Self-Complacency Leading to Spiritual Decadence
Rev. 3:17 Because you say, I am wealthy and have become rich and have need of nothing, and do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.
John 7:37 Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.
Eph. 3:19 …that you may be filled unto all the fullness of God.
According to the Word of God and the experience of many saints, the first thing the Holy Spirit does within a person (which is the same work He does within everyone) is to create a longing heart in him. All spiritual progress begins when God initiates a good work in a person through the Holy Spirit by creating a longing within. The first work of the Holy Spirit is to give us a sense of dissatisfaction and to create in us a desire to be better. This is the beginning of spiritual progress. Putting it another way, all failure and decadence is the result of self-complacency. The beginning of failure is self-complacency. Our feelings of dissatisfaction with ourselves indicate the Holy Spirit has begun His work in us and that is the time for us to go forward. Whenever we are ignorant of our poverty and deficiency, we have come to a standstill. Decadence comes from self-complacency, whereas progress comes from hunger. This is a fact, and it is true throughout our Christian life. Invariably the Holy Spirit first creates a desire in us for more, and then God comes in to satisfy us and fill us. In order to perform His filling work, He must first carry out His emptying work. When we are empty, God will fill us.
Some brothers and sisters have a genuine desire before the Lord and are genuinely conscious of their deficiencies and shortcomings. Brothers and sisters, if we have such a feeling, we can rest assured that this life will be ours.
This is because the desire does not originate from ourselves but from the work of the Holy Spirit in us. We should realize that God Himself fills up whatever He has emptied. God will not leave us empty forever; His purpose is to fill us. Since God has emptied us, He will surely fill us. Emptying is merely the means; filling is the goal. Therefore, God never empties anyone without filling him again. If there is a longing heart in us, it proves that we are already under the operating power of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit never engages Himself in a fruitless work. The only question is whether or not there is some hindrance within us. If there is a genuine desire within us, we will certainly receive what we desire. Please bear in mind and be deeply impressed that once the Holy Spirit begins His work, He always finishes it. Therefore, we may rest assured that when we are empty, He will fill us.