Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Art of Forgetting God

Have trouble remembering?

Maybe you forget where you put the car keys.

Maybe you forget someone's birthday or anniversary.

But how 'bout forgetting God?!

Listen to what John Wesley had to say about such a habit.

"Forgetting God was talked about by Wesley under the term 'dissipation'. The term was commonly used to describe a person 'violently attached to women, gaming, drinking; to dances, balls, races' and fox hunting. But Wesley uses the term more broadly to include 'the serious fool who forgets about God by a close attention to any worldly employment'; indeed whoever is habitually inattentive to the presence and will of their Creator is a dissipated person. It is the art of forgetting God."

Now you may be thinking, "Who's caught up thinking about dances and balls?" Tell me, does our society get fixed on parties, feeling good, and getting drunk or high?

And how 'bout gaming? Where would we be without ESPN? ESPN2? ESPNU? ESPN360? ESPNClassic? Seriously.

But it is Wesley's "broad" use of the word that gets me: forget about God by a close attention to any worldly employment.

When God tells us via Moses, "Do not worship any god except me. Do not make any idols...Do not bow down and worship idols" (Exodus 20:3ff), I think He had in mind that same thought: any worldly activities, attitudes, or things that would distract us from him.

Anything that would hold too high a place in our lives.

Anyone that would gain too much of our affection.

Read on.

"Wesley equates dissipation with ungodliness, that is, living as if there was no God...A minimal piety and common moral respectability cannot stand up to the radical claims of the living God revealed in Christ."(The Presence of God in the Christian Life: John Wesley and the Means of Grace, Henry Knight III)

Did you catch that?

forgetting God = living as if there was no God = ungodliness

You don't have to be a math major OR a theologian to know forgetting God is trouble.

That's why we hammer the ideas of:

- regularly reading your Bible

- spending consistent time in prayer

- building your schedule around church and gathering with other believers

What steps are you taking TODAY to destroy the art of forgetting God in your life?

Grace & peace

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