Updated: July 27th, 2021 – Published Originally in 2019
Maybe for you it’s a kindle, laptop, tv, book, game, hobby, iPod, puzzle, newspaper, etc. It might even be family. Fill in the blank. You know where your priorities are.
I just had it. Where did it go? Pillows get thrown onto the floor as my hand frantically searches across the couch cushions. My feet trace back their steps into various rooms. I’m surprised my husband hasn’t asked me why there are imprints in our carpet from all of my “hikes” around the apartment. 5 minutes, 10 minutes, has it been 20? I scratch my head. “It’s not here!” My gaze falls to my side as I was holding a cardboard box of yarn balls, a crochet hook, and… I drop the items to the floor. THUD! My cell phone! It was with me all along.
In today’s modern age there is a parasite that seems to have attached itself nearly to everyone’s hip. Babies are not even exempted from this. Understand this is not to point fingers. This is the way our modern world is. I think most people enjoy when something is convenient, and cell phones certainly bring convenience to our fingertips. I can’t really judge anyone else when I have the plank of the cell phone in my own eye, and can you just imagine how large this plank is? No wonder I’m blind spiritually. Studies have shown our brains really enjoy the sense of pleasure. This does not have to be purely physical, but it also comes in the form of accomplishments or simply put, anything that gives us that “happy” feeling.
Gratification comes in many forms. The cell phone provides most of these forms.
- Access to applications we use, like our own blogs or email, and many others we didn’t think we “needed” until we saw it advertised on the screen or word of mouth.
- A way to converse without delay of seeing immediate responses.
- Access to content that may or may not be godly.
You get the picture. It’s shown that picking up our phones can become an automatic reaction for us. Picking up our phone gives us a sense of “good feelings” because we know what awaits us. Convenience. Accomplishment. Lust. Gratifying our flesh. Christian bloggers and all users of social media be aware of the gratifying sense of stats. Comments. Likes. Followers. Numbers. But what does it all come down to? What are the consequences of this convenience?
Yesterday, when I was glad I found my phone, I immediately had this question sweep over my heart. “Do I seek God, the way I seek out my own phone?”
To put this question in a more Biblical perspective: (NIV) Phillippians 2:12, “continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,” Our salvation is meant to be active, this is the only way we will be able to endure to the end. (Matthew 24) Salvation in the Bible is spoken of in all three tenses.
- Past – We have been promised salvation. (Hebrews 2:03, Isaiah 46:13)
- Present – Salvation is being given to us. (2 Corinthians 6:02, Isaiah 12:02, Ephesians 6:17)
- Future – One day we will achieve it completely. (2 Timothy 2:10, Hebrews 1:14, 1 Peter 1:05, 1 Peter 1:09, 2 Timothy 3:15)
Salvation, as many of you know, is only possible through a relationship with Jesus Christ. He has to know us in order for Him to accept us. In this modern world of convenience, it is really easy to forget how something so small like a cell phone controls our world. How we may have become blind to media’s influence over us. How easy it is for us to be blind in the ways we serve our flesh. We become lukewarm not realizing these actions have us already sitting on the fence.
God often gets pushed aside. Yes, I may use my phone sometimes as a means to fear and tremble before God. Listen to Christian music or sermons. Read devotionals or scripture. Engage in godly discussion. But most of my personal walk with Christ is definitely not reflected in my phone time use, and…I can be on my phone… a lot!
Being deceived because we are serving ourselves often blinds us to seeing the cues of conviction.
Conviction does not take away the fact there may be things we NEED to cut out completely or to manage better in our own lives. Pharaoh, for example, even before God hardened his heart, he served himself and the glory of himself. He chose on his own accord to persecute God’s people. When we serve ourselves we can harden our hearts against God. Scripture says if we continue to turn away from God, at some point we will be allowed to stay in that deception for God’s glory 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12.
I think we can admit the fact that we do not have to be convicted to admit our time often does not go to God, but ourselves. This is beyond cell phones right now, bear with me. It can even come in the form of serving others. We put others in front of us…but to the point we have also placed them in front of God, as well. This includes work. We make the buck to support ourselves, and more likely others. But our focus has shifted from God. We become accountable to ourselves and the world before being accountable to God. Please understand, I’m not saying this is the easiest switch to make. Scripture assures us the battle between the flesh and spirit is constantly at war (Galatians 5:17). It’s not meant to be easy. But in order for us to truly ask from the Lord, seek the Lord, and to knock at the door, we must be willing to look at ourselves and how we spend our time. Truthfully, I’m guilty of this, and that’s why I hope what I shared speaks to you. I want to seek the Lord with the same kind of urgency and desire I give to a lost cell phone. It’s pathetic, if I’m honest.
(NIV) Romans 8:05, “Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.”
(NIV) Galatians 6:08, “Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.”
Who are you giving your time to?
Scripture To Meditate On– (NIV) Ephesians 3:19, “and to know this love that surpasses knowledge–that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”
Community Prayer – July ‘21