Am I a Practical Atheist?

Do I believe in God and yet LIVE as though I don’t?

Am I a full time pastor and a part time follower of God?

Do I believe my effort is better than God’s power?

Do I believe my private life doesn’t affect my public ministry?

Do I believe I must please people rather, more than I believe I must please God?

These questions have haunted me all day, since I heard them this morning as they were posed by Craig Groeschel of Lifechurch.tv.  But even more disturbing  to me than the questions is the resounding answer of “yes” that reveals the truest state of my heart.  Craig prayed that I would be disturbed, and that I am.

Tonight my heart echoes the prayer of Sir Francis Drake:

Disturb us, Lord, when We are too well pleased with ourselves,
When our dreams have come true
Because we have dreamed too little,
When we arrived safely
Because we sailed too close to the shore.


Disturb us, Lord, when
With the abundance of things we possess
We have lost our thirst
For the waters of life;
Having fallen in love with life,
We have ceased to dream of eternity
And in our efforts to build a new earth,
We have allowed our vision
Of the new Heaven to dim.


Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly,
To venture on wider seas
Where storms will show your mastery;
Where losing sight of land,
We shall find the stars.
We ask You to push back
The horizons of our hopes;
And to push into the future
In strength, courage, hope, and love.



2 Responses to “Am I a Practical Atheist?”

  1. October 6, 2007 at 10:21 am

    that’s really good. i recently was listening to Corey Russell speak about the secret atheism in the church. the Bible says “they say IN THEIR HEART” there is no God.” they would never say it out loud but they say it by the way they live their lives.

    good word!

  2. 2 JRB III
    October 11, 2007 at 9:43 pm

    Good thought, but I wonder if true follwers of Christ like Paul, Peter, John, and on and on and on, thought about things like this? I have to believe their faith made them secure in their salvation despite their shortcomings. It is so very important that we do not let our wondering minds, with their unmet expectations of how we should be, cast a cloud over the spirit of truth within us that testifies to the fact that we are not perfect, but that the grace of God is more than enough to overcome our conceived shortcomings. God certainly wants obedience, which ultimately means action on our parts, but He has equipped us with certain gifts and talents. It it with those gifts that we must work, God will stretch as He desires, but not everyone can be Billy Graham.

    We must “do” in this life with the tools that God has given us, and be satisfied with our work placing our full faith in Christ. We must not be haughty or proud, and continue to search the face of God for things in ourselves that are contrary to Him. We must not let our minds, which are so easily swayed, move our focus from the fact that we are the children of God though faith in Christ, and that works will not get us anywhere close to the mark. When the “works” mentality begins to creep into our thoughts, we should make sure the Helemt of Salvation is firmly attached to our heads. Our thoughts may leave us feeling guilty, but the peace of God will reign supreme if we allow God the opportunity speak to our storms within.

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