“In everything you do, put God first, and He will direct you and crown your efforts with success.” Proverbs 3:6
Our pastor once said that “Jesus didn’t have a cellphone” Those words were ringing and ringing through my head all morning! Although he shared that thought with us in church months and months ago, today, it suddenly popped into my head and I couldn’t get it out. And then I realized that it was because God wanted me to really think about that long and hard today.
Although I appreciate the way that we can use technology and social media to proclaim the gospel of Christ, as well as to stay “connected” with one another, sometimes I have to listen to the Lord as He reminds me where true connectivity really comes from. It’s far too easy to start to rely only upon our cellphones and the trappings of this world for a sense of companionship and comfort in life. My faith is not in my cellphone!
I was one who was brought up in the generation where we didn’t have such things at our fingertips yet. I am usually behind the times and quite resistant to getting into the game every time there is something new out there to learn.
Case in Point: I set up a Twitter account some time ago because I felt I needed to in order to stay up-to-date with the times and all that the kids are up to, but I have still not set up my profile or started to use it. I am resisting that little blue bird!
But it is important to go where the people are, and the fact is…people use social media! We just have to be careful that it doesn’t take away from living for Christ.
I only caved in and obtained a cell phone when I started to work nights….for safety reasons – yet I have now succumbed to relying upon it for multitudes of other things. I find myself sometimes relying upon it way too much. I’m in deep.
There are some really good things about having this nice little luxury of communication that’s the size of an Uno Deck of cards in my purse or in my pocket, no doubt. Yet it bothers me when, on that rare occassion, I leave the house without it and I feel somewhat lost, unsafe, or just plain weird. And the Lord is tugging on me about that, for sure – I am so very grateful. He always lets me know when it’s time to unplug a little from the stuff that is distracting me and plug in more to HIM!
Jesus makes it abundantly clear that solitude and time spent in quiet alone with our Father in prayer is of the highest priority! He modeled this time and time again for us when He walked the earth, and shows us not only that we need to do it, but that we should want to spend quiet time with God.
In the face of being constantly busy feeding the multitudes, seeking out sinners in need of a Savior, and healing and caring for people from all walks of life, He still made time to go off alone and be in the presence of His Father – consistently, and without fail. He would often pray through the night, spent his final and darkest hours in prayer, went off into quiet and desolate places to do so, and didn’t rush it when He got there. The Father was first, and the rest is what He actually “made time” for.
One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night
praying to God. Luke 6:12
“And when day came, He departed to a lonely place; and the multitudes were searching for Him, and came to Him, and tried to keep Him from going away from them.” Luke 4:42
“But He Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray.” Luke 5:16
“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus withdrew to a solitary place to be alone with God and pray.” Mark 1: 35
That really speaks to me! If it is that high of a priority for Jesus Christ HIMSELF to put everything else aside in order to focus upon His relationship with His Father, shouldn’t it be for me?
And it certainly didn’t impact His ministry and ability to reach others and do His Father’s work! Jesus reached the multitudes over and over again and He didn’t need a cell phone to do it. He still does today. Everyone on the planet may have one by the year 2015 (is it?), but God transcends even that – He has a much further range – an infinite one, actually. He can reach us in places that no cell phone could ever go.
I know, we have a lot more people roaming around now than there were 2000 some years ago. I know that it is also a great way that we can spread the Good News across the continents, into the far-reaching deserts and jungles, and even to the isolated mountaintops of places such as Tibet. That’s not the point I wish to make at all; that we should lose the cell phones and social media so we can go back to the days in which Jesus walked the earth. But I do think we could stand to unattach ourselves at times – in fact, I think if we really do want to live a life that edifies Christ, we have to do it.
Part of being still before the Lord is coming to him bare – vulnerable – and without distraction. It’s about approaching Him with reverence and awe and showing Him that He is what is most important to us! This stillness and complete focus upon Him enables us to carry Him with us throughout the rest of the busy day. It helps His voice to ring out loudly from within us in the midst of the ringing of the cell phone and incoming text messages, the daily calling of the email inbox, and the tweets and status updates on facebook that are constantly begging for attention.
No, Jesus didn’t have a cell phone. I don’t think He really wants for me to carry mine with me when I come to bow down before Him in my time that is meant for Him and Him alone. And I know that it isn’t that device that is going to help me to know that I am safe and not alone. Not in this world.
The world tries to tell us that we need to take that cellphone with us wherever we go and we have a better chance of being safe. In some ways, and in certain situations, it is a tool we can indeed utilize for safety and direction. But don’t forget to remember who it is that truly offers us comfort if the lights go out or we lose signal and service. Even when we forget, He will always still be with us. He’s not just in our purses, and not just in our pockets. He is with us in our hearts.
Jesus didn’t hold a cellphone in His hand. And we don’t merely want to hold Him in ours, with our fists closed tightly to hide Him from the world. We want to show Him to everyone we encounter as He bursts from within us and out towards others! Not some of the time – not only when we think we have good “signal” – but all of the time. We never want to unplug from our Savior.
Thankfully, He does hold us in His strong and loving hands. And that’s the safest, most “connected” place we could ever be.