June 5, 2016

Psalm 10:4 In his pride the wicked does not seek him;
in all his thoughts there is no room for God.

This verse points out the essential idiocy of those who exclude God from their hearts. The NIV turn of phrase is pretty good. The Japanese renders it, “The one phrase, ‘There is no God’ expresses the limit of their thoughts.” I read an article recently that put it this way: “Atheists insist there is no God, and they hate Him.” There are exceptions, I’m sure, but particularly for vocal atheists, I think that’s a pretty fair statement. It’s all a part of the self-centered trap. The devil wants us to think that we’re the be-all and end-all of everything, because when we do that, we not only have no real regard for other people, (except for how they can benefit us) we have no perception and appreciation of our Creator, who brought us into being so that we could fellowship with Him. Every human being is born with a capacity to seek, know, and appreciate God. Ecclesiastes 3:11 calls that “eternity in our heart.” However, when we focus on ourselves, we blind ourselves to God. When we do that, standards of right and wrong crumble for lack of foundation, and we destroy ourselves with sin. The very reason vocal atheists are so vocal is that their hearts convict them of sin and they don’t like that. They therefore deny the basis for all standards of right and wrong, logic be hanged. That’s when the Japanese for this verse sums things up nicely.

I have toyed with atheism as an intellectual “what if” scenario, but the Lord has protected me from staying in such idiocy. As much as I like science, to me it all points to the absolute necessity of a Creator, and once you are settled on that, the God of the Bible is the only one that makes any sense. I did have a time of descending more and more into spiritual pride, thinking I was a fine Christian when actually I was ignoring God in my daily life, but God in His mercy broke me out of that trap, and I am deeply grateful. The vast majority of the people around me are practical agnostics, cultural Buddhists who also practice some Shinto rituals but who have no personal faith at all. They see religion as largely irrelevant to life, applying it only for major life events, like marriage, the birth of a child, and death. It is interesting that such an attitude is so extremely hard to crack with the Gospel. I have demonstrated that I can’t get through effectively by logical argument alone, so I’ve got to keep praying for people that the Holy Spirit would break through the lying walls that surround them. They need to see that not admitting God into their hearts and lives puts them into the category of “wicked” that this verse talks about, and so repent and believe. I am convinced that God wants to bring many people to that point, so I’ve got to be available for however He wants to use me in the process, for their salvation and His glory.

Father, generations of Your servants in Japan have struggled with this, but You aren’t through with this nation. Thank You for the things You are doing in this church even now. May we be open and eager to participate fully in all that You will do in this city and nation, for a massive harvest in Your kingdom, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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4 Responses to June 5, 2016

  1. Bonsai says:

    I pray for Japan as well.

  2. I guess it’s not really an ad hominem if it’s in scripture. …unless it is.

    • jgarrott says:

      The problem with ad hominem attacks is motivation. God cares about character more than anything, and the Biblical standard is pretty clear. If we operate in pride, we are essentially mirroring that of which we accuse the other. Just because we are imperfect doesn’t mean that standards don’t exist.

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