Apathy is not caring about something significant. A college student might not want to go to class and might struggle to muster up the interest or ability to get schoolwork done. They could still care about seeking comfort, parties, and love, but could be ignoring the most significant thing they were supposed to be devoting time and money to. Most of us deal with apathy about something, but in certain individuals’ lives it might be harder to see than in others.

There is an interesting scene depicted in 1 Samual chapters 13-14. The Philistines were harassing the Israelites. They sent several raiding parties to attack and weaken God’s people. At that time, King Saul led a small group of fighters, but they were not in the fight. Instead, they were in the shade.

“Saul was staying in the outskirts of Gibeah in the pomegranate cave at Migron. The people who were with him were about six hundred men, including Ahijah the son of Ahitub, Ichabod’s brother, son of Phinehas, son of Eli, the priest of the Lord in Shiloh, wearing an ephod.” 1 Sam 14:2-3

Pastor Paulson made some interesting observations about this passage and how it demonstrates “the danger of detachment. Why do we get the detail that Saul was on the outskirts of Gibeah? We also see that Ahijah was there and we’re given the details that he was wearing the ephod. You have all of the political and spiritual power disengaged from the battle that was at their doorstep. Passivity may be our default, engagement must be our intention.”

It is human nature to seek comfort and avoid strife. Like water flowing from higher points to the oceans below, people normally seek the path of least resistance. This could be a sinful nature issue, and also an important part of growing and maturing in Christ if we are willing.

Can engagement overcome apathy? What area in your life is the Holy Spirit pressing you to stop ignoring and start battling in? Lazy people can get up and get going. Diligent people can notice when they have not been diligent in guarding their words or being kind. People who never pray can start thinking about God all day long and talking to him in their minds. Critical people can start to see others through God’s eyes and can accept people right where they are at. The person that lives next door to you and to me who probably doesn’t know Jesus needs some love and attention this year. What will we do to connect with them?

God is calling us to move, to do, to be engaged with his purposes, and to stop waiting for the battle to come to us while we wait in the shade for as long as we can.

Pastor John Riley

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