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Wednesday, November 18, 2015


We know what an atheist is. It's someone who believes there is no God. And, let's be honest, when we read God's evaluation -- "The fool says in his heart, 'There is no God.'" (Psa 14:1) -- we tend to point quietly among ourselves and nod knowingly. Perhaps we should be more circumspect.

When a wife understands that God commands, "Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord" (Eph 5:22) and responds, "Me ... submit to him? Not today.", she is saying, "In this situation at this time, there is no God." When a husband recognizes the instruction, "Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her" (Eph 5:25) and parries with, "I'll love my wife, but not that much", he is telling God, "Right now I am going to act as if You do not exist." When the young man cruises the Internet to his favorite site of sex acts knowing all along that God's Word says, "Flee from sexual immorality." (1 Cor 6:18), he is setting himself up as his own master and discarding God. When the Christian cruises down the highway at 15 miles per hour over the speed limit, confident that there are no cops around right now, and fully aware that the Instruction Manual for Christians says, "Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves." (Rom 13:1-2), they are opposing God and acting as if He just isn't there.

We all do it. It's more often than we even imagine. We assume that our lives are our own when God claims that all that exists is His. We think that our sex lives and our work habits and the way we dress are only our concern when God claims sovereignty over everything. We admit to the Lordship of Christ with our lips while we deny it in practice. It is practical atheism.

Oh, don't get me wrong. I'm not pointing at you. It is me that concerns me. I'm the one who has a hard time with simple, straightforward statements like "Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall." (Prov 16:18) and "Regard one another as more important than yourselves." (Phil 2:3) These aren't questionable or hard to grasp. And still I suffer from pride and self-centeredness. Like you, I have to admit that rarely do I actually "love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind" (Matt 22:37), let alone love my neighbor as myself. It's not that I don't know these things. I just suffer from ... foolishness.

"The fool says in his heart, 'There is no God.'" It pains me to think how much of the time I am operating as if there is no God. It is difficult to realize that in these times I am called a fool by God. So I have to spend time in a Psalm 51 attitude. A lot.

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