I Logged Out and Survived

Recently I took a break from Facebook, and I learned something, that I can survive without it. I can survive without checking everyone’s new status updates and posts every 10 minutes, I can survive without knowing what all my friends ate for dinner, and I can survive without Facebook stalking, we all do it. So this morning I did it, I signed off Facebook; logged off, decided that I’m through with it. My page still exists, and I will probably log on once a week or once every two weeks only because I have some friends that only contact me, by emailing me on there. But other than that I am off. One reason leading to this decision is this quote:

“One of the great uses of Twitter and Facebook will be to prove at the Last Day that prayerlessness was not from lack of time.” 

                                                                                                                                                                               ~ John Piper

Now this isn’t a brand new point, or quote, I heard it probably over a year ago, but just recently began thinking about it. For those of us addicted to Facebook, we are constantly checking it, on the computer and on our phones, we have to know whats going on. So every five, ten minutes we are checking on our phone, over the course of the day think about how many hours this probably adds up to. I didn’t do the math, but I would be willing to bet that the average Facebook addict spends several hours a day on Facebook checking, looking, and stalking. Hours a day that could be used in prayer, reading Gods word, or living out what He has called us to do, be the light of the world. To think of the fact that there is coming a day when I will stand before a Holy and Righteous God and give an account of how I handled my life (Romans 14:12) scares me to death. And the thought that saying sorry God I tried, but I didn’t have time, I didn’t have enough time to pray, I didn’t have enough time to read, I didn’t have enough time to go and love and serve others, I just didn’t. And for Him to tell me, well you spent _X_ many hours a day checking Facebook, so yes I can tell you were busy. I don’t think at that time He will say I understand.

Is our time on Facebook greater than the time a day we spend in prayer, reading, loving, serving, and sharing? If it is, then something is wrong, IF we say we love Christ, we want to live for Him and know His will for our life. Somehow I have never personally or met anyone who learned God’s will for their life surfing on Facebook. We learn that by spending time with Him, reading His word, searching after Him, when we draw near to Him is when He draws near to us (James 4:8). We are as close to God as we choose to be, and if logging off Facebook can help me spend more time with Him, and therefore get closer to Him and be used by Him and learn His will, then goodbye Facebook. It’s not even a contest.

Now this is for me, this is whats been going on in my life, and in my mind. Maybe you can keep Facebook and still serve God just find, and you aren’t addicted, if that’s the case, then that’s awesome. But my question is if someone logged everything you did for a week or two, how much of if would be meaningless stuff such as Facebook, and how much of it would be to advance the Kingdom of Christ, which way would the percentages tilt.

For me, here is just a list of some concerns I come to realize with Facebook:

  • Its Addicting – It sounds funny but people are addicted to it. We are to grow in knowledge and self-control which leads to Godliness (2 Peter 1:5-7).
  • Does Facebook lead to Holiness? If we are called to be Holy as the Lord is Holy (1 Peter 1:16).
  • If we are to: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. – Philippians  4:8; Does Facebook help promote this? Or does it cause us to dwell, and think on things that quite honestly mean nothing as far as eternity is concerned. And we come obsessed over it.
  • Promotes Gossip – I would be willing to bet that 90% of the time when we talk to someone about something we saw on Facebook, we are in fact gossiping. “Did you see…” – When Paul is describing the man who has turned away from God and choose the serve the creation over the Creator, a characteristic of them that he list right after murders, and right before haters of God, he says they are also Gossips (Romans 1:28-30). Little sin that doesn’t promote Holiness, that we seldom think about, but yet Paul list it in the same list as murders and those who hate God.

This is just a short few thoughts that lead to my decision. In no way am I saying that I am holier than thou, and better than the next person; the best I have to offer is filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). I just feel in order for me to better draw closer to God, and begin to discern His will in my life, I needed to log off. I yearn to know His will for my life way more than I care about everyone’s status updates, pictures, or than I feel the need to stalk anyone. I don’t want to waste my life, and at the end of it go oh God, I never knew You wanted me to do that, or go there, or to say that, or to etc.. And never know because I was too busy on Facebook. And Facebook is just one thing in our lives that distracts us from Him, just using this as an example because it’s where I am now, and I’ve already been asked why I was getting off.

