I often have felt myself pulled in many directions at one time. As a Christian, husband, father, and employee I feel the constant pull to share my focus in many directions at one time. I know the urge to want to shut down and just veg out on the couch and go mindless for a while. The constant yearning for my attention from, what feels like, everyone can be overwhelming. I am sure I'm not the only one who is in this boat.
On average, most people are awake for 16 hours a day. We all have that constant pull for our attention and grabbing for our focus. We have the world constantly pushing its truth —which is a lie— down our throat. We have an enemy, the devil, and his minions, trying to distract us all very often. Then we have our own attention spans, as short as they are, being led away from what is most important. That brings us to what has been on my mind lately.
Apathy is a tough thing to deal with; that feeling of just not having any motivation to focus on Christ or His Word. While being pulled in so many directions as well as having the fiery arrows flung our way, it's easy to slip into the ditch of apathy. The fact that it's easy points to the fight with our sinful nature and the fact that we want to spend time in God’s Word points to the yearning of the born again spirit that has been given to us once we are saved. So while considering this issue, I was going through the book of Romans. In Chapter 12 verse 2, you can see the direction for us so that this problem of apathy won't be so tough or happen as often for us.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. - Romans 12:2
We are given a clear warning and directions on how not to fall prey to the warning. The warning is to “not be conformed to this world.” What does your life look like? Do you look like everyone else in the way that you live your life? Do you have the same worldview? If you do, you need to start asking yourself some serious questions about your salvation. We are to live holy lives and to be examples to the world. I like the way John MacArthur said it when he said, “You are the only Bible some unbelievers will ever read.” Convicting, right?
Next, we are told how not to end up being conformed to this world. It says to “be transformed by the renewal of our mind.” What does that look like? Simply put: Read your Bible. Read it daily, and read it often throughout the day. In America we have this idea of our “quiet time” or “devotional time” being the only way for us to connect with God or the only time that we spend time with Him. While I find it very important and integral, it's not the only time of our day that we should be “devoting” to God. The entirety of our lives should be devoted to God, not just the morning time before we get busy and forget Him the rest of the day.
Renewing your mind in His Word is a balm to a weary soul. It goes with the old saying “garbage in, garbage out.” The same applies here. The more you read Scripture, the more it will come out in your speech and in your thought life as well. This “renewing your mind” is a wonderful thing to safeguard you against apathy.
With your mind being renewed and heart safeguarded from apathy, you will have the ability to do what this verse says next. You will be able to “ discern what is the will of God.” Often I hear the question, “What is His will for me in my life?” This is how you determine that. You protect yourself from being conformed to this world by renewing your mind and then you are able to figure that out. Obviously, prayer is an important part of that equation. Also, wise and godly counsel from brothers and sisters who will be using the Word of God to counsel you. That's how you determine what is good and perfect.
This Scripture is also pointing to the fact that you will be safeguarded against heresy by this renewing of your mind. You can spot a fake from a mile away when you have spent time studying the real deal. That's how the U.S. Mint trains their employees; They have them spend a large amount of time studying the real money so once they are presented with a fake, they can spot it without hesitation.
Same thing with this as well. You will be able to tell the difference between Godly counsel and ungodly counsel. You will be able to tell the difference between a false doctrine and the Truth. Only by being in His Word daily and often throughout the day, will you be able to renew your mind. I've said it in the past and I'll say it again: singing hymns and psalms helps with that. Learning creeds and confessions will help with that as well.
That deep ditch of apathy can drag you down and keep you that way if you let it. That would be a big win for the enemy to keep you distracted and apathetic. So, fight! Cling to Christ and His word. Read your Bible often, pray often, sing often, and share His beautiful Gospel often. Our Great God deserves every moment of our attention, praise, and devotion. Keep your mind on Him and His Word and you won't fall to this attention grabbing, fiery dart attack, apathetic style of life. Will you have to fight against it? Absolutely. But He, and only He, is worthy.