Thanks for the question Patrick....It's a good point which allows me to clarify what I'm getting at.
When I look around what I don't see is the "many" . . . including many professing believers . . . being overly concerned or even concerned at all about pleasing God, living for God, loving God more than anything and anyone else; which is the first commandment. I don't see us suffering from being too strict on ourselves or ever coming close to trembling in righteous fear of the Lord.
Instead . . . I see an easy grace-ism . . . all is well . . . flow with flow . . . spiritual apathy . . . coldness of heart towards God and Godly things . . . spiritually lackadaisical meandering . . . time, energy, money, thought, feelings 99% focused on worldly things . . . dullness toward lifting up and praising God . . . fear of man . . . desire to please others, self, not God . . . excitement over worldly pleasures, meanwhile a dullness and boredom over the ways and reality of God . . . etc. So, as much for my own prodding and slapping myself awake I tend to regularly try to turn my attention to what I know is truly an awe-inspiring, precious, fearsome, thrilling, incredible, crushing, mind-blowing situation: This being given the gift of life and the gift of salvation--to be designed specifically and lovingly by God FOR HIS PURPOSE . . . and to ever be mindful of the pitfalls of falling into the mundane, iniquitous, mind-numbing habits and trance of sin and this corrupt world.
I think of the martyrs; the Apostles . . . and those amazing martyrs of the early church . . . and all those through the ages, many unsung and unknown to history . . . including those recent and current.
I think of how their faith and hope and loyalty to the Truth, to the revelation of God was such that they would rather be horrifically tortured . . . than utter a simple denial or offer up their hidden scriptures. I imagine the many then and the many now . . . who profess belonging to Christ . . . who would not think twice about fudging a bit if confronted with the same dire, mortal threats, because their testimony and witness . . . is not real, not deep, not passionate, and not held more dear than life and comfort itself. And I believe, whether we can or not (which we can't) we are yet commanded to be like those early saints, for they did love God above their own lives . . . and we ought to also.
I know that in this state of affairs, this side of perfection . . . we are bound to yet be selfish, self-centered, natural enemies of God, weak, stumbling, falling and failing continuously. By no means am I meaning to say that it is possible here to truly and wholly "love God with all our heart, mind and strength." And certainly I am not saying we judge our salvation by how "well" we are doing or that how we are doing warrants greater favor in a salvific way with God. I believe that we are saved solely through Christ's perfect righteousness and that . . . once saved . . . this is what God even presently "sees" when He looks at us.
But I am saying this. . . . That if we are truly saved and thus profess belief and the name of Jesus as God--as our God--then we ought find ourselves growing in sanctity, even if it is inch by inch, two steps forward, one step back. The sign that we are the Lord's and that the Holy Spirit is working in us is that the world does begin to lessen its hold on us, becoming increasingly dim and uninteresting, while the things of God, including God Himself . . . become(s) brighter and more enticing and alluring. When I see someone who claims to be saved and a believer . . . yet their life does not change or . . . if they in fact seem only to be becoming more worldly . . . well . . . I believe we can be judged by our fruits--by the fruit of the Spirit. A good tree doesn't produce bad fruit and vice versa.
And I know plenty of cases--some of them quite well known--where a professing believer came to realize that they were not really a believer at all, but a false convert, and only later, when God . . . through life . . . or through some teacher or verse . . . woke them up to this dangerous fact--that they were living a lie. And always they are thankful for that shaking awake. . . . As I always am when I am convicted by someone or something. I thrive on it and I notice that all true believers do as well...