RELEASING GOD'S KINGDOM IN THE EARTH
Complacency isn't taught much in church circles. There is a lot of talk about laziness, procrastination, lack of self-discipline and other character flaws along those lines. But there are not a lot of discussions about complacency.
If you're like me and haven't heard much preached or discussed about the subject, then I encourage you to please read this post. Because the Lord definitely had something to say about it that still applies today.
To begin, let's first look at the definition of complacency. Here is how Webster's defines the word:
The first thing to understand is context because I'm sure some who may read this are thinking, "what's wrong with approving oneself, congratulating oneself, etc." And the short answer is, nothing. But further context is provided when you begin to look at other pieces of the definition: laxity, carelessness, smugness. These words convey an attitude of being satisfied with doing just enough to get by. Not only being satisfied but approving or admiring one's own work or self for putting forth little to no effort in one's work, conduct, interaction with others, etc. Laxity suggests looseness. We are loose in our character, which carries over into looseness with everything else we do or say. We approve and congratulate ourselves without having done or said anything worthy of either sentiment. We are lazy without understanding that we need to do anything about it. That is the pinnacle of complacency. And it's an insult to God.
Zephaniah 1:11-12 says,
"At that time, I will search Jerusalem with lamps, and I will punish the men who are complacent, those who say in their hearts, 'The Lord will not do good, nor will He do ill.' Their goods shall be plundered, and their hearts laid waste. Though they build houses, they shall not inhabit (live in) them. Though they plant vineyards, they shall not drink wine from them."
You may ask why the Lord would come down hard in this manner. Because complacency is a spirit that manifests itself in the assumption that doing just enough is all that is needed to get by in life. That excellence requires no effort. That the work is what it is, and everyone just needs to accept that fact, including God. That, in fact, God doesn't really care one way or the other. Mind you, complacency is NOT contentment. One can be content in life. The Bible tells us that godliness with contentment is great gain (1 Tim. 6:6). But those that are content in life are still putting forth effort to attain excellence; they are still progressing and achieving (or looking for ways to do so) their objectives.
To be complacent is to not care anymore about anything or anyone; and to be proud about not caring. In a way, it's like giving up on life. For a kingdom person, this is an unacceptable way to live because a kingdom believer understands that the purpose for living this life is to produce fruit for God's kingdom that remains. Now, there are many different ways to produce fruit - just as there are many ways that gifts, talents, abilities, and anointing manifest among God's people. To give up on partnering with the Lord to bring His kingdom to the earth is giving up on God. If we look at this from the Lord's perspective, we can see complacency being a serious thing.
The good news - God always brings things right side up - is that we can allow the Holy Spirit to set us free from complacency. The Holy Spirit is the One who can break every tie or cord that binds us; He's the one that can set us free so that we can do what the Lord asks us to in a spirit of humility and excellence. The Holy Spirit is the One who can set us back on the path of achieving excellence in not only walking in godliness but in accomplishing the will of the Father in the earth.
Complacency is one of those silent "killers" of our faith in Christ. We have to look in the mirror of the Word of God, or in prayer to see it. We need the help of the Lord to see plainly. If it seems that you've lost your fire; if things are "comme ci, comme ca"* with you; if you feel like you're treading in place with no desire to move forward, then you may need to check to see if complacency is at the root of your discontent. Once you do, allow the Holy Spirit to step in and uproot it from your life so you can again move forward in Christ in His joy!
*comme ci, comme ca = French for so-so; neither good or bad
I was in conversation with an acquaintance the other day. He told me about a woman who was in a marriage with a man that dominated her. And that she liked it; she liked being dominated.
I immediately objected to the notion that this woman enjoyed being dominated. That, in fact, no one in their right mind "enjoyed" being dominated. I went so far as to suggest that he probably had not been in a situation where he was dominated because if he had, he would not have made that statement. I then assured him that I was speaking from personal experience. He was quiet for a moment before hurrying to get off the phone.
I thought about the conversation. I wondered why anyone thought enjoyment and domination belonged together in a sentence, as if one was connected to the other. Then I thought about the Lord and His interactions with His creation. Did the Lord dominate mankind? Was He a subjugator? Was His reason for creating mankind influenced by a need to force our submission and obedience? Releasing the kingdom of God on the earth begins with His Word, and allowing the Holy Spirit to reveal God's heart and intentions. This is for our benefit and growth. But the Lord does allow us the option to partner with Him in the earth. Now, does He want us to partner with Him? Does He want us to take Matthew 28:19-20 to heart and obey the command to make disciples of all men? Yes! Does He dominate us, force us, intimidate us in any way to ensure our compliance? No, He does not.
