Prosperity, Indifference & Atheism – Part 1

3-MIN READ

Kansas point of no return album cover

"If you have no desire to worship the LORD, choose today whom you will worship."

Joshua 24:15

If you want to find Jesus, visit a jail or a cancer ward. When times are tough we often turn to God for help. Good times not so much.

Life is good now. Real good. Never in the history of the world have people been healthier, more prosperous, more educated, more free, more productive, and had such an abundance of food, clean water, medicines, and so on, particularly in the United States and the West. It is therefore inevitable that with all this success we see a corresponding drop in people's perceived need for God, indifference even to the point of atheism.

Why? Because we're arrogant; we take the credit that belongs to God. It's that simple, and predictable. Who needs God and all his silly, annoying, old-fashioned rules when it's obvious that we are perfectly capable of creating our own success and happiness and being good people. In good times, we have a lot of confidence and it's a lot easier and more natural to deny the existence of God or to diminish his power and authority than to humble yourself at his feet. Who wants to be a slave when you're feeling on top of the world?

This theme is repeated over and over in the Bible. Within the first 5 minutes of reading Genesis we find Adam and Eve, who literally lived in a perfect paradise and wanted for nothing, wanting the one and only thing they couldn't have in the entire garden believing that by eating it they could be like God They had exactly ONE RULE to follow, and they failed. The Tower of Babel, the Great Flood, Sodom & Gomorrah, King Nebuchadnezzar, even the Israelites being denied entry into the Promised Land for a generation due to their idol worship and disobedience, including Moses himself. We're supposed to learn from these examples.

So -- If you have no desire to worship the LORD, whom will you worship? Who or what are you placing above your relationship with God in your life?

- Human intelligence
- Knowledge
- Reason/Rationality
- Science
- Technology & media
- Education
- The government
- Political ideologies & identities
- Money
- Power/Position/Influence
- Social status
- Our own Relative Truth
- Our children's achievements
- Our homes, cars, possessions, exotic vacations, “experiences”
- Our human relationships
- Ourselves

Just like in the old days, we convince ourselves that we are smart and capable, that we make our own good fortune, that we deserve what we have because we are educated and have worked hard for it, that praying to an invisible Guy In The Sky is for the ignorant, unwashed masses, for helpless fools, certainly not for erudite people like ourselves, that we are more than able to formulate our own individual moral codes by which to live. We got this! We're in charge. We. are. our. own. gods.

And so begins the journey away from God both individually and societally. We now have at least two generations of people who are Biblically illiterate and have no framework for understanding that this journey ends at the edge of a cliff much like Kansas's iconic album cover below: The Point of No Return. We're just floating down the lazy river of life thinking all is calm and under our control, blissfully ignorant of the impending disaster.

It's literally the oldest trick in the Book. Why humans keep falling for it is beyond me, and yet I, too, fell for it for years, which is why I can describe it so well.

The bottom line is this -- You have a choice to make: "If you have no desire to worship the LORD, choose today whom you will worship." "For you are free, yet still you are God’s slaves, and you must not use your freedom as an excuse for doing wrong." (1 Peter 2:16)

If God isn't #1 in your life, you are heading for the cliff so try to enjoy the ride until you get there cuz it's not any fun after that.

On the other hand, when you make God #1 and live to serve him above ALL else, you will experience peace and blessing beyond measure for generations.

"If you have no desire to worship the LORD, choose today whom you will worship.

But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD!"

Joshua 24:15

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