In the concluding part of our series titled “Now these WMDs are dangerous”, let’s cast the spotlight on 3 more “legitimate” distractions we need to be wary of…
6. Smart-phone addiction…
Hmmm…are you reading this message on your costly Smartphone? Now who gives us the financial capacity that we can afford these hi-tech gadgets (See Deut. 8:18)? Good if you use Smartphone to go through uplifting spiritual messages and connect and pray for needy brethren towards their encouragement, but not so good for needless chatter in social media groups. Well a smart Christian is said to be one who has his Smartphone in his hands rather than himself being in the hands of the latter.
Spiritually inspirational messages in Smartphone ought to be like vitamin supplements in our lives without they at any point of time being substituted for our spiritual food comprised of prayer time with our Lord, Bible reading, Church fellowship et al.
Dear friends, we are now treading on Holy ground. Yes, I am coming to God’s work with an intention to dwell on a tricky subject on how even God-ordained work (be it pastoral or evangelical or charitable) can sometimes become a stumbling block to pure devotion. Great servants of God have learned the hard way how neglecting the quiet quality time left them weak and too spiritually malnourished to do their own Master’s work. Even Martin Luther, ever the firebrand, once caught in the vortex of reformation work, is said to have welcomed a dawn with these challenging words “I have so many urgent things to do today that I need to begin the day with THREE HOURS OF PRAYER”.
Of Lazarus’ two sisters, which did the Lord commend (See Luke 10:38-42)? The dedicated Martha or the devout Mary? The reason why Mary’s act of devotion was endorsed? The answer is the answer to question 1 of the Westminister catechism: Man was primarily created to worship. Period. Even an evangelism pales in significance vis-à-vis worship, because the former was necessitated only by man’s fall into sin. Otherwise, there would have been no place for ‘winning souls’ in God’s scheme of things. In eternity too, worship would occupy an unassailable position. Said a preacher cum evangelist jocularly but with remarkable insight, “Unless, I learn to worship, I would be unemployed in Heaven”.
Now let’s throw the spotlight on a person who was the very definition of smart time-management whilst doing God’s work. Mark’s gospel is said to be an “action gospel”, for the writer uses the word “immediately” not less than 42 times to portray the hectic schedule of God’s Son earnestly going about the Father’s business. Packed into a period of three and half year years were the activities of preaching, teaching, healing, training up disciples, touring without any modern, time-saving means of transport, and oh yes…standing up to the constant criticism of the religious leaders of his day. In the midst of all these, let’s not miss out on what this ‘action Gospel’ had to say on how our oh-so-busy Lord…began the day: “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” (Mark 1:35 NIV. Do I need to say more?
We are still continuing to tread on Holy Ground where our noblest motives can be twisted so as to work against us: “Where is the fertile land of wonderful crops-the figs, vines, and pomegranates you told us about?” (Numbers 20:5B TLB). Do these words ring a bell? Well, these are the words of the people on their way to the Promised Land who, as this protest of theirs to Moses seems to imply and implicate, are seemingly more in love with the ‘land flowing with milk and honey’ than the Giver of the same to them. We, too, as God’s children, are walking towards an unseen “Heavenly Canaan on the other side of the ethereal River Jordan”. Let me ask pointedly: Are we in love with the destination? Or with the One who promises the great gift to us?
In this context, I want to recollect a touching story. A daughter of a renowned, international preacher, used to the gifts her loving dad would purchase and bring for her after every overseas trip, was once in for a major disappointment. Due to a mess-up in the Airport customs, the gift was lost, and her doting Dad landed home without a gift. Her mature reaction on noticing the gift missing in her Dad’s briefcase simply belied her age. Though disappointed, she is said to have sprung up and held on to her dad tightly crying “DAD, YOU ARE MY BEST GIFT”. Can the same be said of us, when it comes to choosing between God and His gifts?
And now in conclusion about Heaven our destination, permit me to rephrase Matt. 6:33 slightly and present it to you as such: “Seek ye first GOD and all these things shall be given unto you, including the small matter of the KINGDOM OF GOD”. While all positive New Year resolutions aimed at bettering spiritual life are laudable, how about a lifetime resolution in the beginning of 2021 that is targeted at “deactivating” the spiritual WMDs in our lives?
Prayer: Father, enable us to keep our priorities clear in order that we may love thee unreservedly. In Jesus’ Name. Amen
J and SM Ministries
(To access the entire “Now THESE WMDs Are Deadly!” miniseries, please click here.)