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July 21, 2022 10:00 pm
Confused by your own lack of passion, your apathy when it comes to faith? Author Uche Anizor offers ideas to rekindle your first love's persistent flame.
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I know you have a lot of favorite verses in the Bible. Would you if you had to say. Talk to or even top one but one of them well you have a and when you said there were my one of my favorites is Ephesians 320 you know God will do beyond what we can even imagine. Naturally, according to his power, and Holy Spirit. So I would be probably my number one but there's a verse in the in the book of Revelation, you know, even when you just say that people go you know there's only metaphors at the end of the world and in times and eschatology, but there's one that sort of scarcity. Welcome to family life today where we want to help you pursue the relationship that matter most and Wilson Dave Wilson and you can find email@example.com or on our family life.
This is family life today. It's in the second chapter the book of Revelation when the Angels reviewing what he says to the seven churches and to one of the churches.
He said you've lost your first love. That scares me. Yeah read it you know it's in Revelation 2, four and five which says yet I hold this against you, you have forsaken the love you had at first consider how far you have fallen, but don't read anymore. Oh, because you know the question is when you've lost your first love what you do and I don't think most people would go where this Revelation passage goes as the next thing. Here's what you do. So we will talk about today. We got to James are back in the studio with this theology professor from viola come a long way from Los Angeles to Orlando be on family life today. Welcome back to be here. Yes, your mother smiled a little bit.
I'm guessing you sorta looked at this passage and thought about it because your book about overcoming apathy and we spent you know a day talking about just losing your zeal for God and you been there. I've been there. I think everybody's been there and how do we dig out of that.
But when you hear that passage because it's really like you've lost your first love which can be obviously was our walk.
We got a could be in our marriage.
You know what it says next is bilayer smiled, but I think you know what is revealed in the book of Revelation about what to do when you've lost your zeal is that the right answer tells what he says if I remember correctly it says repent and remember the things you did at first, yes, which is powerful.
The solution is is not the sort of radical, mystifying solution crisis thing. All right you had an intensity of love before.
What did you do during that time when you have intensity love revisit that and for that church may have been basic spiritual practices may have been vendors doing better at owning their similar and repenting may have been doing fellowship with one another number for crisis thing, don't just sit there perplexed engage with the things that you did at first and you may have to find the game at first love, yet I think you know often when you think of our own spiritual walk. When we hear lost my first love.
I don't think that's where we would go would like I can get my low back is almost like a marriage is like I gotta just fall back in love is like how to do that.
Well, what did you do when you were dating. What you do when you're engaged. Those activities gave you an appreciation love. So think about Lisa my mind in marriage. If you go back to those early days would you do you set you talked which means spiritually you're in the word you're listening to God you're talking to God. You're getting to know God. You see things and attributes about God that you never seen before. Like oh my goodness that this is a you are it. Stoke the fire in your heart so it works in a marriage doesn't work that way for spiritual walk.
It can, I think one of the complicating things that we have to just be really honest about with our spiritual lives is familiarity breeds contempt right so the more that were familiar with these enormous realities of the Christian faith. Sadly, we grow numb to them. So the average Christian about to go to 40 services a year, 45, 50 services a year during church services for the hearing stuff about Jesus. The gospel member listen to Christian radio and have Christian songs they listen to family life is like today that imagine that inundated with the good new is much as we want to say you should always be excited about the good news. The reality of being human. Not to mention the simple reality of being human. Were going to grow numb to things that are familiar and so it really is a battle that were engaged in to stay excited and passionate about very familiar things will not only that, but we live in a world where it's competing for our affection time. So if we do get a little bored in the spiritual aspect. We have something over here in the world they can fill us out for and bring us pleasure, and so then we kind of walk away or maybe not even walk away. We drift a little bit without realizing yesterday. We even talked about apathy.
What that means.
Let me read the definition that you put in your buck. Apathy is a psychological and spiritual sickness in which we experience a prolonged dampening of motivation, effort and emotion as well as a resistance to doing things that would bring flourishing in ourselves and others.
I think that's really good to think through like how I my doing me when I hear that even when I read it in your book.
I thought while there's a lot apathy in me. I mean, I love the sinner and said the most zealous, passionate Christ follower in this room right but it's often when I read the definition like will there is a loss of first love that can creep in and it's subtle, but then Dave Chase says this in your right here but you say it's a thing that expresses itself as restlessness, aimlessness, laziness and joy.
