When Rosina Hernandez was in college, she once attended a rock concert at which one young man was brutally beaten by another. No one made an attempt to stop the beating. The next day she was struck dumb to learn that the youth had died as a result of the pounding. Yet neither she nor anyone else had raised a hand to help him. She could never forget the incident or her responsibility as an inactive bystander. Some years later, Rosina saw another catastrophe. A car driving in the rain ahead of her suddenly skidded and plunged into Biscayne Bay. The car landed head down in the water with only the tail end showing. In a moment a woman appeared on the surface, shouting for help and saying her husband was stuck inside. This time Rosina waited for no one. She plunged into the water, tried unsuccessfully to open the car door, then pounded on the back window as other bystanders stood on the causeway and watched. First she screamed at them, begging for help, then cursed them, telling them there was a man dying in the car. First one man, then another, finally came to help. Together they broke the safety glass and dragged the man out. They were just in time -- a few minutes later it would have been all over. The woman thanked Rosina for saving her husband, and Rosina was elated, riding an emotional high that lasted for weeks. She had promised herself that she would never again fail to do anything she could to save a human live. She had made good on her promise. *Taken from Bits and Pieces.
Romans 12:11 not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; A few years ago our family moved to North Carolina and we leased a condo on the beach on one of the outer islands. The only ocean I had ever known was trips to the Gulf, and I thought the waves were something else. Until....I went swimming in the Atlantic Ocean and I got a fresh look at "real" waves and my "baptism" in swimming those waves was not a good experience. I remember thinking man those waves look like they are 8' or higher and boy was I wrong. I waded in the water and proceeded to "try" and make my way out so I could body surf. It became increasingly obvious that I was going to have a tough time even getting out very far because there were no breaks in the waves, so I decided to body surf from about 50 yards out. In the set of waves I noticed that about every five waves a really big wave would come and that was the wave I was looking for, or so I thought. So I got set up and, sure enough, here came the fifth wave and I turned to catch it, but it quickly overwhelmed me and "slammed" me into the sand. Boy, it really hurt. But that wasn't the end of it because the waves behind that one were quickly coming in and in my addled condition I couldn't get myself righted and those waves tossed me around mercilessly. After fighting them for about five minutes I finally gave up and let it wash me to shore where I just laid there and moaned. I got up and said the famous Apollo Creed line from Rocky 1, where Apollo says "Ain't gonna be a rematch." I was done and after sadly getting overwhelmed by the waves I had misjudged I went up on the beach and proceeded to get some sun.
Someone asked me the other day what I thought was the problem with churches not winning more souls and I quickly said, APATHY. Apathy (def) - Lack of interest, enthusiasm, or concern. I think it actually letting our guard down in this spiritual battle we are always fighting. When we let our guard down and stop praying, discerning, and fighting the good fight things can get pretty ragged. Sadly, we have underestimated the enemies "big move" in the area of apathy and it has permeated every area of the Christian life. If we stand up against those things that are wrong we are called hateful and mean by others who should know better. Just like the waves I underestimated because of a lack of experience we are having to deal with something with no real experience to draw from and it is a little scary right now. You can quickly see the apathy curse raise it's head when you don't say yes to everything. The gift of discernment is thrown out the window and taking time to pray for something is overruled by the immediate. Paul wrote about this ongoing battle when he wrote to the church at Ephesus in chapter 6:10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
We are totally unequipped to fight this battle against the present apathy because it is new to us and it has overwhelmed us at every turn. Now it has got us down and it is hitting us with wave after wave now that we are addled because we did not see it coming. In the book of Revelation the Lord says in chapter 3:15-16 ‘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. If you try to be hot you are attacked. If you try to be cold you are attacked. We are in the middle and that is a horrible place to be as believers. Jesus spoke to the problem in John 5:39 You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life. Those who speak the truth are silenced by the waves and not only silenced, but pushed back to force them to yield to the Sea of Apathy. The Sea wins!!! And sadly most of our Bible understanding is second-hand and we just take it for granted that the person preaching from it is saying the right things without researching it ourselves. Why would we be this way? APATHY!! The Sea wins again. 1 Thessalonians 5:21 But test everything; hold fast what is good. So we are to test EVERYTHING. The Sea of Apathy will kick that out of existence immediately because if we test anything, that is hateful and mean spirited. Here is the weird thing about the world today we make new traditions to replace the older traditions and that is basically the pig returning to the mud hole and rolling around in the same mud in maybe a different way of rolling. The mud hole is the same. Which means that Apathy is self-sustaining and that hurts. Even our change is no change at all because the change is built on man's wants and not God's Word. This means that the Christian walk has become very repetitive and consumer based and apathy will keep it there. There is no radical faith. There is only crowd approved faith, which is no faith at all.
As God's children we need to follow the purity of God's call and start growing in our faith and once again do things in the way God's Word shows us how to do things. Proverbs 29:15 says The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.
In other words, it might be good to question things that may not be lining up with God's Word, but be ready for the Sea of Apathy to knock you down. Jesus dealt with this all along his travels as his very life and words questioned the religious traditions of the day. The prophet Isaiah spoke God's Words and in Chapter 5:20-21 said Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and shrewd in their own sight!
Just keep in mind that once that cup is turned over it is very difficult to get all the pieces put back together. If the sea is not overwhelming you then you have the wisdom to keep the cup from being turned over. Keep following God's Word and get more into God's Word in order to fight the fight and fight back the Sea of Apathy. With God's help it is possible
The Pilgrimage Continues.....