Monthly Archives: March 2012

Are you a functional atheist?

Take the Functional Atheist quiz!

1. When a problem comes what do you do first?

a. Try to fix it.
b. Thank God for the opportunity to see Him work and ask for His guidance.

2. When you make your to-do list what do you do first?

a. Write down all that must be done and jump into doing it.
b. Ask God what He wants you to do today and seek His guidance as you prioritize your day.

3. How many times a day do you think about, and/or talk to, God?

a. Never
b. Once or twice a day.
c. Several times a day.
d. Often.
e. Without ceasing.

Most Christians sitting in the pews every Sunday are functional atheists. It’s not that they don’t believe in God. They do. Many can recite theological principles with practiced ease, but their approach to daily life is much the same as that of an atheist. My husband, Brad, says it this way: Functional atheists depend on their own wisdom and strength on a moment-by-moment basis, rather than on the God of the Bible. Without realizing it, they are consumed with getting through the daily grind on their own efforts. Their Loving, All-Powerful, All-Knowing and Faithful God is ready to help but they’re almost blind to His Presence. I know, I’ve been there and done that. We say we believe in God and then we live in the moment as if He doesn’t exist.

In her devotion, Jesus Calling, Sarah Young writes:

Pause before responding to people or situations, giving (the Holy) Spirit space to act through you. Hasty words and actions leave no room for Me [Jesus]; this is atheistic living.

I don’t know about you, but my days are full and I move from one thing to another at record speed. Pausing to listen for God’s voice doesn’t come naturally! Sticky note reminders helped me turn a corner. Strategically placed, they were a constant reminder to fix my eyes on Jesus and bring Him into whatever I was doing at the moment.

What will help you pause throughout the day and leave room for God to speak and act?

If you truly believe in God, don’t struggle through life as a functional atheist. Our Personal, Loving, All-Powerful, Sovereign, Faithful, Merciful, Ever Present, All-Knowing, Unchanging God wants to be a part of every minute of every one of your days!

For God wanted them to know that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too. And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory. Col. 1:27 NLT

Problems of our own making…no problem for God!

My husband, Brad, was speaking at a church recently. Part of his message included the statement: When you understand who God really is you realize you don’t have problems, you just have opportunities to see God work. During the Q & A time a woman asked, “What if the problems you have are due to your own bad choices?” The pain in her voice revealed the personal significance of the question.

Brad’s response is a great encouragement to us all:

Most of the problems we encounter are of our own making! Some problems are due to outside forces, but 90% are a result of our own poor choices and sin. God is not restricted to the other 10%! EVERY problem is an opportunity to see Him work through His power, faithfulness, mercy, presence, holiness and love!

Our bad choices, selfish actions and sin stained behavior do have consequences, but God is bigger than the consequences. He is still in control, even when we make a bad decision. He is powerful enough to cause all things (even our sin) to work together for good. The Bible is quick to point out that this is not an excuse to sin. Only a warped mind would twist this miraculous truth and use it as an excuse to immerse ones self in sinful behavior. Unfortunately, our world is full of warped minds!

Run from sin, dear friends, but when you do stumble and the consequences of your actions threaten to overwhelm you, run to the only One who can turn your problems into opportunities for inexpressible joy, unimaginable peace and unconditional love.

So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you now belong to Him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death… And we know that God causes all things to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them. Romans 8:1-2, 28 NLT