Unplug And Connect With God

 

There are many blessings to all of our modern technology. I happen to like air conditioning, plane travel, television on-demand, and the Internet. It sure beats walking everywhere and sleeping in the woods. But on the flip side, there are curses that go along with technology. We are always connected. Every minute is filled with social media, cell phones, texting, music, and taking lots of pictures. How did we ever make it before we were able to post a low-quality picture of what you ate for lunch?

While there are many things to like about technology, there are challenges too. I will only focus on one. We are so connected that we are actually disconnected from peace, stillness, and silence. These elements are necessary to connect with God.

Psalm 46 is dedicated to “The Sons Of Korah.” Evidently, they were a special group of singers among the ancient Israelites. Their job was to connect us with God through song. The Psalm speaks of being connected to God, of his majesty, and our worship of him. In verse 10 it states, “Be still and know that I am God…”

Evidently being still is an important aspect of knowing God. In order to know and worship him better and experience his power and presence, we must take the time to be still. So what does it mean to be still?

 

BEING STILL MEANS FOCUSING.

Before you read the Bible and pray you must take a moment to focus your attention on God and ask for him to speak to you. This means you must take the time to disconnect from all of your technology and take a moment to prepare your mind.

 

BEING STILL MEANS WORSHIPING.

The most common word for worship in the Bible is a combination of two words meaning, “To kiss towards.” That is what you did to royalty in ancient times. It showed your submission, loyal service, approval, and undying love and commitment. If we are to have that kind of experience with God we must disconnect in order to connect with God.

 

BEING STILL MEANS ACQUIRING A PEACEFUL DEMEANOR.

I personally enjoy observing nature. It brings peace to my heart and mind. It reminds me that God is the Creator and he is in control. In the wild hustle and bustle of our days, we must take time regularly to still our minds and experience God’s peace. This is a great cure for worry!

 

BEING STILL INVOLVES STILLING YOUR MIND.

You can only quiet your mind as you turn off technology and begin to focus on God. Being still enables you to think, muse, reflect and meditate on God.

 

BEING STILL MEANS STANDING FIRM AND BEING STRONG.

I was actually kind of surprised when I learned that being still was not always about simply sitting but about being strong. It means that you stand firm in your faith. It means that you are strong in your belief about God. It is really helpful to know this when you experience difficulty or stress. God wants you to be still and stand strong in believing that he will come through for you.

Being still takes practice. You may fidget at first. Your mind may start to wander but don’t give up on learning to practice being still before God. Disconnect from all that distracts and connect with God. It is a life changing practice. It is a necessary tool to get to know God better. 

 

God’s Prescription For Negative Thinking

 

This past weekend I preached about overcoming negative thinking through our faith in Jesus. If you missed the message you can listen to it online at www.avalonchurch.net. This article is a follow-up to the message.

Have you ever been guilty of stinking thinking? I know I have. It is easy to go negative sometimes. But if God is in control, and I believe he is, then nothing in my life gives me the right to stay negative or discouraged. Negativity and discouragement are tools that the enemy uses to make us take our eyes off of God and live in defeat. The Apostle Paul asked the powerful question, “If God is for us who can be against us?”

Chances are that you will face some obstacles in the near future. That is the nature of life. Those obstacles will either crush you or give you the opportunity to exercise your faith in God. Here are four ways to stay positive in a negative culture.

1. Ask God to deepen your faith.

Your view of God affects everything you do. It certainly affects your attitude. Meditate on these verses and how they affect your faith and your view of God. Romans 14:23 “For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.” Hebrews 11:6 “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” Mark 9:23 “Anything is possible if a person believes.”

2. Commit to reading the Scriptures.

The Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 12:1-2 that we must let God transform our minds and our way of thinking. We do this by filling our minds and strengthening our faith through scripture. Romans 10:17 “So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” 

3. See things from God’s point of view.

This is not the same as simply determining to be a positive thinker. Some people are hopelessly unrealistic in their outlook and never even come close to reality. They simply think “happy thoughts,” as if this magically makes things better. Seeing things as God sees them is a faith commitment to believe God and his promises. Not all things are positive but the outcome will bring glory to God when I acknowledge that God is in control. God will help me when I trust him. Ephesians 6:10 “Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.” Proverbs 16:3 “Commit your work to the Lord and then your plans will succeed.” Matthew 7:7 “Keep on asking and you will be given what you ask for. Keep on looking and you will find. Keep on knocking and the door will be opened.” Galatians 6:9 “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”

4. Surround yourself with the right people.

If you surround yourself with negative people, then you will be influenced by their negativity. On the other hand, surround yourself with positive people who love God and watch your attitude get better! By the way, being actively involved in a small group at Avalon Church will help strengthen your faith and develop a positive outlook.