“Flo was a confirmed atheist . . .” That is the beginning of a sentence in the book I read over the weekend, “Jane Austen in Boca”. It also was the beginning of a string of thoughts that led me down a path of observations.
I’ve never heard anyone say I don’t believe in wealth, health, fame or family. I don’t believe in my profession, my social position, my house and home. When someone says that they are an atheist we assume that they are saying they do not believe in the one true living God and are not talking about Buddha or Muhammad or even Ramtha.
When I chose to serve the gods of this world, I found it to be a one way street. I worked hard to please that god. I worked hard to attain that god. Having that god gave pleasure but only temporarily and then I needed to work hard again to attain more of that god’s pleasures.
It was easy to look around and see how much of these gods I had. I could measure myself against others with the amount that they have. These gods were tangible, measureable and easily lost so I needed to manage them carefully to maintain them in my life.
My spiritual enemy did not care if I believed in him, in fact, he encourages us to minimize his power and to create funny caricatures of him.
Read C.S. Lewis book “The Screwtape Letters” for excellent examples of how he operates.
To see the one true living God and for Him to be as real as my gods I needed to be quiet and listen to my troubled heart. I needed to shut off the busyness of my lives and the world around me which was not easy but well worth the effort. Once I found Him I could see Him everywhere in my life. He was never hiding; I had been too busy and too self-centered to see Him.
Unlike all of the other gods in the world available for me to pursue the living God’s pleasure, peace and joy are renewed in me daily or even hourly just for the asking of Him.
Being willing to acknowledge the one true God for who He is comes with consequences and is scary because I knew that it will require a change of heart and even lifestyle. I was afraid that these changes might mean that I’d end up ministering in an African village without running water, indoor plumbing. But the truth is He wants me just as I was, warts and all.
So when Flo states that she was a confirmed atheist I know one of two things. Either she has examined the truth and rejected it or that she is unable to conquer her fear of the possibility that there is another way to live.