I want to know His will! I want to know Him!

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect

                                                                                                                                                                      ~ Romans 12:2

This has been a verse that I always strive to live by. You see so many times we want an equation on how to live out the Christian life; well this verse is the closest thing we get to an equation on how to do it.

Not Conformed to world + Renewed Mind = Discern God’s Will

So if I want to know God’s will, (and who would really say they don’t?) then those things that conform me to the world, and don’t renew my mind, they have to go. They have to! I may not see whatever on Facebook, I may not of seen this movie or know this song, etc,etc, etc,  but I get God’s Will, and that has to be worth it. It has to be! Its God in heaven, the One who created you for a purpose, the One who gave you life, He has a purpose for mine and your life, wouldn’t you like to know it? I do! And if logging off Facebook helps me get to know it, then so be it. I have the better treasure! And its Worth it!

I want to finish my race well, I long for the day when my race is over and I want more than anything to hear, “Well Done!” I don’t want to waste my life, and for the sake of the Kingdom of God, we don’t have time to waste.

Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel

                                                                                                                                                          ~ Philippians 1:27

Let our lives be worthy of the Gospel! Let our lives match what we say we believe. He is worth it! One day we will see Him face to face, and at that moment we won’t care what status updates we didn’t see, we won’t care whatever it is we gave up to run after Him more, because He is so worth it!

The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

 45“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, 46who, on  finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.

                                                                                                                                                             ~ Matthew 13:44-46

I guess the main question really is how much do we really want to know Christ? How much do we really want to know His will?

Tests Reveal our Hearts

Currently I am reading “A Hunger for God – Desiring God Through Fasting and Prayer” by John Piper, and I read this passage the other day in the introduction, and it has really stuck with me, and I have been continually thinking on it. I believe it is something that I have known, but it just really clicked when I read it. It’s a quote from CS Lewis, when asked if God knows everything, then why did God test Abraham, in asking him to sacrifice his son, Isaac on the mountain top; and why did the angel say from God, “now I know that you fear God.” His response:

“If God is omniscient he must have known what Abraham would do, without any experiment; why, then, this needless torture?” But as St. Augustine points out, whatever God knew, Abraham at any rate did not know that this obedience would endure such a command until the event taught him; and the obedience which he did not know that he would choose, he cannot be said to have chosen. The reality of Abraham’s obedience was the act itself; and what God knew in knowing that Abraham “would obey” was Abraham’s actual obedience on that mountain top at that moment. To say that God “need not have tried the experiment” is to say that because God knows, the thing known by God need not exist.” (A Hunger for God, pg 17-18)

So the test was to show Abraham how much he really trusted God, not God testing him to see how much he trusted Him. Thinking on this, I immediately thought about the passage in The Gospel of Mark, Chapter 4, when Jesus tells His disciples, “Let us go across to the other side.” So they get in a boat and set sail, then Jesus goes to sleep in the stern, and a storm arose, so intense that these men who were fishermen by trade, before Jesus called them to follow Him, were afraid and ran and woke Him up. And we know the story, Jesus wakes up and looks at wind and sea and says, “Peace! Be Still,” and instantly the wind ceased and the sea was calm; Jesus turns to His disciples and ask, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?”  So did Jesus, who was 100% man and 100% God, not know that the storm was going to stir up as He slept? In this test He was showing the Disciples, how much they still didn’t trust Him. And through out His ministry He continually grew and taught His Disciples in a similar manner.

In the moments when we are in a test, in a rough situation, maybe instead of wondering why, we need to wonder what God is trying to reveal to us. In situations as with Abraham, He is revealing how much we do trust Him; and in instances as with the Disciples, God was allowing a situation to flush out a response in the hearts of the disciples that He was wanting to work on. He was working on their faith, and growing it.

Just some brief thoughts, from a quote I read last week.

Situations and test in our lives flush out response from within our heart. What are those responses telling us about what we really believe about God?  And if our response is negative, (Disciples not fully trusting), are we willing to allow God to work on this area in our hearts?