I haven’t been able to control the scroll.
Some of you know exactly what I’m talking about. It all begins so innocently. A morning post for friendly followers and instantly we’re fixated on friendly’s all day!
Me and my church girls are studying Priscilla Shirer’s, Elijah. (Thank you, Jesus, for sisters sitting in small spaces, around little tables, sharing their big hearts with me.)
Week two, this was my take-away: I need to separate myself from social media. I knew it was coming. Grabbing my phone when I should be listening to a friend, checking, and checking, and rechecking again. This head has a limited amount of space. I can only process so much information before checking out completely. And whose voice do you think gets unfollowed? The very Voice I need most.
I don’t blame social media. Hear me. Social media is not the root of society’s social strife. Access to the airwaves doesn’t make me ignore God. It doesn’t cause us to be rude or arrogant. It can’t force us to be callous or careless, liars or heroes. Jesus said, “It’s not what goes in that defiles, but what comes out.” (Mk 7:20)
Social media can’t drag me away from Jesus. Social media draws out my own weakness to wander from Jesus.
WHEN WE’RE TOO BUSY FOR JESUS WE’RE AGREEING WITH DEMONS
Interestingly this lack of headspace for God led me to Simon Peter.
Peter gets a lot of kudos for tagging Jesus as the Christ before his brothers. But I tend to forget — Peter didn’t arrive at this answer himself. Remember, Jesus answered Peter and said, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.” (Mat 16:17) Peter had his ears turned up to the Father. Flip the page, and Peter is no longer hearing the Father — he’s listening to Satan.
See how swiftly we get swept away?
Let’s back up. Jesus was just announcing how He must go to Jerusalem. He must suffer many things. He will be killed. And on the third day be raised. Immediately, Peter starts yelling. “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.” (16:22) JoAnn’s translation: Over my dead body! Ain’t happenin’.
I get goose bumps when Jesus shows what is impossible for Peter (us) to see. Jesus orders Satan out of His way, “Get behind Me Satan.” And if that’s not scary enough, He tells Peter, “You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” (vs 23) Everyone in favor of parking your mind on God raise your right hand — ‘cause this is hittin’ me where it hurts you guys.
I can tell you who the Christ is. I’ve heard all His sermons. He and I are so close — sometimes — I think I know His next move. Sometimes, I think I have nothing left to hear, and I say to myself, “I can take over from here.”
When God makes something perfectly clear and we’re too busy in our brains to hear — it’s like we’re bossing Jesus around.
One minute our lips fill ears with wisdom from God and the next we’re hindering the glory of God. There’s no clearer explanation than this: When we’re too busy for Jesus, we’re agreeing with demons.
WE CAN OWN AND USE OUR PHONES AS LONG AS OUR PHONES DON’T OWN AND USE US
Away four weeks, I realized social media and I could still be friends. No longer lovers, but acquaintances with limits. And it’s freeing. ‘Cause here’s the thing we all need to believe: No one is really looking for us. No one even notices our absence — not like The One.
Feeling God’s jealous hand on my heart — You’re on this phone from morning till dark.
I’m grieving the loss. The hours of emptiness and the chill of loneliness. But the same grace Jesus extended to Peter, He has for us: Stop. Set your mind on God.
We can own and use our phones — as long as our phones doesn’t own and use us. “All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.” (1 Co 6:12)
God forbid we’re making connections and missing the unforeseeable moves Jesus is making!
Let’s listen again what treasure we get when our mind is occupied with God: “Blessed are you, [insert your name], for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.”
Guard our mind, Lord. Keep it excited for You. Centered on what’s lovely, pure, just, and true. Forgive us for the hours wasted scrambling for control. Fill us now with thoughts of God, benefits yet unknown.