Now, take a breath and consider this first:
Since the beginning of time, man has sought to create inventions to make life easier for ourselves. But with discontent we constantly look to improve, fine tune and make better.
Take the wheel; it allowed us to carry or move heavy objects easier, further and faster. We used it to create machines that could do far more than a man alone. We then upgraded the wheel with gears and it became more powerful and faster. Then we upgraded to Steam and we were really moving. This drove us to discover better sources of power – gas, petrol, diesel, electricity, nuclear, solar… what will be next?!
Interesting that the wisest man on earth, Solomon, noted:
This only have I found: God created humankind upright, but they have gone in search of many devices.”
Our many ‘devices’ or ‘inventions’, gadgets, technologies, for all the convenience they provide, have distracted us. We search after them and not after the One who created us to create them. We seek the pleasures they provide and rarely the Presence of the One who is the Creator. Devices will not sustain us in the days ahead. There is simply no substitute for God.
There is an adversary who subtly manipulates the good things to keep us from the best… and the best is God’s Presence. Instead of having hearts full of God, our hearts are turned towards the desires for the things of this life. Jesus even warned us:
“Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you suddenly like a trap. For it will come on all those who live on the face of the whole earth.
We are simply dissipated and drained by the attractive surpluses of our prosperous society. Now don’t get me wrong, ‘devices’ can be good things – indeed, blessings from God.
Please be assured, most are not evil in themselves, especially when accommodated in moderation. The deception is in our definition of moderation. For what may seem a modest lifestyle to us would be excess and luxury to ninety-five percent of the world!
Pursuing the pleasures of this world can become intoxicating. This is where the adversary is most hidden and subtle in his manipulation. Instead of seeking God and being available to His Will, many are entangled in desire and the debt to feed it.
Like the ancient Babylonians, we live in a “land of images, and [we] are mad over idols” (Jeremiah 50:38) and are caught up in this maze of distractions. Idolatry is so familiar to us and we think nothing of it. We call movie stars and sports players our “idols”. These individuals are “idolised” by millions of followers. What we idolise can consume our lives.
In the midst of great social prosperity and its multitude of distractions, can we pause for but a moment and consider the Presence of God? Can we do it? Really?
Yes. But we may need to rid ourselves of our televisions, or go without them for a month.
Okay, if you just stopped breathing, then try it for a week. The degree of difficulty in turning off the television is the measure of our bondage. If we cannot let it go, it is because it holds us captive!
What holds you captive? Mobile phone? Facebook? What would you struggle to go without for a month, or a week, or a day?
What about the desires to get the latest and greatest? Do you seek to have the latest gadget, or car or innovative device? Does that invariably lock you into a debt to pay for it? How driven are you to get the next, “I just gotta have it!”
In a land where excess, ambition, ego and envy are the counselors of men, only those who abide in the simplicity of Christ are truly free. It, however, remains our choice. Will you make your portion in life, the Presence of God?
And in case you are not sure why you would want to do that, then know this; Jesus said:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
If you are truly liberated from greed and the spirit of mammon, God will begin to release His wealth to you. If your heart truly becomes the Lord’s possession, He will begin to entrust to you His possessions, both heavenly and earthly. As you become a ‘slave’ to Christ and not to the things of this earth, the earth will become your slave and it too will yield its resources for the purposes of God.
And nothing on this earth, no gadget or thing, no matter how new, innovative or awesome it may seem, could ever outshine the inexplicable joy that comes from being in the Presence of God and active within His purposes on the earth.
So, do you really want to know about this latest gadget… or is it time for you to take a pause?