Events! I love events and I love planning events. It seems like the more I have to plan the more I tend to accomplish.
While listening to a friend facilitate a group of ladies, the words christian and apathy became the topic of discussion that day. I believe the statement was “Christians have become apathetic”. With further discussion we arrived at these conclusions: Christians can hardly wait for the next church event but we lack commitment on a weekly basis to hear the simplicity of the Gospel. If it isn't an over the top event then we aren't interested or we become bored. When was the last time we went to church intending to invest in others or to grow spiritually? I then heard the Holy Spirit whisper to my heart, “you are apathetic”. Boom!
My drive home rather was quiet and I went straight to my quiet place, needing to process the words I had heard in my heart; I desperately needed revival.
According to the online dictionary apathy means: showing or feeling no interest, enthusiasm, or concern. Some of the synonyms brought even greater clarity: uninterested, indifferent, unconcerned, unmoved, uninvolved, disinterested, unemotional, emotionless, dispassionate, lukewarm, unmotivated, half hearted. The next word that appeared took my breath, it was the word, Laodicean. When I clicked on that familiar word, this popped up on my screen: lukewarm or half hearted, esp. with respect to religion or politics. Hello? there were those words again!
In referencing Revelations 3:15-17 ESV I knew I would find out more about Laodicea. “‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.
Oh. My. Goodness! Don’t freak out on me here but the truth is I had been so busy “doing” ministry that I had become half-hearted in my walk with Jesus. It is not uncommon, in ministry, to go through the motions without experiencing the presence and power of God in our lives. I confess that I had become that lukewarm person and I had to make a choice. I could remain indifferent in my relationship with Jesus Christ or I could humble myself before God. I could continue going through the motions of ministry but who in the world am I kidding? In our own strength, we are powerless. Our pride and self-sufficiency tell us that we’ve “done this long enough, we’ve got this”. Friends, we may be seasoned or mature in the faith but never, ever, not ever can we begin to make it through life or ministry without the empowering strength of Jesus Christ. We simply can not pretend to have that which we are void of.
I had to take a Psalm 51 time out, especially these particular verses:
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me away from Your presence
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation
And sustain me with a willing spirit.