“I don’t want to read my Bible. I don’t want to pray. I don’t want to go to church. I don’t know what’s wrong with me…it wasn’t always this way.”
Every few weeks a version of this email (or message or DM) pops up in my inbox. What do I do if I’ve stopped caring about God? I look at it and remember my own bout with spiritual apathy. There was a season when I too “didn’t care,” though I knew that was no place to stay.
The pursuit of God is not a plateau, and it’s not a perfect trajectory. We are imperfect people responding to the love of a perfect Savior, and while His love is nonnegotiable, we often waver in our devotion to Him. Apathy toward God is not a quick occurrence, but the product of gradual departure from a close relationship with God.
Think about it: No divorce happens overnight. Divorce happens as grievance after grievance, little resentment after little resentment, is harbored and grows. Our relationship with God is much like a marriage. We need to be in communion and communication in order to go deeper and draw closer. Jesus never abandons us, but we can practically abandon Him.
The good news? Your apathy can be reversed. Read on to learn how.
Apathy Is the Enemy’s Tool
“Not caring” is a tool of the Enemy. He rarely leads us to actively resent God. He leads us to subtlety dismiss God. Interestingly, apathy almost always follows repeated sin.
This makes perfect sense when you understand that the enemy’s goal is to drive a wedge between you and your Savior. If you’re a Christ-follower, Christ has already defeated the Enemy’s power of you. From this point on, his goal is to make you as ineffective as possible for Jesus, and the Enemy uses apathy to make this happen.
When we give into sin, the Enemy swoops in with guilt and shame, telling us we can never go back to God, that God won’t forgive or that we can never be used for His kingdom. When we embrace this lie, we repeat the same sins over and over until our lives are cycles of apathy and addiction.
“Not caring” is where we end up when we feel we can’t approach God anymore. We’ve let guilt (the Enemy) deceive us, and it drives us away from the Lord.
Don’t Wait Until You Feel Like It
Reversing apathy is counterintuitive. While you might think the solution is to change how you feel, the solution is to change how you act. Acting on your emotions will only leave you right where you are. The key to changing how you feel about Jesus is to run back to Jesus.
Even before you feel like it.
Discipline yourself to seek Him even when you don’t feel like drawing near. You aren’t the only one showing up, after all. He is always there, always available.
Where Will You Go From His Presence?
Psalm 139:7-10 says:
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
You might not feel like you care about Jesus, but He cares enough to send His Spirit after you. You can’t escape Him. “Not caring” won’t change anything, because He is still Lord, still God and still sovereign over your life. Where will you go from Him? Do you really think you can do life without Him?
Your very breath is from God. Your life, your provision, every good thing has come from Him to you. So run to Him. Don’t wait to feel like you should—just run to Him every morning, tell Him what is in your heart and learn who He is through His Word. Start somewhere simple, like the book of John. And know, without a doubt, that He’s meeting you there.