What if you stopped believing in God?

Published 5:12 am Friday, September 6, 2019


Religion columnist

Jeff Denberg from the Atlanta Journal tells this common, modern story. He writes:

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“We were standing on a lawn so carefully manicured, people who were smoking felt guilty stamping out their cigarette butts. Loud rock music filtered through open windows and doorways from a new $3,000 stereo system. The metallic finish on a new BMW gleamed in the light of a carriage lamp.

“‘You seem to be doing very well,’ I told my friend who owned the stereo and car. ‘You have achieved what most of us find unattainable. You are a respected professional man. You have money and luxuries that money brings. You are healthy, with more than 25 productive years ahead. You have a terrific family. I salute you.’

“‘I have never made more money,’ he said. ‘I have never had more toys — the stereo, the car. And yet, something’s wrong. I cannot define it. I cannot talk to my wife about it. I do not know how to explain it; and I do not think she wants to deal with it, anyway. I am lost. Does that make sense? I have got all this, and so what? I mean, I enjoy it all, but it is not what I am really after. The trouble is, I do not know what I am after.’”

The thing that is so common in this story is not the accumulation of wealth and material things, though many of us have achieved a level of ease and wealth higher than we perceive. What is common is the belief that to accumulate wealth and material things can make our lives complete in any way.

Jesus said what was wrong with this way of thinking many times and many different ways. We cannot serve two masters. We cannot serve both God and mammon, or wealth (Matthew 6:24). Yet, in our modern world there are many folks, rich and poor alike, who have come to the place of this rich man, and don’t know where to turn for THE answer. In John 8:32, Jesus says, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” The Truth that sets us free is Jesus Christ. For Jesus Christ offers us salvation from our sins and selfish desires, and calls us to a discipleship of service to one another. He calls us to find meaning and purpose in our lives through fulfilling God’s will for our lives.

Have you ever slowed down long enough to wonder if you are chasing after the wrong things? If not, slow down and think about a typical week in your life. How do you spend your time (or the time God gives you)? How do you spend your money (or the money God gives you)? How do you use your abilities and talents (or the abilities and talents God gives you)? Are you focused on serving God or something else like yourself, your family, your career, your money, or your pleasure? Is it really your life, your family, your career, your money, or your pleasure, or is it really the blessings God has given you in hopes that you would use them all to glorify God’s name?

There are always times we need to be reminded who we serve, lest our material blessings become a temptation to serve other gods that will deceive us. We have so many things that make life easy; it is also easy for them to blind us to our deepest need to adore God. Our lives are structured so we never have to. We don’t have to trust God if something unexpected happens because we have a refrigerator full of food, good health, a good savings account, and a solid retirement fund. Truth is our lives wouldn’t look much different if we suddenly stopped believing in God.

Think about that statement with someone else. Has being a Christian gotten too easy? Have we insulated, controlled and protected our lives so carefully we don’t need to trust God? Have we traded in Christian service to others, sharing the Gospel with others, or making sacrifices for others in the name of Jesus for keeping our lives clean and comfortable? Look for the ways God is calling you to live a life that is full of meaning and purpose doing His will.


To find out more about Al Earley or read previous articles, visit www.lagrangepres.com.