Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "God Of Grace And God Of Glory"1 (Lyrics)
Ezra 5:8 – The king should know that we went to the district of Judah, to the temple of the great God. The people are building it with large stones and placing the timbers in the walls. The work is being carried on with diligence and is making rapid progress under their direction. (NIV)
For the first five years of life in our present home, we lived with walls throughout most of the house that sported pink and yellow insulation covered in vapour barrier. At first, this took a bit of getting used to, but over the years, it became the norm.
When we purchased the house, we had a ten-year plan for its completion, and we began the work with diligence: a new roof and attic, new front and back enclosed porches to replace those that were literally falling down, new windows, electrical work, siding on the outside of an existing addition — the needs never ended. And then, we decided to take a break. After all, we were tired, and the place looked so much better than it had when first acquired. Before long, however, taking a break from moving forward toward our goal became an established habit, and we became mired in the pitfall of complacency.
This year, however, as we have been thinking of moving, we decided to make the choice to press on and have the drywalling done. The difference was astounding. We actually had real walls. The rooms were warmer and appeared cleaner, larger, and brighter, which, in turn, has motivated us to continue our planned renovations with diligence.
Taking breaks can be a great thing. We all need times to refresh and rethink. However, when they become habitual, especially in regards to our spiritual life, they can become dangerous. How easy it is for us to allow the busyness of our lives to become our priority while we shelve our spiritual obligations at home or church. The Bible study group becomes a thing of the past. Attending Sunday morning services falls away. Helping out with the ladies ministry is too time-consuming. Saying grace before meals disappears. Our Bible and prayer lists lie on the shelf gathering dust. Before too long, our spiritual zeal and growth slide into a funk. We are no longer making rapid progress within our Christian walk under the direction of the Holy Spirit. We have become mired in the pitfall of complacency.
Where are you today? Where am I? Am I taking an overextended spiritual break, mired in the pitfall of complacency? Or do "I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus"? (Philippians 3:14 NIV)
The choice is ours to make.
Prayer: Father God, by Your goodness and grace, guard our hearts and minds from the pitfall of spiritual complacency, that the work of Your kingdom here on earth may be able to progress rapidly through the diligent work and zeal of Your people. In Christ's name, we ask. Amen.