Do I take God for granted?
How easy is it for me to fall into apathy to sin?
It is too easy to become a lazy disciple some days. It is too easy to let the little sins slip, “Surely I’m not a terrible person, and the Shepherd is merciful to His sheep.” God who forgives, and loves so abundantly, God who is endless in mercy, Christ who suffered His Passion so that we may be redeemed through him; “surly my little sins don’t matter in the grand scheme of things, as long as I stay away from the big ones, I’m fine… right”?
In Isaiah 58.1-9, the prophet Isaiah is addressing this situation, he’s speaking to a people who have begun to take God for granted, forsaking God’s commandments yet turning to God for favours and “righteous judgments”. Isaiah is speaking to a people who have become so comfortable in their God, that the meaning of what it is to be a child of God has been “lost in translation”.
When we take our forgiveness and God’s endless mercy for granted, when we assume we can “relax” in how we act, and how we are as disciples, we worship falsely, in deceit, and fail at being true children of God.
As disciples we are not called to fall asleep on our watch, or become complacent in fending off sin from our lives, but rather, we are to stay vigilant, awake, ever watchful, and ever on guard for sin. Certainly as human’s we will fail, but this is where we take comfort in our merciful Father.
True discipleship and worship start with the effort and practice of denying sin from entering our lives, and being constant in our effort to stay that way. When we falter and sin scores a point, it is a return to that constant effort that finally marks us as disciples. Let us equally not be harsh to ourselves, but instead let us be committed in the goal that we should not allow ourselves to become complacent in our discipleship.
Lord Jesus Christ,
You died on the Cross to reconcile the world to Yourself,
Grant us strength and vigilance against sin,
Help us to never become so comfortable in Your love that we stop trying,
And help us to help each other remain alert disciples.