I stepped in to coach my son’s basketball team once. Sheesh! What a day. The team was comprised of three or four boys who really loved basketball and really wanted to play hard, three or four boys who had never played before but wanted to learn, and three or four boys who just didn’t care.
So I put them out there and I showed them a couple of plays, demonstrated a few movement drills, that sort of thing, and everyone nodded their heads and said, “We got it, coach!” Game on! Those who loved the game gave it their all. Those who wanted to learn matched their enthusiasm. But sure enough, the group that didn’t care about playing looked instantly bored. The plays weren’t working, the opposing team was scoring like crazy, and our defense resembled a burst dam rather than a solid wall.
I called a time-out, and when the boys came over, the ones who didn’t care started talking about how tired they were. One of them asked, “Can I get a drink?” I answered that he could get a drink at halftime, and the kid replied, “How close are we to halftime?”
He was in the game, but he wasn’t playing.
There are people in the Church who are in the game but they aren’t playing either. They’re full of apathy. They’re more concerned about being tired, thirsty, and getting this or that physical need met than they are about walking with Jesus. They are missing one of the profound power-play principles of true Christianity:
So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law. -Galatians 5:16-18
There’s a word in Greek that describes these folks: sokanos. It means “apathetic.” Perhaps, it’s you. If that’s where you are, I’d encourage you to pray: “Holy Spirit, I don’t care. I’m just being honest with You. But I want to care. Please make me care!” It’s okay to be that honest with God.
One other Greek word that is close to sokanos is sarkanos. It can be found in Galatians 5, where Paul talks about life in the flesh versus life in the Spirit. Basically, it refers to someone who lives according to fleshly patterns. They’re not apathetic; they’re just chasing after something that isn’t Jesus.
Neither one of these describes a person actively pursuing a glimpse of God behind the veil. He’s there to be known, providing we care enough to search for Him and place Him first on our desires list.
Lord Jesus, You are worth chasing. You are worth pursuing. I want to have the same passion to pursue You that You demonstrate in pursuing my heart. Even though I feel like I just don’t care sometimes, I want to. Holy Spirit, empower me to care. Empower me to love You as You deserve to be loved.
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