Aimlessness toward the things of God. I think a lot of us are like that just hit hard. Yeah, I think we think of apathetic people is just like lazy couch potato know this lounging Ben & Jerry's watching that may be the case but I think it's what the book is a cut identified as it's a spiritual thing roughly engage in a spiritual battle. The real enemy that wants to keep us engage with things that are trivial and meaningless and wants us to the field of law about the things that are life-giving and things that help me flourish. Other people flourish. So it's a real spiritual battle that will directly engaged. So how do we engage in spiritual battle. We Revelation we the things we did at first base line with the reengage of the things we did first and repent. Which means I got to be honest and say you know what that is me.
It isn't just you know my wife is of course is my wife but now I think that's what we do. We point out others and some of the most judgmental people probably have the hardest coldest apathetic hearts. There is I know I've been there. At times it is somewhat scary as I got a wide dig out of that so repent would mean own up to your own sin say this is wrong.
This is who I am.
I'm going to turn away from that and do things I did a first which is going to restock some. I think one of the best things I learned as a new follower cries of the college kid is a junior in college I got involved crew, but my mentor who is actually another student. He was a married student told me early taught me what a quiet time was a daily time to sit with God's word and pray and study and even worship one the things he told me and I I did know not a lot of people ever heard this, he said you need to change this up. It shouldn't look the same every month every year like it isn't always going to be this six months later.
For now, you may emphasize this more.
That's good advice.
It was just like because now I crosstraining you know where all the crosstrained like a train differently because some things will get road and they just won't have any impact to move on from that doesn't mean don't read the word and just three different ways of thinking is that helpful that's that's really well said. And so I think about why is it that I can get excited about a new Netflix show versus the Bible. Some like that part of the reason is it's new and what's new.
It's engaged even though there there only Sony plot lines. You have a movie and whatever you're watching marble movie or something, but at the same time. It's just new and we have to recognize that we have a hunger for new things or things to be expressed in new ways.
So we own and change things up, find different ways to engage God's word.
So for the last couple years. My primary way of engaging God's word is through listening, I've never done that for being tardy.
My Christian life and know I do it through like Bible app I listen to the Scripture. That's my way of some of just changing things up a little bit of spice for lack of a better term. Lorna and I think we honest with ourselves that we crave novelty but would you look good in and of itself, but we need to know. I think that is really reassuring because we think I'm not as consistent as this other person that does the same thing for the last 10 years. Lately when I've been walking out. Listen to these amazing sermons and then this week I just thought I'm gonna leave all of that, it hungrily by phone at home and pray and get a listen and think because sometimes I fill my head so much with so much staff that I don't feel and experience God's presence, his pleasure, his promptings in the spirit and just talking to him and then giving myself space for me that's really important. Why member I was just like when you're saying that a few years ago also been almost a decade now. One of her sons went to the passion conference in the Georgia Dome and there were 60 70,000 college kids there so you know as a parent, you're so excited your kids going to this he was a sophomore. I think in college and he came home just you can imagine on fire.
We've all had those retreats and he's in a stadium with all these college kids and on their forget were sit in our family room. He says dad is going to play you this worship course that we were singing down there and I start playing the song is just a simple fact you know what we are all, I was hoping this would happen. Get ready to put all the things on there now. I hope I can remember a yeah so let me were literally sitting in our living room and wasn't there were alone, he just puts us on this is all they were singing down so that can contain gang and show how long will you. How long will now so insane, so I want all will it start building right in. I'm not kidding. Three and half minutes and we are both standing up alone in our home saying we are saying it was just this beautiful moment that I'll never forget with my son and think that the lyrics of that song you can hardly even called a song is just a simple prayer want to I want fire back in my soul. I don't want to be apathetic. I don't want to be followers losses first appears on tell you what happened from that day forward for me is that ignited something that it had sort of left me at that season my life and that was singing worship courses him. I'm an artist I'm playing band and it was some those really important to me early in my Christian walk. I never even heard Christian music so I'm going to meetings on campus and were singing worship songs and then I'm in the band were singing worship songs. I was at a season. My life were that was just some some I did some we do a church on tell you is this, I started reigniting that part of my spiritual walk. When I would be in the word in the morning I would put out a worship song and get my guitar and sing worship sucks. Here's all I can tell you of zealous fire came back to my walk with God and that season, so much so that member under forget it. I'm preaching pretty much every week and I would start call my audio guy basically text him and say I need acoustic guitar on stage with me. I'm just guessing. This of course in it. It started happening almost weekly because I be like a I just want sing your course 11 singing all week just join with me and wasn't a whole song just that I got the point. Like two months in Ameritech's and one day go, dude. I just need a guitar and he goes hey, though always be a guitar always plugged in and ready for you. He goes I don't know what's happening, but your fire is contagious to our conjugation.
