Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A Lesson in Being Disconnected

I am not too old to remember a time before cell phones.  I was 21 when I had my first cell phone.  It basically worked in my town.  As for features, it really had none.  There was no such thing as a smart phone.  The top of the line was something called a flip phone.  We have come a long way since then.  Now our cell phones are our portals to just about everything.  We text more than we email.  We log onto our emails and Facebook accounts.  We have, at our fingertips, access to the internet and just about the entire known world.  We also have instant access to find out what many of our friends and family are up to at any given time.  In some cases, they are our Bibles, maps, cameras, market research tool, credit card machine, and just about everything else we can imagine.  They are even working phones.  For many, like my wife and I, they are our only phones.  Like many others, we do not have a house phone.  I left my cell phone home today and I honestly feel lost.  I feel disconnected from everyone and even the world.  I know many of you have been in that same kind of situation.  You left your phone somewhere and you feel out of sorts. There is a spiritual lesson in all of this. 
If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. 1 John 1:6-7 NKJV
Am I comparing fellowship with God to not having our cell phones?  I guess that in a way I am.  I realize they are incomparable.  I realize that one really should have nothing to do with another.  However, there is a parallel.  One is our connection to our friends, family, and the world.  The other is our connection to our Creator.  There is also the parallel in that I think that most of us are more bothered by leaving our cell phone at home than having issues with our fellowship with God.  It is sad that I can even make this comparison, but there it is. 

The fact is that our sin affects our fellowship with God.  We do not lose the Holy Spirit, but we do strain our fellowship.  God is still there, He is just silent as he waits for us to turn back to Him.  We also do not lose our salvation, though sometimes I really think that we take it for granted.  We, in a sense, get the spiritual silent treatment.  We do not have that feeling of the presence of the Lord in our hearts. We do not hear from the Lord when we pray.  We do not feel any direction.  Stress begins to get to us more and more as our peace departs from us.  In the end, we become miserable.  Unfortunately, may try to solve this misery with even more sin driving us even further from God.  We make the mistake of sowing to our flesh to try and solve problems with our spirit.  In the end, our back slide ends in a crash and we are left wondering how we ever got this far. 

When we are walking in sin, God is not walking with us.  Actually, that is not entirely accurate.  When we are walking with sin, we are not walking with God.  We are not where God wants us to be.  We are not following where the Holy Spirit is leading us to go.  We are living in obedience to the flesh, which is at war with the spirit.  When we choose to sin, though, do we consider what we lose in terms of fellowship with God?  The question I am asking today is whether your fellowship with God is more or less important than having your cell phone with you.  It seems like a silly question.  How can I compare having your cell phone with obeying your Lord?  Are you more bothered if you leave your cell phone home or the strained relationship with God as a consequence of sin?  When was the last time you grieved for the presence of God in your life?  When was the last time you were honestly hurting because did not have the fellowship with God?  Are you more likely to go back home for your cell phone to not be disconnected from the world or repent of a sin you are on the verge of stepping into so that you are not disconnected from God?  For some of you, it is a rather silly comparison, but I know there are others out there right now who no longer think it is so silly. 

It is not all bad news, though.  If you leave your cell phone home, you will be reunited once you are home and you will connected to the world again.  The same is true for God.  Once you turn yourself back to God you will realize He was there waiting for you the whole time.  God is not looking for you to commit some heroic act of penance.  God is not even looking for you to grovel.  God is only asking you to confess your sins and turn back to Him.  He will forgive you and that relationship will be restored.  God wants to restore that relationship.  God wants to have that fellowship with you once again.  the only thing holding back the restoring of your fellowship with Him is you.  You need only desire it and turn to Him and it will be restored. 

The point of this rather silly post is a serious one.  When we sin, we strain our relationship with God.  We should care about that.  It should hurt us to not feel His presence in our lives.  We should miss His presence, even more than we do of our cell phones when we leave them at home.  Consider that the next time you are faced with temptation.  Is whatever it is we are considering doing worth losing that close intimacy we have with God?  It is worth not feeling His presence in our hearts?  Is it worth not hearing from Him the way you do when not living in sin?  I am confident that it will not be worth it.  If it is worth it, then your problem runs much deeper than this blog can solve.  I say that because once you have tasted how sweet the presence of the Lord is in your life, you would never ever want to lose it and if you did you would run back to him even faster than you would check your text messages after getting home and finding your cell phone. 
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Make me hear joy and gladness, [That] the bones You have broken may rejoice.
Hide Your face from my sins, And blot out all my iniquities.
Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, And uphold me [by Your] generous Spirit.
[Then] I will teach transgressors Your ways, And sinners shall be converted to You.  Psalm 51:7-13 NKJV

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