Smart phones are everywhere. These small hand held devices contain more computing power than computers that filled entire floors of office buildings twenty years ago. With these “mobile devices” (as they are now called) the world is at our fingertips. Using them as telephones is a minor reason for their existence, as texts, tweets, Facebook posts, entertainment, cameras/videos, and information have taken over as their main purpose. There are literally thousands upon thousands upon thousands of “apps” that give us whatever we want at the touch of a button. There are “apps” for every conceivable topic known to man – finance, lifestyle, home, entertainment, geography, lifestyle, sports, music, books, religion, etc. The list is endless.
However, our “smartphone” culture has, unfortunately, invaded our walk with God.
Our relationship with God has, for many people, been reduced to a “Facebook” level. People have gazillions of friends on Facebook, but never have been people been more lonely. The level of communication on Facebook is so shallow and superficial, and we have lost the ability to look each other in the eye and have a conversation that has depth and meat to it. This can also describe many Christians relationship with God – shallow and superficial. We have settled for a Facebook relationship with God that has reduced Him to nothing more than a Facebook type “friend”. Oh, He’s there, but only on the level of a name on a list. He wants so much more than this. He wants us to go deep with Him, to cultivate a meaningful, meaty, deep, intimate relationship. Jesus died on the cross to reconcile us to the Father so that we can, once again, live in His glorious presence in deep intimacy. Sadly, however, we’ve settles for so much less.
Additionally, we’ve reduced our communication with Him to a Twitter type “tweet”. Tweets are 140 character (maximum length) messages that let your followers know what you are thinking. These tweets are, generally speaking, random, unimportant, and impersonal. Now, while there is nothing wrong with short prayers to God throughout the day, it seems like far too many Christians have replaced deep, passionate, communication with God with short, meaningless ‘tweets’. We have become so used to “tweet” style communication that we can’t get alone with God and spend protracted time with Him. We rush through a “140 character” impersonal, shallow tweet/prayer and call it good. My friends, God so desires for us to spend unhurried time with Him. He so desires that we place priority on communicating with Him on a deeper level, and yet we give Him our “tweets”. He’s not impressed with our rushed, news flashes about how we feel about the burger we just ate. He loves us so much and is so devoted to us, and He desires that we spend time with Him and pour out our deepest hurts, our heaviest concerns, our humblest confessions, our sincerest thanks, and our most lavish praise on Him. A ‘140 character’ tweet just can’t do this.
Finally, we’ve made our awesome God into nothing more than another “app”. We generally ignore Him until something goes wrong in our lives, and then we remember “there’s an ‘app’ for that” and go to our “God app” and expect Him to rescue us. Just as we go to a financial app to help us balance our checkbook, a cooking app to help us with a recipe, or a medical app to help us with a health issue, we seem to treat God like an app when we need help that the other apps can’t supply. God is just an “app” away! My friends, God is more, much much more, than an “app” – a resource that exists to help us out of our problems or to give us information we need on a particular issue. Our incredible triune God is our everything, not just a cosmic bellhop who is just waiting for us to press our “God app”. He wants us to be sold out to Him, to die to self and surrender to His lordship, and to follow Him wholeheartedly. Indeed, every aspect of our lives is to be a sacrifice of praise to Him, and we exist to give Him glory. The “app” God reduces Him to the level of an impersonal, lesser God.
My friends, while there is nothing wrong with smartphones, let’s be intentional about not allowing a smartphone mentality to creep into our relationship with God. A challenge for all of us is to put our “mobile devices” down and turn them off for a period of time every day, and spend deep, meaningful, intimate time with our God. Don’t hurry through, but linger in His presence – sing praises to Him, read His word and let it soak into your mind and soul, pray to Him with purpose and passion, and let Him love on you in the stillness of the moment. Don’t worry, your smartphone will still be there. You won’t miss out on a tweet or a Facebook posting. And that recipe app that shows how to make gluten free cherry mango waffles with chia seed syrup will still be there. Believe me, your time with God will be the absolute highlight of your day that nothing on your smartphone can ever rival. Forget the “smartphone” God and give Him the rightful place He deserves. He’s your your Almighty God, your everything, your deepest intimacy, your Abba.