually drained. We end up with nothing to show for it but grey hair and ulcers. We lose sight of God. We trust only ourselves and if/when trials come, we find ourselves without the strength to deal with it in a way that points to God as well as draws us to Him.
So, if you’re like me lately, and have found yourself either in the boat of complacency or despair, I would like to encourage you with a few reminders (because I know that you know these things).
- As I mentioned at the beginning, recognizing that both complacency and despair are tactics of the Enemy. He wants to render us fruitless for the kingdom of God. Recognizing that this is of Satan and not of God emboldens us to not accept this as status quo and to fight it.
- Cast your burdens on Jesus. The Bible tells us to, so we need to do it! That doesn’t mean push down the burdens so that we don’t really know that they are there! Nor does it mean mull them over and over in hopes that somehow worrying about them will keep us from harm. Acknowledge them and then go to the Lord with them. Ask Him to take them. You may find that you have picked them back up again, march yourself right back to His feet and lay them back down again. Keep doing so, if that is what it takes, until you have truly laid those burdens at His feet. Y’all it works! I can tell you that I truly know when I have finally let the burden go and have given to Him. I feel the load lighten and am at peace.
- GET. ON. YOUR. KNEES! For me, lately, this has been my biggest weapon against complacency and despair. I pray. I talk to God about the issues, the problems, what may lie ahead..not because He doesn’t know, but because He’s my Father. We talk about His business because I get to be part of it. I pray fervently for His mercy and for wisdom. I pray to be equipped if trouble comes. I intercede on behalf of my loved ones, neighbors, church and nation. I don’t just do a 5 minute “please, God” I get down on my knees and hash this out with my mighty God. If more comes, I do it again. I may stop what I am doing at times and shut myself in the bathroom or closet at work. I don’t push it down nor do I allow it to weigh so far down on me that I cannot stand as a child of God, which is what we are! As children we have the permission to boldly approach the throne of God. Not only the permission is given, but this pleases Him for us to do so.
- Thank Him for Today and Trust Him for Tomorrow. I can’t tell you what more 2020 will bring, but I can tell you what He has done for me through what this vicious year has brought so far. And so, I lay down at night and I thank Him for it. Then in the morning, I ask for the grace for the day including protection as well as equipping for whatever comes my way. I don’t feel equipped and sometimes it brings a sudden fear, but I can choose to trust God that, by His Grace, that He will equip me with what I need at that time.
Lord, open our eyes to see you. Let us see the world through You and Your Word. Equip us with Wisdom. Secure us with Peace. Fuel us with Joy. Motivate us with Hope. May we be your image bearers in all of this. May we reflect your light to a dark generation. In your name, I pray.