Show of hands please…how many of you are over and done with COVID 19 and just want it to go back to normal? As the weeks drag on, my indifference has increased with each boring day…my lack of concern or interest in things leading only to more apathy. So when I read these Scriptures today, I said to myself, “This must be what it feels like to be ‘out of season’.” I don’t feel like sharing the Gospel Message with others, or reaching out with encouragement…but that’s not what I’m being told to do here. For my feelings have nothing to do with it, and I need to be ready, willing, and able to share the love of Jesus whether I feel like it or not. That’s what being prepared in season or out of season means. It all boils down to this…we are to fight the good fight of faith (I Timothy 6:12)… which means struggling daily with our thoughts and feelings in order to be a tool for God to use.
John was writing to the Church in Sardis…but he could be addressing the Church today in general. When he says, “Wake up!”, John is speaking not of just physically waking up and throwing off our lackadaisical Christianity…but of waking up morally and realizing we have been compromising our faith away. John was talking about comfortable or lazy Christianity…we’re saved and satisfied…but all the while the rest of the world outside is dying and going to Hell.
Can I as a Believer have a hard heart? The answer is yes! Now I’m not talking about full-out rebellion against God…I’m talking more about apathy. For the road to a hardened heart starts simply with indifference and disregard to the Holy Spirit. We hear but we choose to ignore. That’s because we arrogantly think we know better, so we slowly toughen our stance…digging in our heels…holding on to old habits we’re unlikely to ever change. A hardened heart does not happen over night…it is rather an insidious and gradual process of resistance towards God’s authority in our life.
Admitting we’re wrong and asking forgiveness is hard to do. And when it comes to acknowledging our sin before God it gets even tougher. It’s not that we’re deliberately rebelling against Him…of blatantly and conspicuously sinning for all to see. No, it’s rather sins by omission that really mess us up. These are secret sins that are easy to hide…things that only we may know about. These sins of omission are things neglected and left undone in our lives…like regular time in the Word, or prayer. Or they’re things we chose to turn a blind eye to…knowing the Lord wants us to act, but choosing to be apathetic instead. These sins of omission are disobedience at its best and need to be dealt with, for as time goes on, it becomes easier and easier to allow these sins to hide in our sub-conscience and justify them rather than admit they are wrong.
According to the dictionary, the word sluggard means a slow or lazy person. But the term lazy can mean much more than just not wanting to work. We may be a sluggard towards daily time in God’s Word…preferring rather to mindlessly scroll our phones. We may be a lax sluggard, who acknowledges God’s plan and purpose in our lives…but prefers the comfort of our recliner and Media Center more. A sluggard is doomed to poverty so the Proverb says…destitute in both material and spiritual things.
Wake us O Lord. We have walked so far from You that many no longer hear Your voice. We are an apathetic and disengaged people…thinking someone else will kindle the fire within us. Our spiritual lethargy squelches our passion and excitement to read Your Word and obey. Lord, stir Your people…let us shake off our indifference and give you our undivided attention. Wake us up O Lord.