You have a difficult circumstance from which there is seemingly no escape. Suddenly, God gives you an idea that turns the situation around resulting in VICTORY! Your enemy is defeated! You celebrate! You rejoice! You’re now ready for the next step in God’s plan for your life! As you set off on your next great adventure, filled with confidence, you enter into a beautiful place of rest and peace. Surely this is your reward! You relax and take your ease, allowing your mind to rehearse your former victory over and over as you revel in your accomplishments. Now…where were you heading? Where was the next place you were supposed to occupy in the spirit? The drive you once had slips away as you daydream about places you might go and things you might do… someday.
Wake up! You have been lured into the land of the Lotus Eaters!
The Greek poet, Homer, wrote the fantastical journeys of the hero, Odysseus, and his men. Odysseus (you may recall from your school days) was the mastermind behind the Trojan Horse: a clever ruse that resulted in the Greek victory over the once impenetrable city of Troy. As you can imagine, the people rejoiced and celebrated their triumph, sailing away from Troy ready for more conquests. Riding high on their victory, Odysseus and his men make a raid on a city, plundering and pillaging goods.
As they escape with their treasures, Odysseus’s ships are blown off course and they find themselves on a beautiful island. The natives are peaceful and provide the men with lotus flowers for food. Soon, the men find themselves in a blissful state of tranquility. They rehearse the victories of days past and dream sleepily of a homeland they may or may not ever see again. Purpose is sucked away by apathy. Daydreams become clearer than reality. Motivation slips through their fingers like the sand in the hourglass of time that is wasting away. Unless they are awakened, they will sit idly by forever and never accomplish one more thing.
Think about it…how many of you can say, “I was once so on fire for the Lord, but now…I was once passionate about prayer, but lately… I used to lay hands on my family and believe for their healing, and I saw it happen immediately, but the last time… I remember the time I had a great financial need, and I sowed a timely seed only to see that need met supernaturally, but…” I’m not talking about rehearsing past victories as you face a new battle. I’m talking about the ways we find ourselves stuck from time to time, wondering how we got into a place of apathy when we know for a fact that we have experienced victory in the past. If we are not watchful and awake, we will find ourselves like Odysseus’s men: trapped in a sleepy state of contentment, happily rehearsing old victories with no motivation to move forward.
How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? When wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? [Yet] a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.
Poverty of spirit will result in natural poverty. When we allow ourselves to fall into the lair of spiritual lotus-eaters, our motivation to press into the things of God slips away. A ceiling develops over our lives and ministry, and we begin living off stale manna from days gone by. We’re content with what we have already done and are not interested in pursuing more. We become worthless, ineffective, and forgotten. Generations of Christians have done this. Denominations have fallen victim to this. What about you?
The Church cannot afford to be content with rehearsing our past victories while ignoring the things God intends for us to take care of today, tomorrow, and in times to come. Friends, there is more in front of us than there is behind us! Our best is yet to come!!! So, put the lotus flower of contentment down, stop living in the past, and let’s get going! There are great adventures yet to be had in the Kingdom of God!