When we spend hours or days without talking to or thinking about God, we practice practical atheism. Our actions betray our belief that God is interested and involved in everything. We’ve been talking about how we need a plan to avoid the pull to Practical Atheism. First, we need awareness of our problem (part 1) and, once aware, we need to pray (part 2). Prayer leads to action.
Be on the Alert
Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8
As we pray, we also need to be on the alert. Peter reminds us we have an adversary in the summary to his letter. The entire letter guides believers living in a world run by our adversary. Many places in scripture, God reminds us our battle is spiritual. See 1 Corinthians 10:3-4 and Ephesians 6:10-12.
Alert in the Modern Workplace
But what does it mean to be on the alert? We must avoid complacency and ask God to give us a sense of urgency. For me, I avoid the defensive. I focus on offense, moving into the future for the purpose of changing my world rather than letting the world change me. I want to go into work praying for the people I will meet and looking to make a positive impact. I ask God to sharpen me and make me alert. I pray for customers, vendors, coworkers, bosses and peers. And I look for ways to make a positive difference.
I also think through the events of the day. I want to plan my strategy for the times when I’m weak. I pay attention to the places where I tend to fail and I plan my reactions. For example, Peter also tells us to submit to every human institution and to prepare to suffer. I don’t submit or suffer very well. But when I pray and plan, I stand a chance. And when I actually submit and suffer, I arm myself with the same purpose as Jesus (1 Peter 4:1).
Be on the alert. Avoid Practical Atheism with a plan to pray and be alert. What else is in your plan? How do you avoid the tendency to practical atheism? Comment below and let us know your thoughts.