Individuals of habit are rarely stable people; they are structured around both known forms and are constrained nearly constantly by time. Their character traits are determined by repetition, the continuity of their existence is based almost solely upon a known entity, a common and well accepted practice, and with these individuals change brings uncertainty.
If they arise five minutes later in the morning, they are rushed to complete the tasks that they themselves have set upon them, if five minutes to early, the extra time is not relished, but refuted, time that must be filled with something, anything. They are dependable people, unwavering in their undertakings, as long as the path of sameness remains unchanged, as long as there is no variance to the order that has been set before them. Modify their existence though, even in only the most minor way, and they will become confused, unsure of what they should do, for they know only the known, and cannot foresee with any sense of surety that which is new. These have found security in repetition.
Outside of the protection of this repetition, they can find little confidence in themselves, there are no leaders in this group of humans, all are trustworthy, loyal, and dependable, but they are nearly all followers, needing to be told what to do, and finding much difficulty in adjusting their lives when the inevitable change occurs. These individuals can see what needs to be done, what needs to be repaired back to its original intent, but they have little foresight as to what needs to be invented, what new thing needs to be pondered. They are good people, they are dependable, but they must be led, and so many are led astray, they are, as it were, prone to persuasion.
I mentioned to a friend of mine once who is a pastor what he thought about reversing the order of the Sunday morning service, and he was more than against the idea, the formalities of repetition are far too ingrained in those who seek, and in many cases as we have just stated, need repetition, need the continuance of sameness for their minds to function properly. Our adversary is quite adept in this knowledge, slow change produces little fears, and little fears can be assuaged with connections to past attributes.
Sing four songs instead of five, and within just a few years the choir is down to three songs, and then only stanzas one and three, small performances by the children in the Sunday school classes are over time replaced with large screen televisions showing entertaining videos, thirty minute sermons are cut back to fifteen, and the “extra” time is used for greeting and small talk. It is quite easy to lead astray most people, simply move them along a different order of events slowly and over a long period of time.
A God-fearing, Christ-centered, Bible-believing “Thus saith the Lord God Almighty” group of Christians can be easily persuaded to believe that God is only love, that to speak His name to the lost may offend them, to search out how to better themselves as Christians instead of being obedient servants, it just takes a little time, and you will find yourself amongst a congregation satisfied with being the thirty Christians, with perhaps one or two sixties, and virtually no one-hundreds. Sermons have been watered down so that people will not feel convicted, the message has been changed from die to self to be the best Christian you can be, happy people have replaced obedient slaves to Christ.
The majority of the body of Christ has moved away from the strength and power of the Lord God, and has instead become static, resting on their assumed salvation, seeking the betterment of self without the leading of the Holy Spirit. It took a few decades, but Satan’s plan has worked quite well, make them believe they are Christians because they attend church regularly, place within them that it is normal not to witness to the lost, that this obligation is for the pastor and others, even many who stand behind the pulpit agree, simply invite them to church and you have fulfilled your obligation to Christ.
The fires of hell are now a forbidden subject in most churches, the wrath of God that abides on the wicked (John 3:36) is not mentioned, only love and forgiveness, only the parts that make us feel better about ourselves, the areas that far too many have been led quite slowly to with great care and over very little time, so that they were blind to the change, so that they now believe that these are the normal attributes that define what a child of God is, a church attendee. The patterns simply needed to be modified, the order of events changed subtly, replace fervent desire with contentment, replace the eternal view with one of the temporal, replace faith with works, and then reduce these works to almost nothing.
We have amongst us today a lot of people who believe they are saved because they are good people, because they go to church, because they are polite and kind, but they are people who spend more time on their mobile devices than they do in the Word of God. “But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.” (Matt. 13:8) Many pastors have resigned themselves to preaching to the thirty crowd, and feel fortunate to have even that many in their congregations that can profess to being so, they have modified their sermons to never offend with the Word of God. “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Heb. 4:12)
Individuals of habit who crave repetition can easily be led astray, it just takes a little time. Spirit led, powerful men of God are a rare thing today, held in contempt by the world, ridiculed by many who profess Christ as being too staunch, too conservative, too controversial. The world calls them fools, the congregation sees them as a liability, the Lord sees them as faithful.