Discussion/Devotional Thought of the Day:
It is, I believe, the greatest sin that challenges my generation of believers, and I know that it presents the two biggest challenges I have, as a pastor, and as a believer.
The first is dealing with the apathy of others – the lack of commitment of time and energy to the thing that we will confess means the most to us, our relationship with God, our trust in Him, the communion that He calls us into. We allow sin to come in and choke the Life lived in trusting God out. Choked out by the noise, the prevalent immorality, the pressure of finances, the demands on our time, the futility of the events of the world and leaders whose actions terrifying us… and as the Church, we become paralyzed.
The second is more personal, as I look out on my work, and say, what can one small church pastor do to stop this slide? I don’t see any reason to swim against the tide, unless I can bring others with me. So why fight, when few it seems actually want to join in the battle? When few even want to see the battle, but instead look to their own comfort. I read the prophets, and I identify with the Jeremiah’s who realize that there is an end to the battle, yet wonder how distant it will be, how far until the next revivial, the next time that god’s people stop doing what is right in their own eyes, and call out… to Him.. and find His presence…and knowing that peace is there no matter what – start joyously sacrificing to bring others into that peace, that joy, that merciful presence of God.
When will we realize that sacrfiice, isn’t sacrifice if what comes out of it completely obscures what life was like, before there was LIFE?
One of my favorite verses, which doesn’t seem like it deals with apathy, is from St Peter’s epistle. “simply concentrate on being completely devoted to Christ in your hearts. Be ready at any time to give a quiet and reverent answer to any man who wants a reason for the hope that you have within you. 1 Peter 3:(Phillips NT)
It does though, for it provides the answer to apathy, which is simply to adore the Lord who wasn’t apathetic towards you. To know that hope which He gives to you, as the Holy Spirit dwells within you, which is both the guarantee of God’s love and work and mercy, and the Comforter, Encourager and Strength. Realize that there will be days when the old adam, the you before you knew Christ, rises up and questions the worth of you action. Remind that old self that he was killed off in baptism, that your life now, is in Christ. You heart and mind, guarded by Him, kept in the Father’s unsurpassed, indescribable peace….
And you will find yourself apathetic, about dealing with apathy…. and as you are drawn by the Holy Spirit against the current of the world, don’t be surprised if others follow in your wake, their battle a little less, for you that is how God is using you. (and note – when you are weary.. their surge will help you as well.)