It is important to remember to give God glory and praise when things are going well, because in doing this my spirit is always lifted as I remember how blessed I am
In our previous article we defined apathy as ‘a lack of interest in or concern for things that others find moving or exciting’ or absence or suppression of passion, emotion, or excitement’ and considered how sad it is when these characteristics are displayed in our relationship with our Father in heaven. There is no doubt that life is busy and some would argue that their lives are hectic and chaotic. It is in these circumstances that it is easy to lose the focus and direction of our spiritual journey as our minds start to prioritise other things. We really need to become aware of when this is happening as this leads to apathy which can then open the door for sin to enter; Genesis 4:7-8 ‘If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it’.
If we can identify when we are starting to become apathetic, we can then close the door in the face of sin before we allow it to manifest itself in our lives. The Word of God tells us that we can do this by staying close to our Father; James 4:7 ‘Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you’. The battle against sin is a constant one so we must ensure that we do not drop our guard and open the door to sin by becoming apathetic. Below are some practical things that I try to do to ensure that I am covered with the full armor of God in Ephesians 6:10-18.
Thanking God for the good things in my life – It is easy for me to reach out to God when I need something, when I suffer hardship or when my life is not going to plan because I know that He will hear, comfort me and give me direction. It is however equally important to remember to give God glory and praise when things are going well, because in doing this my spirit is always lifted as I remember how blessed I am. Within my prayers each day I always thank God for everything in my life; my family, my home, my job, my finances, my health and many other things and I pray that God uses these things (and me) to His glory and that His will is done in my life. It would be wrong and disrespectful to only come to God when I am in need and fail to thank him or be grateful for the many wonderful things he continually does in my life, this would be apathy. Psalm 100: 4-5 ‘Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.
Leading my life as a positive example to others – Jesus Is the ultimate role model for our lives as He was the only person who walked this earth who was completely sinless. If I profess to follow Jesus then I too must aspire to lead my life in the same way. In the World we live in, this may seem to be an impossible task, however in Christ I have everything I need; 2 Peter 1:3 ‘His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness’. I too must be a role model and I am conscious that my life/behaviour etc. will determine how people see Christ in me. Unlike Jesus I often mess up and I am sure I will continue to do so, however I continually pray for forgiveness in the blood of Jesus and to be renewed as a clean vessel of the Heavenly Kingdom each and every day; 1 John 1:9-10 ‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us’. Our Pastor recently preached on forgiveness where we were told to ensure that we kept short accounts with God. By continually asking for God’s forgiveness in the Blood of Jesus we will maintain a close relationship with Him which will help us to lead our lives in the right way and to help us not to become apathetic.
Reading the Word of God – It really is a blessing to read the Word of God and to not do this on a daily basis would be a real missed opportunity for God to influence every part of my life. When I get to Heaven I am sure that I will not be judged on how many times I have read the Bible or how well I know the Word of God, I do not read the Bible because I feel obliged to do so, but because it is a real privilege and enables my relationship with my Father to continually develop. The Bible is not just a book of words, it is much more than that. When I read the Word of God I receive blessings, advice and guidance, comfort, confirmation, understanding and so much more. On occasions I also receive a ‘good telling off’, which is what a good Father also gives to those He loves. It is exciting to hear what God has to say to me each day and by reading His Word I am continually reminded of His love for me. What else do I need to help me from becoming apathetic?
To summarise and to help deal with apathy; James 4:8 ‘Come near to God and he will come near to you’.
Author: Gary O’Neill
May God bless and enrich your life
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