MPOW: Hosea 13 – Complacency With Abundance

NOTE: MPOW stands for Ministry Passage of the Week, and contains a verse that comes from Bible Boot Camp, an intensive leadership development course that I am teaching this fall to about 20 growing leaders. Click here for other MPOWs.

Hosea 13:6 — Complacency With Abundance

[4] But I am the LORD your God from the land of Egypt; you know no God but me, and besides me there is no savior. [5] It was I who knew you in the wilderness, in the land of drought; [6] but when they had grazed, they became full, they were filled, and their heart was lifted up; therefore they forgot me.

Hosea 13 is a passage that most followers of Christ have lived and experienced, much to our regret. When things are comfortable and easy, we get proud and walk away from God.

Though we are quick to criticize the Israelites of the Old Testament for their faithlessness, we are prone to the same cycle.

Here’s how it went in the book of Judges, and it’s the same challenge we face today:

  1. Sin — the people sin against God.
  2. Servitude — they experience the enslavement and pain of their sin.
  3. Supplication — they cry out to God for help and deliverance.
  4. Salvation — God rescues them.
  5. Silence — they get complacent and stop trusting God. The leads back to #1.

This is why our current cultural climate can be so spiritually refreshing. Many of our comforts and things we place our security in have been and are being stripped away. It makes many people ripe for the gospel. And it makes us see our need for God.

But how will we keep our relationship with God passionate even when we’re experiencing blessing and seasons of comfort?

First, I’ve found it helpful to, as much as possible, never let yourself get to a place where everything is easy for you. Keep putting yourself in environments of risk–places where you’ll have to depend on God’s grace for what you need. It’s this process of stretching ourselves that is what makes us grow. Put yourself in a new place of service. Invest yourself in a set of relationships that will stretch you. Try something that is impossible without God’s help.

Also, do constant battle with your pride. Have a godly friend or two who will call you on your sin and point out when you’re getting a little too comfortable with yourself.

Question: What have you done to overcome this tendency towards complacency during times of blessing?

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