What’s something that you feel apathetic about? I asked a group of teenagers this question and heard responses like “Homework”, “School”, “Chores”, and “Work.” Although we may be quick to associate apathy with our younger generation, if we’re honest, we can admit that this is something that impacts all of us. There are times in life that we just seem to lose interest, concern, or even enthusiasm. Sometimes those who have been around Christianity a long time will even become apathetic about the Lord. Why do you think this happens? What would cause us to become bored or tired with God or His ways? One reason Scripture points to is not being able to see the Lord clearly. This happen when we take our eyes off of Him. At Church we sing, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus…and the things of earth will grow strangely dim…”. What we find in life is that the opposite is true as well. When we turn our eyes away from Jesus onto the things of this earth, He is the One who grows strangely dim and our hearts grow increasingly cold. The way out of the apathy funk then is turning back to the Lord.
In Matthew 5:8, Jesus says this, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” The connection between seeing God as we should, not just in the future but in the day to day, is in our purity. Impurity causes us to turn our gaze off of the Lord and onto ourselves. It’s not easy to care about church when it infringes on “my time.” The Bible becomes boring when we can’t see how it applies to “to me.” The stories, the studies, the sermons all become “things that I’ve heard before” when we no longer look to see what these things show us about God, but instead only want to know, “What will this do for me?”. The purpose of all of these things is not us but the Lord. Their purpose is to point us to who God is, what He is like, what He has done, and what He wants. Those are the things that matter and shape who we are and what we do. Jesus shows us that purity will set us free from being “me-centered” to being God-centered and seeing Him as we should. This is what Jesus set to do in His death on the cross. In 2 Cor. 5:15, Paul shows us that Jesus died to set us free from life that is all about us. So, apathy doesn’t occur because God has run out of ways to keep our attention. It happens because we put our attention on other things, namely ourselves, which isn’t enough to keep us engaged.
In Ps. 51:10, David prays, “Create in me a clean heart, O God and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” David knows that his purity is dependent on the Lord doing the work in his heart. He also has found that the result of his impurity is a spirit that is disengaged and apathetic. So, he prays for the Lord to renew him. So, when we find ourselves lost in apathy, we must consider where our focus is. Is it on ourselves or the Lord? We must also follow the example of David and turn to the Lord seeking His work in our hearts and eyes to wake us up again to who He is and what He has done (see Ps. 13:3).
Seeking To See Him, Pastor Rudy