These hot, lazy days of summer make it so easy to just do nothing. It’s like the month of Ramadan for my Muslim friends. You’re not eating, the energy level decreases and sleep comes easy. Sluggish is a good word for this kind of feeling.

Being raised by parents who grew up in the days of the Great Depression and World War II, days when convenience was not the norm, I didn’t see many expressions of sluggishness in my house. They worked hard, took care of their five children and were never late for any meeting at church.

Times have changed, and as I watch the changes in American culture (and world culture for that matter) from the perspective, not just of my upbringing but of a person who spent twenty years overseas, I believe I see a new but not new phenomenon happening among those who claim to follow Christ.

Spiritual sluggishness.

Though it’s hot outside, we’re lulled to sleep in our air-conditioned churches and homes, forgetting to be doers of the Word and not hearers only. Most are not even hearing the Word or reading the Word on a regular basis. Many have stopped going to church altogether — there’s so many other things that need our attention. “I know what they talk about at church, I don’t have to be there all the time to hear the same old thing.”

That’s when I’m reminded that we have a role as followers of Christ to provoke each other — to prod and poke our brothers and sisters — reminding them of the urgency of the task, the importance of our witness to a lost and dying world, and to the imminence of Christ’s return.

There is no time to waste sleeping!

And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.*

We all have a role to play in the Great Commission. Whether you’re a prayer warrior, a discipler, an evangelist, a teacher, an administrator or even…a writer…you are needed in accomplishing the task.

Have you decided to retire from the Christian life? Think you’ve “done your part” and you’ll step back for others to have a chance? There is no retirement in serving the Lord. Our roles may change, and while we may let others have the opportunity to step up in service, that doesn’t mean we step completely down and throw in the towel.

Living a life of purpose continues on till the Lord takes you home or returns. Don’t let the easy life dull your heart and mind and make you spiritually lazy. I’m provoking you now to be spurred on to love and good deeds for the Kingdom, to keep meeting with the Body of Christ … and do it even more, because Jesus is coming soon!

How long will you lie there, you sluggard? When will you get up from your sleep?* 

Wake up and experience the joy of service for the Kingdom. The benefits are eternal! Don’t be afraid to provoke your brothers and sisters as well. We’ve got work to do!

Grace and Peace


*Hebrews 10:24-25 (KJV)

*Proverbs 6:9 (NIV)

5 thoughts on “Provoked

  1. Thank you Carol! You are such a blessing to meJ

    Vicki Fagan Hutchings, EA CPA CGMA



    Hutchings CPA, Inc.

    1840 Heritage Park Plaza

    Murfreesboro, TN 37129


    Fax: 1.877.296.2930

  2. I’m 70 and still very active in my church. It is disheartening to see the lack of commitment in the younger generations. Too many worldly desires lurking them away from the Word and church. I’m anxiously awaiting for the Lord’s return soon! Thanks for your blog posts.

    1. Thank you, Sylvia. I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately too and am looking for how I can engage the youngers personally first and then in service second. I’m praying for the Lord to show me how to encourage them — provoke them nicely — and be a part in training them for the task. Looking forward to HIS return too!

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