People were coming up to me regularly and this offended me. I should have been offended but they be like to. What have you people coming up to me saying let me be a winning is your sermons.
There better and I got offended like they were good people and they would say that what they were saying is there's a fire in you that we haven't felt that were feeling and it's starting to happen in this body. And again it was like I look back on what a guy do it was like he took one of the spiritual disciplines on this one would be worship, singing, and just reignited my soul in that area is started something that ended up being contagious for a whole church. I just thought, isn't that how God doesn't.
It could be worship, singing for you could be the word could be prayer it could be community, but he'll tell you something right to bring you to draw you out of apathy in my right is messed up, encouraging really what your story like for both me and my wife worship music was the thing that we did a little guitar is a lot about how we engage with God's harder moments of our lives and we regularly look back on their guitars and in our living room grandstand play. She plays while we played enough you know to be able to sing worship courses and knows the way that we engage with God even as you're talking. What Lord rekindle the that's what that was. Maybe. Maybe there's a pandemic. One day I was up you know were all home and armor. One day I was just up my upstairs little studio have a quiet time with God and I just grabbed my guitar.
I'm just there by myself sorry or does not. I was just doing this I was oh this is so not doing that all by myself. I'm not using a lower net and she comes right here was this beautiful moment now as a couple.
Going vertical together and again when I sit here saying that I know you nuts. It is like the only way that you can stoke the fire in your soul for Jesus, singing worship, but it might be something like that with Revelation engaging the things that we did at first member God met you lit a fire let's call it in this area and imagining a listener thinking man if my teenage son or daughter were so excited and zealous about God and they want to show me this worship song that would be amazing.
Maybe some have that others, unless maybe we have someone the super apathetic that they had committed their lives to Christ. We saw zeal, but now that there's a waning of that and his parents, especially teenage kids were not sure how to address that or what to do. There there often care about you teenagers going to a 14-year-old. What's the best way for parents to interact in that way that David and Wilson with Bucci and his door on family life will hear Jay's response in just a minute you know one thing, we are definitely not apathetic about family life is bringing the clarity of God's word to a culture that desperately needs it and we need your help will you partner with us financially.
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We want to send you a copy of KY must book peace project 30 day experiment practicing thankfulness, kindness and mercy. You can get your copy when you give this week like today.com when you call with your donation at 800-358-6329, 800 F peasant family L as in life and in the word today. Right now, back to Dave Anne's conversation with Jay and his door and how parents can best interact with an apathetic teenager. While I am no expert, 14-year-old is for art.
14-year-old she still her in every way, so she's sort of study zeal for God and for God's word for maybe 10 years now, so before she was tempted read the Bible Bible and the New Testament twice my time to stab her like 9 to 10 year very committed and so the statement is a preface like I did, but you're also working with college students.
Yeah so it's difficult because the causes of apathy are person specific and so the last thing I want to do this if someone is going to want to be stupid because it is not a formula like what were trying to do is were trying to cultivate whole people cultivating whole people, something that takes some nuance to take some engagement with them takes a relationship takes you be able to really assess okay pure.
The several factors I think are at play and then just starting somewhere. It might be.
As I said earlier college students. They may just not be engaging with the thing that they know are primary and basic that could be but maybe over the course of time engaging with the cost of my relaxed man like they're struggling with something like grief for their morning with a real lawsuit in terms of what a family member or their morning losses in life, you know, like the third culture differences example is the loss of things you lost a relationship. Loss of familiarity because of things and a lot of things that we grieve over differences student make be grieving losses then process the grief so one of the outcomes of not doing with reefer processing grief is we grow know it's sort of a coping mechanism.
If the numbness is apathy that the apathy is tied to grief milled is by questions right so ceasing to don't shame because that's probably what I would it.my reading your Bible and where is your zeal that doesn't help, but it takes a combination of being willing to speak the truth in love really have to be love and love means patience and a willingness to walk with but at some point if was noticing. There's a resistance and you want to do the basics them you to say that you want to remove whatever sort of like cloud of mystique around apathy mysterious at all, just be really straightforward. You don't want to engage with God's was actually a sinful lack of desire to engage with God and has nothing to do this. Would like perplexing obviousness. Nothing is somewhat different, apathetic versus I'm a Christian who really, really knows that God is good, really really know the missions is wonderful. The vandalism is great in the Bible's wonderful kinds of things but I just can't get myself that's a different person.
