Only fools say in their hearts, “There is no God.” (Psalm 14:1)
Relate: There are a very few times in my life when I truly thought I was going to die. There was a time I was climbing one of the cliffs of Letchworth without any ropes or gear. I slipped about five feet before stopping my fall. There was another good hundred-fifty feet to fall had I not.
Another time I was in the passenger seat of a car when we were T-boned by another driver running a stop sign. He didn’t even slow down and was going about 45mph on impact… directly on to my door. Our car spun a full 360, hit a tree, and bounced back into the road. The air pressure from the collision caused the rear windshield to blow outward. My door was knocked in seventeen inches. Although I walked away with little more than some killer bruises and a bit of glass embedded in my leg, for a few brief moments I thought I was a goner. I am not saying there was any divine intervention in this incident (although both the police and the doctor told me there was). I am simply saying that it was one of the most terrifying moments of my life.
A third truly terrifying moment was when I realized I was wrong in not believing my dad was home. My mom had been yelling at me from the living room and I, being a stupid teenager, started yelling right back. I thought it was just the two of us there with no one else to witness. Then my the “wrathful father” rose up out of chair whose back was to me. There is no adequate way to describe my dread. It would be like an Imperial general walking into a room and seeing Vader right after that general failed, again, to defeat the rebels. It would be like an evil king walking into an empty throne room to find the assassin sitting in his chair. You just know there is no escape.
React: I knew my dad existed. I was completely aware and certain that he was real. However, there is a huge difference between an intellectual assent that my dad exists and heart guided reality of his presence. In the same way many times Christians, while intellectually acknowledging God, will live and act as though He was nowhere to be found. I know more than one person who will argue until they are blue in the face with any atheist willing to engage them. Then they will turn around and live like the devil. There is a vast gap between what they speak with their mouth and what they say in their hearts. They are fools.
So am I. Every time I tell a lie, or steal, or gossip, I am saying in my heart “there is no God.” Who is the bigger fool, the one who denies God with their intellect or the one who mentally accepts the reality of His existence but then denies Him with their lifestyle? How dare I, knowing the true nature of my sin and the Divine cost of His grace, continue to rebel against Him anyways? All too often I hear this Psalm used with all the intellectual honesty of a six year old spouting out, “I know you are but what am I?” In reality this verse is a heart check. Are my heart and lifestyle saying the same truths that my mind and mouth proclaim? Am I the biggest of fools?
Forgive me. For those times I have lived the lifestyle of the atheist, forgive me. For those times my heart and my actions have denied what I know that I know that I know to be true, please forgive me. Let my heart, and my actions, always shout out what my mind knows to be true. You are real. You are here. I am Yours.