This past week my daughter, Arianna (3), unplugged my mother –in-laws cell phone from the charger and was carrying it around playing with it and acting like she was talking on it. About ten minutes later my wife (Denise) noticed that Arianna wasn’t carrying the phone around anymore.
“Arianna, where did you put the phone?”
Arianna’s eyes grew…
I got that same feeling this past week as I was preparing to share on Sunday from Matthew 8:28-34. The passage opens up with Jesus landing on the other side of the sea. He and the disciples get out of the boat and are met by the demoniacs. What transpires from there is a story of freedom for the men possessed, a conquered enemy, and a town full of people that cared more for their possessions and income than a persons’ life or the very presence of God.
Caring more for possessions than God or others…
…Love God…Love others…
…aren’t those two the most important commandments?
I had to really look within myself. I am not, what I would call, a frivolous man. I drive an old car. Most of my clothes are gifts from Christmas, birthdays, or some other event. I look for deals, buy used, and enjoy being accused of being a spendthrift. However, it all comes back to the question…
“If all I had was my relationship with Jesus, would it be enough?”
I John 1:1-4 tells us that experiencing God and from that having fellowship or sharing that experience with others (whether telling your experience or sharing experiences) makes our joy complete. So, why do I find myself relying on so many other things for joy? Why do I feel unhappy if I have to let go of something, or feel that God may be telling me I should let go of something or not spend as much time focused on a matter? Have I made something else more of a priority that God? More of a priority that others? I mean, who hasn’t gotten a little off course in that area? However, it is our job or our calling as believers to cling to what we hear in I John and continually search for that connection with God, that experiencing of the presence of God. Then taking that experience and sharing it.
I kind of feel like I was called out, kind of questioned, “Adam, where is the time that you need to commit to me? Are you actively looking for at least one person to share your experience with Me? ” Much like Arianna, my eyes grew as I knew I “caught” in losing focus on what truly matters. It isn’t about guilt, although the enemy would love for it to become that. It is about the great God of the universe, full of love, mercy, grace, truth, power, justice, and infinitely more coming here to die for our reconnection to Him and us understanding that that reconnection is the best thing for us and not a labor or duty.
If we expect the life God has for us, we must search to experience His presence as a priority.
If we expect the life God has for others, we must share our experience.
Have we experienced? If so, we find that it is so worth it to experience His presence. Sometimes we experience and then we get busy and lose focus. In those times, we must not approach with guilt and fear, rather, we enter with joy in knowing God is longing for our time that we spend with Him and will meet us. As we share with others, there may be a little fear, but don’t let it cripple you. I am not saying to shove your beliefs down someone’s throat. I am suggesting sharing your personal experience. Be ready for the opportunity to present itself and react.
Today, take time to reflect and take time for Him. Seek an experience with God and don’t be afraid of what He may ask of you. If He is asking you to reprioritize, realize that He will empower you to do so. The enemy will distract, but remain faithful in your relationship with God. Be encouraged, after all, the God of all things wants to spend time with you…and that is pretty exciting.
...By the way, we never found the phone lol.