Have you ever met an atheist? An atheist believes there is no God. Do you know what God's response to that is? "The fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God'" (Psalms 14:1).
While no Christian would ever be guilty of being an atheist, many Christians are guilty of being practical atheists. Practical atheism does not believe there is no God; practical atheism lives as if there is no God. Could you be a practical atheist?
THE PRACTICAL ATHEISM TEST
Notice the convicting similarities between atheism and practical atheism:
1. An atheist does not pray. So many Christians do not really pray. They may mumble something with a bowed head before dinner or before bed, but there is no real time to seek God in prayer. The Lord says in the Book of James, "You do not have because you do not ask" (Jas. 4:2).
2. An atheist does not read the Bible. So many Christians do not read the Bible. The average Christian is very susceptible to the devil's lies because he/she does not take time to read and study God's Word.
3. An atheist walks by sight, not faith. So many Christians do the same thing. They fail to evaluate their situation in light of God's miraculous power, so they worry and fear and fail to simply trust God. How quickly we forget, "Without faith it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God" (Heb. 11:6).
4. An atheist does not give to the Lord's work. So many Christians do not either. Many Christians spend more money on their pets than they do the Kingdom of God. A recent statistic revealed that if all the members in an average-sized church were on welfare, and each one tithed, the giving to that church would double. WOW!
5. An atheist lives only for this life. So many Christians are guilty of the same. They store up their treasure on earth. They live and plan as if this temporary, mortal life is all that matters. They make decisions with only earth in mind, not heaven. The Bible says, "The eyes of a fool are on the ends of the earth" (Prov. 17:24).
CHANGE ME, LORD!
If some of those similarities are too close for comfort, don't sink down in guilt and shame. DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT! Confess it as sin, and ask God to change your heart. Tell Him that you do not want to live another day as if He were not alive and able to work miracles.
The story is told of Martin Luther, the great Christian reformer of the 1500s. There was a time in his Christian life when he was very depressed for days on end. His wife, Kate, came into his study all dressed in black as if she were in mourning. Luther asked her what exactly she was mourning:
"Have you not heard?" she questioned. "God is dead."
Luther responded, "Woman! That is absurd! God is not dead!"
"Well," she replied, "if God is not dead, then stop living like He is!"
My friend, God is not dead, He is alive and well. He still answers prayer, He still speaks through His Word, He still blesses when we honor Him with our wealth, He still moves mountains when we come to Him with a mustard seed of faith, and He still rewards those who diligently seek Him.
No matter what you are facing today, God is able. Take Him at His Word and trust Him!! Determine to live every day in the light of His presence. Remember, His name is Jehovah Shammah, "the Lord ever-present." He is ever-present for you this day and every day. Live like it!
Jeff Schreve is Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Texarkana, Texas. He and his wife Debbie have been married for over 20 years and are blessed with three wonderful girls. Jeff began From His Heart Ministries, a radio and television ministry, in January of 2005. This ministry is completely listener/viewer supported. It continues only through the faithful and generous gifts of people like you. Pastor Jeff takes no salary from this ministry. All gifts go to further the broadcast.