What Are You Reaching For?
The other day I grabbed my tablet. I had some free time and thought I would check and see what was happening in the Facebook and Instagram world. As I grabbed the tablet, the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart and said "You should be reaching for your bible instead." I wished I could tell you that I picked up my bible and put down my tablet but I didn't.
Instead, I sat in the recliner and begin to scroll through Instagram. Several minutes past as I swiped up on my Instagram feed taking in each post and while hitting the like button. It was distraction for me. A distraction from the season that I am in. For a brief moment I felt numb to what was going on around me. However, once I laid my tablet down those feelings resurfaced and my situation was unchanged. So often we reach for things that draw us away from God rather than those things that draw us near to HIM.
A few days later I realized that I needed to be fed by God's word rather than scroll through a feed. I needed to immerse myself in something that just didn't numb the hurt that I felt but would take it away. I needed to be engaged with God and HIS word instead of being distracted from HIM.
This made me think of how much greater my relationship with God would be if would reach for my bible as much as I did my phone or tablet. What would my faith look like if I spent more time in prayer than on Instagram or Facebook. How much more effective would my testimony be if I shared it in person rather than in a post. What if I opened my heart to the things of God as many times as I opened an app?
How would this simple change in my behavior impact me and my relationship with God? Most importantly, how would this change in behavior impact others and allow me to serve them in a greater capacity? I hope soon to find out.
Our phones and tablets have become a part of our everyday life. For some, they have become an addiction. They feel the constant need to check their feed and scroll through the apps looking for something to occupy their time and to numb their pain. These small devices, as wonderful as they are, can be distraction from your spouse, family, jobs, church and even God. Imagine what opportunities we are missing out on because we chose to look down at a screen rather than up to our heavenly Father.
This was a wake up call for me. Although, I was not obedient at the time when the Holy Spirit impressed on my heart to pick up my bible, this did make me realize that I need to seek the things of God rather than that of the world. And that each time that I reach for my bible, I am also reaching for the Hand of God.
"If you prepare your heart and stretch out your hands toward Him;
if iniquity is in your hand, put it far away, and do not let wickedness dwell in your tents;
for then you will lift up your face without blemish; yes, you will be steadfast and will not fear,
because you will forget misery, and remember it as waters that pass away,
and your life will be brighter than noonday, even your darkness will be as the morning.
You will trust because there is hope; yes, you will search about you, and you will look around and rest in safety.
Also you will lie down, and none will make you afraid; yes, many will court your favor."
It is when I am reaching for the Hand of God that my faith is deepened, my strength is renewed and my hope is restored. My spirit will be filled with far greater things by reaching for God's word than I can ever receive from reaching for my phone.
I want to ask you what are you reaching for?
Please understand that I am not trying to tell you that spending time on your phone and Social Media is bad. I am not asking you to give it up completely. I just want to encourage you that if you find yourself in a place of hurt, discouragement or uncertainty to take a moment to step away from the phone and step closer to God.
I also want to challenge you this week to try to spend more time in prayer and reading God's word than on social media. Also, if you want to take it a step further, there are several free apps that will track the amount of time spent on your phone. This is a good opportunity to see just how much time is spent daily/weekly on your phone or tablet and to set a goal to spend the same amount of time reading your bible and in prayer. I know I am.
Lastly, I would love to hear from those of you who decide to take this challenge so please comment below.