I still care. I really don't care about God that I want to pursue strict hardhearted store God subtly different to be really interesting if you have kids old enough to have this discussion to talk about apathy, DE could even chair a definition. This is what we heard today.
This is what the definition of apathy is what you feel about that experience that and I would say is apparently we all do to normalize it and what you do when you're in that state and what helps you to get out of that, spiritually speaking, that be great to do with kids right. I was also thinking one of the best things you could do for a apathetic kid or teenager is beyond fire your modeling can't fake that is all sniff that out faster than anybody but if they see a mom or dad that is genuinely zealous for God. It's something you can't walk all around in your home you feel that you smell it is beautiful you want it.
Actually you and so LBI me as you can tell him what to do shown what to do. It's like me when I see you live in it. It sort of caught not taught right. We have to make allowances for different personalities to some degree express manual differently right so some folks are good friend of mine is a colleague by Ola Coots means one of the most passionate people I know love them to death. These influence me a lot. But he's not like loud passionate is not like overly expressive, passionate, like the fire. As you will, for the glory of God in the skies life.
You know he's not paint himself up in a football game is color shirt on his gosh yeah Jesus's life is is committed here. Great for me to to see an example of. Here's zeal. He's about 10 years older than me and he zealous but then the other types were like you're just type of leader tie rod brought the message it to write, but there are different ways to be zealous with. We want to build a hold two things at the same time we want to say no off the hook needs to cultivate as you forgot.
We also want to say zeal for God is going to look different.
Yeah, and we laugh about, especially with the kids to because our kids are some different right we talk about getting the word to get zeal prayer just supplants worship cures want to just hit me that I think at least again. Maybe it's personality but it brings back a zealous fire for God is when you step out in faith and trust him in a scary way and he shows up, saying always shows of answers prayer perfectly. But when he comes through and often it isn't like I'm watching somebody else's story know I'm the one that wrote the check that I is bigger than I was uncomfortable with or I share faith with somebody a neighbor that is scary and then you see God just show up.
Don't you just thought like what just happened in my spiritual walk just excited it's right again may not be a cheerleader type excitement but there's a fire in me that like I just did something that I was scared to death. He showed up you go tell somebody in my writing is exactly right. Like if doubt is a killer zeal. What were doubting is oftentimes God's realness.
What is God really really really really like David day is real for me rather than real for some other do if God actually shows up contribute to my excitement and passion for him. If you're sitting there and you've been dealing the knowledge of God to take a risk.
Whether it's to share Christ with a neighbor or I don't know what to step into a conversation. Trust God in a great way to see what happens. You been listening to David and with Jake and his door on family life to a is book is called overcoming apathy gospel hope for those who struggle to care. You can get a copy if you firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 800-358-6329 that's one 800 F as in family L as in life, and then the word today. Now I got the president of family life David Robbins with me here in the studio and one of the things I appreciate about you, David, is your heart for winning building and sending once you talk about that for a minute I think about the conversation today about overcoming apathy and one of things I love about being a part of family life. The vision has always been about the world homes all over the world. The family is a global heart language. Every culture no matter what culture you live in any country. The family holds a sacred power and what I love about the opportunity when it comes to the sanctity of marriage and the value for family worldwide, is that it's an opportunity for the gospel to get to people that do not know Jesus.
And that really is what we are about family life.
Our mission statement says, effectively developing godly families who change the world one home at a time. Just this past week I got a message from our leader in Philippines and Ray the leader. There was tell me about. He was on a phone call with leaders in India and Turkey helping them know how to launch ministry to families in their corner of the world as you listen to family life to a and keep impacting your own corner of the world know as you participate with family life by your giving them by your engagement you are helping a movement of families all over the world change the world one home at a time. Yeah I love that specific vision for something so broad as the world thanks David hand from your neighbor just to get out of conversation.
Maybe I'll admit that I have Don Everts will be joining David and talk about how important those types of conversations actually are. That's coming up next week on behalf of David and Wilson. I'm shall be added back next time for another edition of family life today family like the days of production of family life accrued ministry helping you pursue the relationships that matter most