"The fool says in his heart, 'There is no God.'"
How many times I have read this, in both Psalms 14 and 53. How many times I have heard it. How many times I have said it! And how many times I have patted myself on the back, for there certainly is no way that I would ever say that there is no God.
But every so often, my haggard mind jogs me to attention. Something floats around in my subconcious, sometimes for years, then erupts. How long has this one been floating around in there? No way to know. But this morning it jarred me out of a sound sleep, and gave me a good dope slap. I didn't get up right away to look it up, but the question kept going through my head, "Does that really say, 'in his heart?'"
Now, I'm pretty well versed in what the Bible says. Even got degrees that say so. But I must confess that I don't have great gobs of Scripture memorized. So yes, I had to look it up. And yes, it does say that. The Psalms go on to recite the corruption of those who believe there is no God. But that phrase "in his heart" makes it way more personal.
Jesus said, "A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of." (Luke 6.45). He warned the Pharisees (and also us, as if we are really any different from them), "You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts."
On the outside, by my words, and inside my head, I believe in God. In the deepest parts of my being, I know and love Him. But I repeatedly go off on my own, doing things without first turning to my Lord in prayer and supplication, asking for his guidance. How many times have I struggled or failed because I was off on my own? How many times have I acted on something on my own, as if there is no God?
So here I am, "mighty man of God" as someone once called me. And a fool.
"Lord, I'm sorry for acting as if you're not there. Please dope-slap me as needed."
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