So, to dominate or not to dominate? Well, we have to first define dominate. What does it mean?
Dominate - to rule or control; to exert supreme influence; to have a commanding position; to occupy a superior position; to conquer, overpower, subdue, subject, subjugate, subordinate, or vanquish
Given the definition, are we sure this is what we want for ourselves? Is this what we want to do to others? If we answer yes to either question, then it's time to do a heart check because to operate out of this spirit towards others is supported nowhere in the Bible. In fact, the only thing God called us to dominate was (is) the earth. And really, He was instructing Adam to RULE and exercise GODLY AUTHORITY over the earth and its creatures. It's important to make this distinction because we should care for the earth, not abuse it. God's intention is that we work within the plumb line of His commands, His Word, and His wisdom in order to execute the authority we have in Christ Jesus, in the earth. Genesis 1:26-31; Luke 2
God NEVER told us to dominate other people. As a Book of Acts people, we follow the pattern and example that Jesus set so that our dealings with others are above reproach. He didn’t dominate people. He exercised GODLY, SPIRITUAL authority over demons, the devil, situations, and people. But it was done as He was led by the Holy Spirit. It did not come from a place of control or domination for its own sake. He established Kingdom order. Domination is an outward manifestation of pride and arrogance, bordering on witchcraft. We see this with every interaction of the Philistines and Israel; with Saul and David; with how the Pharisees dealt with the people of Israel; even with Rome, and its dominance of the world at that time.
We must operate guided by the plumb line of the Word of God. And we must be led by the Holy Spirit. The bible is clear regarding our dealings with others, especially with Christian people. In 1 Corinthians 6:1-11, Apostle Paul strongly rebukes the church in Corinth for their inability to handle disputes between each other, for filing lawsuits against each other, and thus inviting the judgment of the world in matters that should have been correctly handled in a biblical manner.
Finally, the Word of God says we are to walk in a manner that is worthy of the calling of God on our lives - our calling as His people. The example of humility that Jesus modeled is the place from which we are to operate. We are to be gentle with one another; not proud or haughty; patient with one another and bearing with one another in love. We are to never dominate or lord it over one another. And, to carry the pattern further, we are to demonstrate God's kingdom in the earth by how we treat one another so that the world may know that we belong to the Lord. Ephesians 4:1-3; Colossians 3:12-17
To dominate or to not dominate others should never be a question amongst the family of Christ. To deal with each other, and the world, with the love, compassion, and mercy of Christ allows us to bear fruit for the kingdom of God that remains.
The "face" of the Church has experienced many transformations through the ages being pressed on one side by the political climate, and pressed on the other side by religion. God's people have had to adapt to the times in which they lived. Sometimes, this meant the church had to "move" underground, navigating the spread of the gospel of Jesus Christ in secrecy. When the climate was more favorable, the church was free to preach the Good News.
One thing is certain: the mandate Jesus gave to the apostles before He ascended to heaven still stands; that we are to make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and teach them the ways of the kingdom, with the promise from Christ that we would do greater works than Him because He was going to the Father.
Shield Maiden Ministries has been raised up by the Lord as a prophetic voice to the nations and God's people to:
The foundation scripture for Shield Maiden Ministries is Jeremiah 51:20. Now, the term, "shield maiden" is not mentioned in the Bible. Shield maidens were Viking women warriors and warrior chieftains that battled alongside their male counterparts. I will expound more in another post. It is my prayer that you, the reader, are blessed. I pray that you are excited to learn how to live as a believer in the 21st century. Finally, I pray that as this age closes (Jesus' return is closer than we know) you are more hungry for the Lord and His ways than ever before. God bless you!
Janíce Bradley is a product consultant with Allstate Health Benefits in Jacksonville, Florida. She is also an author and editor with her own business, Exact Writing Services, LLC. As an editor, she provides line, content and copy editing for other authors and content writers. She is adept at proofreading for spelling and word usage, grammatical structure, and syntax for presentations, books, reports, manuscripts and websites.