In Revelation chapters one through three the Holy Spirit speaks to the churches in Asia. Only two of those seven churches were praised by Jesus. Five of them had been compromising somewhere. Either they had fallen in love with the world, or been committing spiritual adultery with other gods, or had left their first love, being Jesus, or had become lukewarm in their faith and were therefore neither hot nor cold. The Bible states that the one who has been entrusted with much will give account for what they have been entrusted with. America has been spoiled spiritually. We have had churches all over the place, Bibles available for the taking, T.V. preachers, radio preachers, Bible podcasts, and digital media devices with a plethora of biblical “stuff” available..
So it is clear we have had the message of salvation and the hope found only in Christ available for a very long time. In fact the nation was founded upon biblical principles at its roots. But why are we in such a state of chaos, and disagreement, between Christians and are opposing one another? And why is the nation, from the top down, opposed to the God of the Bible? Why does it seem, everyone is doing what is right in their own eyes? (Judges 21:25)
I honestly believe these verses below give a hint regarding why we are in the condition we are in. I would call it “spiritual complacency”. And I believe we are reaping what we have sown. Though these are verses from the Old Testament they apply because they show a spiritual pattern of those who, after receiving the blessings and knowledge of God, soon become complacent in their comfort, and forget God, which, according to Paul, the Old Testament was written for our instruction. May we learn from those of the past.
So, God speaking through Moses says to Israel, who had received God’s blessing, provision, and Spirit to lead them:
‘“Take care lest you forget the Lord your God by not keeping his commandments and his rules and his statutes, which I command you today, lest, when you have eaten and are full and have built good houses and live in them, and when your herds and flocks multiply and your silver and gold is multiplied and all that you have is multiplied, then your heart be lifted up, and you forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, who led you through the great and terrifying wilderness, with its fiery serpents and scorpions sand thirsty ground where there was no water, who brought you water out of the flinty rock, who fed you in the wilderness with manna that your fathers did not know, that he might humble you and test you, to do you good in the end. Beware lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’ You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day. And if you forget the Lord your God and go after other gods and serve them and worship them, I solemnly warn you today that you shall surely perish. Like the nations that the Lord makes to perish before you, so shall you perish, because you would not obey the voice of the Lord your God” (Deut. 8:11-20, emphasis mine)
Therefore our problem is one of “PRIDE”. We took our relationship with God for granted. We stopped relying on His provision for our needs. We stopped thanking Him for His blessings and started to pat ourselves on the back. We relied basically on ourselves for everything. We went to college and built careers by our own strength and with our own wisdom. We planted ourselves in the world and built houses to dwell in and acquired more and more wealth “on our own terms and according to our own wisdom”. We became the richest and most powerful nation… in order that (originally) we might proclaim His goodness and glory to the nations.
In all our aspirations the ONE thing we forgot was God. We left Him in the dust. And instead of us reflecting Him to the nations, we mirrored “self-sufficiency” “self-promotion” “self-esteem” “self-provision” “self-love” “self-help” “self-confidence”. We mirrored Pride and arrogance. Now, this may sound like I am talking about non-Christians. I am not. I am talking about God’s children. Saved individuals. We were to reflect Christ through lives of “salt and light”. Through humility and dependence upon our Lord. But we became rich, comfortable, and complacent. Now we are reaping what we have sown. And we now believe we are to live “healthy, balanced lives”. That is garbage. We are to live humble, extremely dependent, as little children, holy, sold out for Jesus, lives!
So, what is our hope. The good news is “JESUS” is humbling us in His great mercy so that we might repent of our proud, self-sufficient lives. That we might fall on our faces and return with all our heart to Him alone. Now, some will fall away. Some will not return (I say this because the Word says this). But, all who are broken, hungry, thirsty, weak, troubled, sorrowful, and who are tired, will return. And those who have been consistently walking with Jesus all along, and have not fallen for the lie. We are the ones who warn, who call out, who sound the alarm, and who rest under the shadow of the Almighty God (Ps. 91). Those who take refuge in the Lord will be hidden from the storm! We mourn as we watch, we grieve with the Lord, and we carry a heavy burden. Yet we rejoice in the presence of the LORD!