A little over two weeks ago, I penned a blog titled Are You Falling for Satan's Great Lie? You can read it HERE. I ended that post with a "tune in tomorrow for Part 2" and then left you hanging. The reason for the slower-than-expected "answer" is that I've been on a bit of a journey these last few weeks and God continues to dangle things in front of me that have me searching for more answers than ever before.
So what's the answer to this dilemma? Well, here are my thoughts...
In that post, I wrote about how Satan used the deception of technology, time, busyness, etc that we all have in our lives to fool me into thinking that I was spending quality time with God. Time that in our family, we would call Fully Engaged and Fully Present. The reality is that when we move at a breakneck, frenetic pace of life that the world demands of us, our time with our Father is either non-existent or relegated to a "drive-by" devotional read to us by Siri through the speakers of our car or truck. Our time in His word - sitting with a REAL HARD COPY bible opened up in our lap or on the dining room table - is now a thing of the past since YouVersion's Bible app is one of the most downloaded apps of all time reaching over 300 MILLION DOWNLOADS in 2017.
Please don't get me wrong, there is a place for YouVersion or any other bible app that we use in our world today. I use it daily to cross-reference versions I don't have on hand; I use it to do some devotionals that supplement things I'm studying at certain times. But a steady diet of it in place of the "real" food of God's word is not the answer. The reality is this is the problem! I'm speaking from 1st-hand knowledge.
Think of your bible-app-of-choice as your favorite fast-food restaurant. Whether it's Whataburger, Chick-Fil-A, McDonalds or Taco Bell, if you decided to eat all your meals from that restaurant while sitting in your car, your health would take a steady decline due to weight gain, clogged arteries, food that is seriously lacking in quality nutrition but overloaded with preservatives and artificial flavorings and colors. Your problem would be exacerbated by the fact that all of your meals were being consumed while "on the run" and sitting in your car. Your exercise or physical activity would be non-existent. It wouldn't be too long before you were spending more time at the doctor's office, consuming medications to regulate your health issues or even worse, possibly dead.
This is what happens to our spiritual lives as we consume all our bread of life from an electronic device while zipping in and out of traffic. It's what happens to our spiritual hearts as we attempt to multi-task all the other life demands we are juggling each day while having Siri read our Verse of the Day.
You may argue that the information contained in your bible app is the same information contained in your bible, so what's the difference/problem?
The issue in my opinion is not the app itself, but the million other things on your device that fight for your divided attention while holding your phone or iPad in your hand. The constant buzzing of text messages, Facebook and Instagram notifications, Twitter updates and Snapchat stories are just another way that The Enemy wedges into your time with your Father. Again, similar to my analogy of two weeks ago - imagine trying to have a romantic meal with your wife, husband or significant other and all the while they're answering all those buzzes, beeps and dings on their phone! That's exactly what we do to God when we rely on that electronic device to be the vehicle we use to transport us into His presence.
So what's the answer? It's really pretty simple. You just have to be willing to make changes before you wake up and find yourself miles away from The Cross.
- You have to commit to winning the battle you fight every morning called Mind Over Mattress! God wants your first fruits - and that's not just your money, but it's your time as well. He wants to be the first thing that pops into your mind when you open your eyes in the morning. He wants to be the first thing you long for when your feet hit the floor. He wants to be the One that you can't wait to spend time with each day. He doesn't want to be relegated to an after-thought that gets your last 10 minutes before you put your head down at night. Roll out of bed 30 minutes to an hour early each day and watch how productive and passionately you pursue life knowing your Father is right there by your side! Pretend your life depends on it because, guess what? It does!!
Run - Don't Walk - To The Cross Every Morning!! There are two things that I want in life now more than ever - Peace and Rest. There are several ways that those can be accomplished, but the bottom-line common denominator is that they are going to be found by spending time in the presence of Jesus Christ every single morning! Don't take my word for it, take His:
- Psalm 16:11 - You make known to me the path of life; in your presence is fullness of joy
- Exodus 33:14 - My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest
- Acts 3:19 - ...so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord
- Psalm 119:165 - Great peace have those who love your law
- Is 30:15 - ...in repentance and rest is your salvation; in quietness and trust is your strength
- Psalm 116:7 - Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you
- Hebrews 4:1 - The promise of His rest still stands
- Jer. 31:25 - I will refresh the weary and satisfy the saint
- Jer 6:16 - Stand by the road and seek the old paths; where the good way is and walk in it and find rest for your souls
- James 4:8 - Draw near to God and He will draw near to you
My friend and mentor John Randles used to say that at the core most of us know what to do when faced with challenging situations in life. But if we are spending time in God's presence daily and digesting His word, when we are faced with doing what is right or wrong, it's like crawling over broken glass to even consider the wrong choice. The Holy Spirit and the voice of God are so loud and so prevalent when we walk daily with no distractions in God's presence. Satan knows this and HE HATES IT!
There's a pretty simple and basic reason why God tells us to "BE STILL and know that I am God." It's also fairly interesting that you and I were created as human BEings! He did not create us as human DOings; He also didn't tell us to DO STILL and know that I am God. If you can start with that unambiguous clear directive - BE STILL - you'll be amazed at what He will then begin to do in your life.
Trust me on this. I'm speaking as a recovering On-The-Run-Bible-Listening DO-er.