What Christians Do That is Worse Than Rejecting God

lady backI recently read a quote last week that messed me up.

“The darkness of the evil one encloses those who neglect to pray.”
– Ellen White in “Steps to Christ.”

“Yep. Heard that before. Nothing new there. Obviously when I refuse to pray then…”

And that’s when it hit me.

She doesn’t say refuse to pray; She says neglect to pray.

Major difference.

One implies obstinance. The other indicates abeyance.
One is willful, the other is mindless.
One refers to a dismissal, while the other refers to a disinterest.

The author then goes on to make some piercing points regarding the sad reality of many Christians who don’t tap into the riches of God’s grace because they are not intentional about their spirituality.

Joshua seemed to get this towards the end of his life:

“Choose you this day whom you will serve” he said. “But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15)

The more I thought about this, the more I’m led to believe the following:

A major reason why many Christians don’t experience growth isn’t so much because of a refusal of growth as much as a lack of intention towards it. 

And this is worse than an outright rejection of God. How? Bear with me as I work up to a hopefully compelling answer.

The Bible has a recurring theme of God honoring the intentionality of his children. God has always been a Divine Gentleman – one who is decidedly anti-coercive yet hyper-sensitive to the choices of his people. God is an intentional God who functions within the parameters of our choices.
That’s why I like to think that the most powerful force in the universe isn’t God, but choice; Even God doesn’t mess with it.

So when I choose to act in favor of God, when I choose to be intentional about my spiritual growth, and when I choose to be aware of His presence, God honors my choice and I grow.

Conversely, when I choose to desecrate the Sabbath, when I choose to abuse the helpless and downtrodden, and when I choose to lust, God honors that choice, and I backslide.

But we tend to think there’s another choice – a “non-choice” –  that comes from a place where all choices that are not chosen sadly congregate like last picks in a pickup ball game waiting to be chosen. They are usually remembered after the game is played, usually accompanied by a feeling of sharp regret. They look like this:

“man, I forgot to pray today..”

“shoot, I didn’t give tithe last month.”

“ wow, how did I not…”

“I didn’t even realize…”

In case you are sarcasm-challenged, let me be plain:

There is no such thing as a “non-choice.” We always choose. Even if it’s mindlessness.

In the final estimate, heaven is for those who chose to be there. The citizens of the heavenly kingdom are not going to be there by accident or mere happenstance. On the flipside, even heaven will be hell for those who don’t choose to be there.

“But bro, are you talking about working your way into spiritual maturity? What about grace? Isn’t God’s grace going to grow us?

Good question. Here’s what I’ll tell you:

God’s grace is not conditional upon my growth in Christ, but my growth in Christ is conditional upon my intentional choice to receive and act upon his grace.

If this weren’t true, then everyone who calls themselves a “Born again Christian” would be walking, talking replicas of our Lord Jesus. But we know that’s far from the truth.

Moreover, there also seems to be a confusion between desiring growth and deciding to grow. Many well-intentioned Christians have confused wanting to grow with choosing to grow and it is significantly, yet subtly, stunting their spirituality.

I love how Karl Haffner puts it:

“We don’t grow by trying; we grow by eating.”

The Bible says that it is God who works in us to give us both the desire and the provision to act according to His good pleasure. However, if we are not intentional about choosing to respond to this work by inviting Him in and making some decided changes in our life, we are not going to grow.

You can’t work it out unless He works it in. But He can’t work it in unless you choose to let Him in.

Let’s also not forget that we have an enemy who is literally hell-bent on making sure that we are unaware of the choices we need to make. It’s been said that if the devil can’t make you bad, he’ll make you busy. He’d rather keep you occupied in temporal matters and forget God than force you to reject God. The great deceiver usually comes in the form of things that we already love and cherish to distract us from the things that are timeless and eternal.

But here is the good news:

Your choice can be the difference between being deceived by Satan and being enlightened by God.
Your choice can be the difference between failure and victory.
Your choice can be the difference between spiritual decline and spiritual growth.

Passive spirituality is worse than active rebellion. In other words, neglecting God is worse than rejecting God, for even God cannot work in a person who won’t pick a side.

So choose. Choose to be intentional about your growth. Choose where you need to place the scalpel. Choose whom you will serve.

For when you don’t choose, you’ve already chosen.

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17 thoughts on “What Christians Do That is Worse Than Rejecting God

  1. Valerie A. September 21, 2015 / 10:23 am

    This is a really great article Kevin! I believe alot of us do this but aren’t aware that we are neglecting God. You are shedding light on things that need to be taker about more often- keep it up!

    • Kevin Wilson September 21, 2015 / 7:57 pm

      Thank you Valerie! do share it with others if you wish to! Glad you stopped by! 🙂

  2. Karl Lindsay October 2, 2015 / 10:21 am

    Refuse v Neglect. Powerful stuff mate! Love your thoughts. Thanks for the encouragement 🙂

  3. NJ March 21, 2016 / 12:41 pm

    Hi Kevin thanks for this, but I want to ask you if you can elaborate more or explain other way when you wrote, “..the most powerful force in the universe is not God but choice.” At first I find it very disturbing and also maybe the same with the other readers. Thanks.

    • Kevin Wilson September 6, 2016 / 3:01 am

      Hi! thanks for the engagement. To answer your question, I believe that God, as we know through the Judeo-Christian worldview, is “constrained” by two things: His character and my choice. That is to say that a) God will not and cannot function beyond his character of love otherwise He will cease to be God, and b) God will not do anything to jeopardize my freewill. The only thing stopping God from doing what He wants to do in my life is my own choice. Hence the statement. Did that make sense?

  4. Flydah March 21, 2016 / 1:02 pm

    Great thoughts here, for sure sometimes we fail to realize that our spirituality depends upon the choices we make every day. thanks for the rebuke brother.

  5. Mwaura Mswati March 21, 2016 / 1:50 pm

    This is deep. Thank you for enlightening me. May God help us.

  6. Inge Anderson March 21, 2016 / 6:35 pm

    Great post! I found it because Nicole Parker shared it on Facebook. I believe it’s a suitable post for Sabbath School Net this week. Please contact me at http://ssnet.org/

  7. Sam March 21, 2016 / 9:30 pm

    I love the concept, but I don’t feel that everyone has that choice. And there is never anything greater to fear (choice) than God.

  8. ndumia March 23, 2016 / 8:34 am

    what an article.!!…i think this was ment for me.

  9. Renae March 28, 2016 / 10:57 pm

    True words indeed. Our choice determines our destiny. Sound article!

  10. Robert Filion June 16, 2016 / 5:30 pm

    Wow! Thank you for sharing, brother! I will bring and share this with my church!
    God bless you, man!

    • Kevin Wilson September 6, 2016 / 2:48 am

      No worries Robert! Appreciate you stopping by!

  11. Jean Simmons June 23, 2016 / 9:50 am

    That’s truly enlightening. Powerful information thank you

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