Living for God Without a SmartPhone
- Cliff Young Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
- 2010 18 Feb
A couple of months ago, I finally caved in and became one of the 14 million people to own an iPhone. Apart from the phone service itself, it is a pretty amazing device and I often wonder how I traveled so long without it.
It allows me to know exactly where I am and what is around me.
I am able to obtain the directions to get anywhere I want to go.
I can discover the answers to almost anything I want to know (and things I don't).
I never have to worry about "not knowing" ever again. What an amazing piece of technology!
Sometimes I wonder what I would do if my smartphone not only "enhanced" my life, but could also "foretell" it. What "app" would I install—one that would give me the ability to know everything that will happen in my life; maybe one that tells me the right decision to make; or one that gives the date and time everything will occur?
Today, we seem to have a fascination of (and need for) having information. We want and expect to have access to a narrative complete with photographs and video about everybody and on everything—national security, celebrity relationships, intimate conversations, friends of friends, the economy, executive salaries, what everyone is doing, etc. (truthful or not)
The movie trailer for 2012, a film depicting the natural disaster events that "will" occur on December 21, 2012 (the last day of the Mayan calendar), states, "Discover the truth, search 2012." We are constantly inundated with "thoughts" and ideas (information) being passed off as truth, and sometimes we may even lose sight of what is truth both in our life and in the world around us.
Here's something to think about: How come you never see a headline like 'Psychic Wins Lottery'? —Jay Leno, comedian
Since no man knows the future, who can tell him what is to come? (Ecclesiastes 8:7).
No Need to Know
I wonder if it has ever occurred to the world that God does not want us (nor need us) to know the specific time and place of events in and around our life. I would rather not have that kind of information because I would most likely try to "intervene" (or in my mind, help out) in order to make things happen if I knew something was upcoming.
God gave us the Holy Spirit to help us through our "not knowing." The Holy Spirit can empower us, teach us, guide us, sanctifies us, and encourage us through every hurdle if we ask and allow Him to. Furthermore, with every struggle we persevere through, our character and hope will grow, something "information" won't do for us.
Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour (Matthew 25:13).
This passage comes from the parable of the ten virgins, which emphasizes the importance of not worrying about the time or place, but rather the preparation. While some of the virgins prepared for a possible lengthy wait for the bridegroom, others did not and were disappointed when they were left out, unprepared.
As many of us didn't "plan" on being single so long, our focus should not be on "when" it may change, but rather utilize this time to prepare ourselves for when it does.
When it comes to trust, there are not many men on my list above Noah. If there was a person who "deserved" to know a little more information, including time and place, it would be him.
God said to Noah, ‘I have decided to destroy all living creatures … Make a boat ...' (Genesis 6:13-14).
My immediate reaction probably would have been—When is it going to happen? How fast will water fill the earth? How long I would be "at sea"? Then I would have looked at my iPhone for the closest ship maker. However, Noah had a completely different response.
Noah did everything exactly as God had commanded him (Genesis 6:22).
The Bible doesn't say Noah questioned, wrestled or even doubted God, he just did everything exactly as God commanded. How often can you say this about yourself? Have you ever felt the urging by the Holy Spirit to do or say something and pretended not to hear it or completely ignored it? Yet pray for help, healing and blessings and expect them to be given.
Trust God completely in the same way Noah did and leave the time and place to His timing, not yours.
Live by Faith
There is no man who has probably lived more by faith than Abraham.
Leave your country, your relatives, and your father's house, and go to the land that I will show you (Genesis 12:1).
At the age of 75, God called Abraham to leave his home and all that he knew in order to go to a place "to be determined." There was no "Google Earth" to see where he was going, there was no "select current location" to determine what was around him, there was no "Yahoo Maps" to guide him.
Even at such a ripe age, Abraham was obedient and followed God.
How many of us, when asked to go somewhere "not on our schedule," struggle to drop what we're doing and deviate, even for an hour? We often have to think about, plan for, or look for an excuse not to; however, Abraham's response was quite different.
Abraham immediately got up and "went without knowing where he was going" (Hebrews 11:8).
Who does that? Not many people I know would—at a moment's notice, immediately get up and move to an unknown place. Abraham did because he lived by faith.
Abraham was absolutely convinced that God was able to do anything he promised (Romans 4:21).
What has God promised you that you have yet to see? Do you still trust Him? Has your faith waivered over time? Taking examples from Noah and Abraham—do everything God commanded and do it immediately.
Faith means trusting, believing and acting (or not) on the promises God has made.
No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father (Mark 13:32).
Cliff Young is a contributing writer to Sandlot Stories (ARose Books), as well as the monthly column, "He Said-She Said," in Crosswalk.com's Singles Channel. An architect and former youth worker, he now works with Christian musicians and consults for a number of Christian ministries. Got feedback? Send your comments and questions to [email protected].
**This article first published on February 18, 2010.