Guard Against Complacency (Zephaniah 1:12) - Radical

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Guard Against Complacency (Zephaniah 1:12)

“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.”
– Zephaniah 1:12

Wow, what a word, what an indictment on men who are complacent. People who say in their hearts, the Lord won’t do anything. He’s not going to do anything good, he’s not going to do anything Ill, they’re sitting back complacent. The word means self-satisfied, smug, unworried, even self-righteous. I just want to ask is there a tendency toward complacency in you or me? Is it possible for us to go throughout a day or many days just complacent, self-satisfied, smug, self-righteous, even not thinking about the grand realities of, one, the goodness of God in ways that overwhelm our hearts and ignite our affections for God?

Zephaniah 1:12 Is a Warning Against Complacency

We don’t want to be a complacent people, we want to be a people who love God with all our heart and soul and mind and strength. Complacency in this sense is the very opposite of the great commandment. It’s to have no feeling for God. No thoughts about God, just thoughts about yourself or the world in a godless way. Or the other side of this, complacent they say in their hearts, the Lord will not do good, nor will he do ill to go through a day without seriously considering the fear of God, the coming judgment of God, the seriousness of sin before God. How easy is it for you or for me to be complacent with sin? To think, oh, this is small sin, it’s not a big deal. It was just a passing thought or word or desire or something you did not a big deal.

God, help us. We pray not to be complacent in any way. Not self-satisfied in any way, unfeeling or smug. God, we want to live lives that glorify you, help us to love you with all our heart and soul and mind and strength today. We don’t want to go a day without loving you with all that we have and glorifying you and experiencing satisfaction in you we desire you, oh God, we want to know you more. We want to enjoy you more. Keep us from complacency. Save us from complacency we pray, and specifically God, save us, we pray, from complacency with sin. God, help us to hate sin, to fear you, to run from sin.

Zephaniah 1:12 Leads Us to Reflect on the Christian Life

When we do sin in any way, no matter how small we might be tempted to classify sin as, help us to see it as significant before you, as a holy God, our holy God, the holy God, and to repent quickly and to run from it and to run to you, Jesus, with zeal, with gratitude. God help us to be joyful, always to pray continually, to give thanks in all circumstances.

Lord, not to live complacent lives, to be full of love for you and full of love for others, full of zeal for holiness, and full of passion for you and what you are passionate about.God, we don’t want to be complacent when we think about 3 billion people who have little to no access to the gospel right now. God, we don’t want to be self-satisfied in that, smug about that, certainly not self-righteous in light of that.

Praying for the Telugu-speaking South Asians

God, we pray, we pray with zeal for the spread of the gospel to all the nations, to all the people groups of the world. Specifically the Telugu-speaking South Asians, not just in South Asia, not just in places like India. God, I think about the church I building. I drove by the other day in my hometown. It was a Telugu-speaking church. All glory be to your name for that Telugu-speaking church in metro Atlanta.

God, I pray, we pray, together for the spread of the gospel among Telugu speakers in the United States and in India and everywhere they might be, that they might love you with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength. We want the nations to love you, to be filled with zeal for you. God, bring it about and use our lives, our prayers now, and our resources and our disciple-making wherever we live, to spread love for you among the nations and in the process, God, to guard every step of the way, every single day against complacency. According to your word in Zephaniah 1:12. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


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