Enough is enough.
JULY 21, 2020
Enough is enough. Let’s talk about it on Key Life.
That was author and seminary professor Steve Brown. And this is Key Life. We’re all about radical grace, because of what Jesus has done, God’s not mad at you. Keep listening and that message will set you free to live a life of joy and surprising playfulness.
Thank you Matthew. Open your Bible. I’m not going to read it to you again, I did that yesterday. Open your Bible to Second Corinthians 1:8-11. We’ll be going there and some other places as we talk about the subject, what good is Acedia? When you reach that point of saying, I don’t want to be religious anymore, enough is enough. Did I tell you? I probably did. It was one of Fred Smith, my late mentor’s favorite stories about this elderly couple that went to see a divorce lawyer. They said they wanted a divorce. He said, a divorce? Are you crazy? You’ve been married 73 years. You’ve got all these children, multitudes of grandchildren and multitudes of great grandchildren. You’ve lived together all of your lives. Good heavens, what do you want to divorce for? And they said in unison and together, enough is enough. Maybe you feel that way about your walk with Christ? And you, and the problem is, you know, it’s true. You can’t get out of it. You’ve gone too far. Where are you going to go? And John, when the disciples said that did Jesus, we’ve got no place to go, or we would. But you have the words of life. And so if you’re in that place, then we’re going to talk about that. I saw a comedian once on television, who was talking about her cat. She had a problem with our cat crawling up the curtains or her apartment. And she, at the advice of a friend, got a squirt gun and started shooting at the cat, hanging on the curtains. The cat was surprised at the unpleasant water in her face and tried to bat it away. And couldn’t, it just kept coming. Then the cat needed protection, jumped off the curtains and ran into the arms of her mistress, the one who had this squirt gun. The cat didn’t realize that her protector was her tormentor. Her tormentor, was her protector. Romans 8:28 says that all things work for those who love God and are called according to his purpose. That’s absolute truth, in Romans 11:36, Paul says
for from him and through him and to him are all things.
To him be glory forever! Amen.
And that’s all true too. Now, if that’s true, and it is, let me say something important, God himself is our protector, and as it were our tormentor. And our tormentor as it were, is also our protector. Your story is his story. Even the loss of passion for Christ is a part of his story. So, I move the previous question. So what in the world is good about Acedia? About being bored with the Christian faith? Well, let me tell you, first Acedia and the loss of passion and boredom reminds us that we’re not home yet. That’s Second Corinthians 1:8a
For we do not want you to be unaware brothers of the affliction we experienced in Asia.
And then as Peter would say, as if something strange were happening to you. So it reminds you that some things aren’t fixable, that we live in a fallen world, that some things are true and some things are not true. And how we feel about whether they’re true or not true, doesn’t have a thing to do with whether or not they are true. Churchill, one time said, and boy, is it true in our time. That a lie, will be halfway around the world, before truth gets on his pants. That’s a good statement. And it’s true. And there are all kinds of narratives going on today. That happens in the church, it happens about politics. It happens about Israel. It happens about the virus. It happens about the protests that are going on. It happens in our own lives narratives that we believe and what we got to do, and we got to do this over and over again, cause we forget. We gotta go to the scripture and we’ve got to determine what is true and what is not true. And boy, it’s true that you’re not home yet. We a few weeks ago interviewed Jay Payleitner, who’s an old friend of mine. Goes back a lot of years. In fact, he helped produce one of the first public relations. This is back in the days when I had hair, back in the days when I had no wrinkles, back in the days when I thought I was going to change the world. Now my prayer is Lord don’t let me lose too many. But at any rate we interviewed Jay, he has a new book on the prayer of Agur. It’s in Proverbs 30, and nobody ever talks about it, but it’s a great prayer. You might want to check it out. But one of the things on, I think he said it on the air that I had said in that promotional video that we did so many years ago was this Key Life is designed to get you home and you’re not home yet. And then Jay laughed and he said, I’ve quoted you so many times on that. You have no idea. The first hundred times I gave you credit. After that, I said, as I always say, you’re not home yet. Well, you’re not home yet. And sometimes you have to be reminded if we lived in a third world country, if, uh, you were homeless, uh, if you had to fight off another tribe, trying to wipe your tribe out, if you, uh, if you had nothing, uh, that wouldn’t be hard. I mean, it’s gotta be better than this, but in this country and Canada, where most of the people listen to this broadcast, no matter how much complaining we do, no matter how much we say how horrible it is, it really isn’t, we’re better off than almost everybody. And if you’re, if you’ve got a car and a house and food to eat and enough money to spend and to get by on, then you kind of feel like you’re there already. No, you’re not. You’re not even close. And every day, the world rolls over on top of somebody who was just sitting on top of it. And when that happens, it is a good reminder that we live in a fallen world. It’s a good reminder that something major at the very heart of the universe is bent and warped and dark and scary. You know, I’m not for, you know, I’m not happy about the COVID-19 thing. I’ll tell you I’m in the studio. I mean, you know, I’ve done a lot of our broadcasting from home, but I’m back in the studio, but I want you to know it’s been sanitized. I mean, the keyboard in here has been sanitized. The big screen I look at has been sanitized. The multiple microphones in this studio, have been sanitized. And I have to keep Cathy out of this studio or she’ll start spraying that stuff all over me, but I’m kind of glad. Cause the COVID thing is a reminder, and a lot of people needed a reminder. Most young people don’t think they’re going to die. They really don’t. They’re pretty sure that by the time, uh, it’s their term to die, that science will come along and figure out a way to keep them living forever. It’s not true. The statistic is one out of one, and someday you’re going to turn old, and someday you’re going to die. And somebody needs to tell you, and if somebody doesn’t tell you, somebody like God needs to remind you. And that’s what COVID-19 is all about. We need to be reminded that we’re not home yet. And the good thing about boredom, if, if the Christian faith were, as a lot of people seem to suggest it is, tiptoeing through the tulips with Jesus. I am so praising the Lord all the way, every day is better than the last day. Now there’s some truth to that. I get that part. You know, I don’t want to go back and be a pagan, but if it were all light, if it were all good, if it were all fine, if we always felt close to Jesus, if we sang every hymn in the church and meant it. If all of our prayers we could see descending to the throne of God. If we never got bored of it, if we never got tired of it, we would think that we were home and we’re not. And so as you go through periods of Acedia, remember you’re not at home yet. You think about that. Amen.
And that was Steve Brown, giving us some perspective on becoming bored with Jesus. It is a problem, but it also reminds us that we’re not home yet. And we are not done yet, more from Steve about the sin of Acedia, tomorrow. Be sure to join us. But if I may, I’d like to read you something. I understand that you have reached your last lap and I can’t get you off my mind. And perhaps I am the most unlikely person to write this. I’m not on my last lap, at least as far as I know. And I think the knowing makes all the difference, you are on Holy ground, that I can not begin to fathom. I don’t know what it’s like to know that death be collecting me soon. That was the opening passage of an article titled a letter to the dying written by Jenni Young. You can find it in the 2020 edition of Key Life magazine. Get your copy for free right now, my calling 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also email [email protected] and ask for the magazine. If you’d like to mail your request, send it to
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