Status Quo

Mike Focht 12/29/2023

The status quo will be a constant danger to our spiritual growth. The status quo I am speaking of is the societally acceptable Christian crowd. Those accepted into the safe circle of the status quo are confident and happy where they are as Christians. If you challenge them about anything in particular, they will point to all the other Christian people around them who agree with the amount of Christianity they display. The status quo has become their measuring stick for spiritual growth. 

   There will always be a temptation to look around and measure our growth by those around us. Do I pray like the best prayer I know? Do I know the Word better than these people? How do I serve compared to the others I see serving at my church? What do the other godly people I fellowship with watch, listen to, read, or do with their kids? Subtly, the status quo begins to replace the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. 

   Unfortunately, we cannot stay in the status quo and grow. Waiting to grow in a crowd is like standing in slow-moving quicksand. We may not die, but we sure are sinking! If we remain in that place for an extended period of time, our spiritual muscles will begin to deteriorate. The distance we travel shrinks to a small circle. The fruit we bear becomes predictable and regulated, and soon, the harvests are noticeably smaller. The status quo may not have changed outwardly—the friends are the same, the services are the same, the times are the same, and the ministry looks the same—but inwardly, we have deteriorated!  

   The lure of the status quo may seem like a particular danger for new believers, but it is also dangerous for those who have walked with Christ for many years. It is easy to believe we are where we should be in Christ as long as we join the status quo of “mature saints” in the fellowship. Our past leaps of growth when we were willing to make personal choices to follow Jesus irrespective of others became a thing of the past. We won’t say it out loud, but we live like all growth is behind us. We don’t expect more physically. We don’t expect more spiritually. At least nothing drastic, notable, or dangerous. Certainly, nothing much different than the good people around us. The truth is that the status quo has begun to kill us. 

   The status quo insulates us from taking uncomfortable steps physically, emotionally, financially, spiritually, and in terms of lifestyle that personal spiritual growth requires. Saints can only tread water for so long before their lack of growth manifests itself in self-pity, self-indulgence, self-love, and self-justification.  

   Beware of the status quo! It will always be calling and welcoming. Press on to where others are not going, even the other godly men and women you know. Obey Christ irrespective of others. Measure your obedience by the commandments of Christ and not the liberty of other people you respect. Take personal steps to follow Him when others are not looking and will never care to. Walk with Jesus in all the beauty that the simple phrase can express. And maybe, just maybe, God will use your life to encourage others to venture beyond the borders of the status quo to whatever and wherever the Lord is leading.