by Pastor Tim Burt
For about two years as a very young adult, I decided to believe there was no God. I did because I didn’t like the thought of going to Hell. I was sure that if it existed, I would end up there. The thought of it terrified me and so it was easier to adjust my belief system to move God out and declare He did not exist. When I did that, it affected every part of my life. The more I said it, the more I believed it—at least for a while. I then acted on it and became a crazy party-hardy person with a dulled conscience.
What we believe affects and shapes every part of our life—especially what we say and how we act. When I decided I didn’t believe in God, it affected what I thought, what I said, and how I acted. That is what faith or belief in something does, regardless of whether your beliefs are right or wrong. And as you know, it’s obvious that we live in a world of chaos where many people are believing the wrong thing. This verse defines those wrong beliefs! Proverbs 14:12 (MSG) “There’s a way of life that looks harmless enough; look again—it leads straight to hell.”
This is why apathy is so bad. Apathy is defined as an absence or suppression of passion, emotion, or excitement; a lack of interest in or concern for things that others find moving or exciting. Apathy doesn’t give a rip about what happens. Consequently, it works to undermine or destroy the faith and passion of the heart that pleases God. That’s exactly what choosing to believe God didn’t exist, did for me. It’s happening to the world and it’s the devil’s glorious plan at work. Freedom! No God! Yea!
Hebrews 11:6 NIV says, “And without faith it is impossible to please God…” Many people become apathetic because they hate conflict. Consequently, they would rather cave in and avoid having any strong beliefs or values because they can’t stand the types of persecution that come from others who disagree with them. It’s easier to utter the catchwords, I don’t care or whatever. Apathetic people are never leaders and are often lousy followers. As the old adage says, Those that stand for nothing fall for anything.
When you believe something strongly—when something becomes a true conviction and an anchor of your heart, it will guide your life. It will affect how and what you think, what you say, and how you act. That is why you better have your beliefs anchored in true knowledge and fact. Many people anchor their beliefs in what they consider to be the true knowledge and fact of science. The problem with that is that science is always changing. As a matter of fact, science is never not changing. The Earth was flat. It was later declared to be round. Science at one point believed there was just one galaxy. Science later declared there are endless galaxies that are still forming to this day. Science is really only the progressive revelation by the discovery of what exists. It is always changing, never stationary, and never entirely agreed upon. And this is funny! Old science looks foolish in the light of new science. So the old science which was once considered truth, is foolish today. Yet people anchor their beliefs on what science reveals, thereby affecting what they think, what they say, and how they act.
They often say, I only believe what I can see or scientifically prove. That statement is a myth of self-deception. There is not a person on this planet that doesn’t exercise faith in something or someone without verifiable evidence. Everyone exercises faith. You do every time you drive over a bridge or fly in an airplane. You exercise faith that the bridge won’t collapse or the airplane will get you to your destination. You tell someone you will be at your destination at a certain time on a certain flight. That’s faith. There is no verifiable evidence of that statement. It is speaking concretely about something in the future. I will be in San Diego on flight 891 at 10:30 am tomorrow. See you then. It leads you to buy a ticket and then tell people you will be traveling. It leads you to board an airplane. You have exercised faith numerous times. Everyone exercises faith in things they believe, verified or not! And because they do, it does affect their daily thinking, saying, and doing.
This is why it’s so important to establish your faith in the truth of God’s Word. Let it shape what you think, what you say, and what you do. Unlike science, God never changes and His Word never changes. People may create gods. People may mischaracterize and misunderstand God, but that is not His doing or fault. God Himself never changes. Hebrews 13:8 NKJV says, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” Malachi 3:6 KJV says, “For I am the LORD, I change not…”
God’s Word tells us that what we have tomorrow comes from what believe, say, and act on today. He modeled it for us from the beginning. Hebrews 11:3 NLT says, “By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen.”
I said all that to say this: You do have faith. You exercise it all the time. As long as you do, have faith in God’s promises! 2 Corinthians 1:20 NIV says, “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ…”. Don’t be apathetic! Apathy will destroy the quality of your life. Instead, be passionate about God’s promises! Speak them by faith as God modeled for you. Let what you believe—your faith, become what you think, say, and act on. Own it. Let it shape you! Let what God promises you affect your thoughts, your words, and your actions. In just three years’ time, you will hardly be able to believe how transformed by God you’ve become.
Believe in His promises. Believe in this promise to you today. Psalm 54:4 NIV “Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me.”
In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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