I've been reading through the book of Romans in the New Testament. Just the other day I opened my Bible and picked up where I had been reading and this is what it said,
“Since these people refused even to think about God, he let their useless minds rule over them. That's why they do all sorts of indecent things. They are evil, wicked, and greedy, as well as mean in every possible way. They want what others have, and they murder, argue, cheat, and are hard to get along with. They gossip, say cruel things about others, and hate God. They are proud, conceited, and boastful, always thinking up new ways to do evil. These people don't respect their parents. They are stupid, unreliable, and don't have any love or pity for others.” Romans 1:28-31
I finished reading those verses and I sat there, deeply convicted that this is the most common lie I believe. I think I don’t need God. And I live my life based on that belief. I don’t think it consciously, but I operate as if that were the case.
Another translation of this verse says, “Since they didn’t bother to acknowledge God…”
How often have I failed to even acknowledge God? Just started the day out on my own, gone to school or work without thinking about God? Tried to resolve issues on the job, or struggles in my relationships without even acknowledging Him? How many times have I parented my kids on my own, without turning to God first? When I do that, I am basing my life on the lie that I don’t need God, and that’s a scary place to live.
The Bible very clearly tells me what the result of that belief is – if I refuse to acknowledge God in my life, my life will be characterized by these things : evil, wickedness, greed, indecency, gossip, cruelty, pride, etc.
And it’s not complicated. God isn’t asking me for something difficult. He just says acknowledge Me, think about Me. How do I acknowledge someone's presence? It can be as simple as a nod of the head, or a look in the eyes; but it changes how I operate, doesn’t it? I see you, I know you are here, I am living and moving and working with the knowledge of your presence. If my boss is in the room, I do things differently. I make sure I am carrying out the company policies and procedures, I am operating based on the ideals of the company.
That’s what God is saying. Think about me, acknowledge me in your life on a daily, moment by moment basis and as you do, you will naturally begin to live your life based on God’s ideals and principles.
When I don’t acknowledge my need for God on a regular basis, and I don’t slow down long enough just to connect with God, to spend time with him, to read and meditate on the Scripture, I am saying that I don’t need God. I’ve got this God. No worries. I’m strong enough and smart enough, I have enough experience, and good will to handle it. You go ahead and take care of other things.
And don’t you know God's heart just breaks! Not again, Laura, I’ve told you what’s going to happen – wickedness, arguing, cheating, gossip, pride, stupidity...
I’ve spent time with people who talk a lot about church, religion, and Christianity – I’m sure you have too. They talk a good game. But I’ve also spent time with people who actually live what they are talking about. There is a big difference between the two.
James 1:26 says, “Anyone who sets himself up as ‘religious’ by talking a good game is self-deceived.”
Christianity is not a religious belief system. It is intended to be a supernatural, personal relationship with the living dynamic God of the universe. That’s what the Bible is talking about here, not just a nice respectful belief system to help give you a peaceful, happy life. God intends for your relationship with him to be life-changing, to be transformational, and to produce authenticity in you.
God, today I choose to acknowledge your presence. Thank you that you never leave me on my own. Thank you that I don't have to handle things by myself. Thank you that you are patient with me, constantly teaching me and waiting for me to get it. I love you for that!