“And he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, but not with a whole heart.”
— 2 Chronicles 25:2
There is a sin that kills more than a murderer. A sin that runs deeper than idolatry. A sin more heartbreaking than adultery.
It is indifference.
How many of us are living with this in our Christian life?
We do what we know to be the right thing, but we’re only doing it out of obligation. Out of obligation to our parents, out of love for a certain someone in our lives. We desire to impress that cute girl in the youth group, so we learn to play the guitar and join the worship team. We sing the worship songs to show how well we can sing, not because we want to praise God.
It’s not that we’re against Christianity. We think there are some people out there who are too radical, but overall, Christianity is a nice religion.
We are indifferent.
Despite our indifference, we do have what I’d like to call a “life liturgy”. There is a rhythm to our life. Things we center our lives on. Our routines: they shape who we are and what we focus on.
Every morning, we wake up worshiping. We all celebrate something.
We are indifferent to God’s influence in our lives.
I don’t want to know your values. Don’t tell me your values.
Tell me what your routine is.
You wake up, check your phone. Eat a quick breakfast, go to work. You get off, watch some TV, maybe call a friend. Perhaps you have a hobby. You go dancing or play the guitar. When you’re done, you come home, eat some food, and go to bed.
We’re starting off our day focused on the things of this world. We spend our days focusing on ourselves. We are indifferent to God; in fact, he doesn’t cross our minds. Our first thoughts are, “Did she text me back? I wonder if she sent me a Snapchat this morning. What is everyone up to on Instagram?” Then we spend the rest of the day focused on our routine.
I can tell your values.
Your top value is indifference.
Why do we live life like this? Why do we let our routine dictate our lives? Well, honestly, It’s a bit impossible not to. So if that’s the case, then why aren’t we taking control of our routine and making it focus on things that are actually worth something?
Our routine cannot save us. We will forever be stuck in this routine of indifference on our own. We can change it some: maybe when we wake up in the morning, we read the Bible. Maybe read a quick devotional.
But that’s only one part of our day.
What about when we’re on our lunch break at work? What about in the evening when our favorite TV show comes on?
Your own liturgy can make you despair of life. Because at the end of all of these days, there is a sense of dissatisfaction. No matter what we do, reading our Bible, trying to “think more positively”, it doesn’t do enough. So we want to find more things to do, because busyness can keep us from focusing on ourselves and who we really are, and where we’re headed in life. But what we are really looking for we can’t find. Because we are forgetting to focus on God, His plans, and His values.
Liturgies are limited, but God is limitless. Only the God behind the liturgy can change your indifference.
Yahweh: I am who I am. Jesus is not indifferent.
The way to fight indifference: prayer.
Pray to God and He will come.
Moses has something that we would call a routine. Every morning, he would say, “Arise, O Lord. Scatter your enemies.” And in the evening, when the Ark came to rest, he would pray again: “Return, oh Lord.”
These were the prayers that Moses prayed, every single day. He’s intentional. He’s not winging it. He knows he needs God’s help. He knows God needs to be with him as he goes out to battle. His life is bent around the presence of God.
What are you praying?
Is God the center of your life?
Think about the words of Moses’ prayer:
Arise, O Lord.
Scatter Your enemies.
Moses is entreating God to take lead in the battle of life.
We are headed into a battle. A battle of our life. We are fighting the enemies that surround us, and the ones that are found inside us. The enemy of envy, of hate, fear.
This is a war. These enemies are out for the kill.
Christianity is not a peace religion. It is a war.
Are you ready to battle?
Are you praying for God to lead you and to be your champion?
You should be. You should be praying for God to be Lord of your life. Pray for the battle against indifference to be won.
That’s what you should do.
But if you do…
Know what you’re getting into when you ask God to arise. He’s not going to be gentle. Are you ready to drop your indifference? Are you ready to forget your comfort? God is going to do what you ask. You’re asking him to take action? Good. He will. But you better be ready for the war that is going to happen. You can’t half-ass this.
This is a war. Expect it.
And pray for God to arise.
It starts with your liturgy. Changing your routine so you read the Bible, so you think about God, and you pray to Him, that’s the first step. Behind even the shakiest plan of reading the Bible or praying –, that’s the beginning of the fight. But it’s only the beginning.
But be comforted: God is on your side. He is your captain. God doesn’t take this prayer lightly. He will do as you ask.
Be sure you know what you’re asking for.
Are you ready to do this?