This post was not written by me; however, the author requested to remain anonymous. It was too good not to share! Please read it, enjoy its content, and apply its message accordingly.
I am sick and tired of seeing people treat God like barely even an acquaintance. “Devotional time” is less than five minutes. Prayers are nonexistent. We pull out the earbuds for a minute to catch a few verses and then plug right back into anything but God. The TV is always on. Some show is always pulsating its message and theme across the screen to you. Mindlessly, that message is absorbed and applied to your life. If we do manage to get away from the TV for awhile, we have our phones out. Consuming content. Never doing anything worthwhile. Never reading a book. Never sitting still and being at peace. No, the world would never allow that. This world wants the mind and hands constantly doing something. You’ll never notice the lack of God if you are kept busy and mindlessly influenced to the world. Amidst it all, we barely have time to even say “Hello” to God before we kick Him out of our lives again by turning on the TV, putting in the earbuds, or texting a friend. God is an acquaintance in the lobby of our life when He truly longs to be the author of our entire lives. Let’s look at a few quick ways we can unplug, turn down, and tune in to God.
1. Realize that you have too much “non-God” in your life.
This first step is always the hardest. You have to take an out-of-body approach to your life. Look at your “down time.” How is it spent? TV? iPod? Staring mindlessly at a virtual conversation on your phone? If you can’t see the “non-God” in these mundane things, here’s a simple question to ask to determine it: “Am I producing anything of value through my actions RIGHT NOW?” If no, you have a problem. Admit it. Be willing to change. It’s for the God Who loves you. Remember, change requires doing something you’ve never done before.
2. Replace the “non-God” with God.
Seems too simple, doesn’t it? That’s because it is! It truly is that simple. You have too much TV time on your hands? Put a Bible next to your remote. When you reach for the remote, grab the Bible first and say out loud, “I will read one chapter of the Bible,” and then do it. This is an easy step to take and it allows God to be placed before TV in your heart and mind. Trust me, God will honor that. Another easy replacement: when you pull out your phone to text, launch your Bible app first instead. Read a portion of Scripture until you find a verse that you want to tweet, post to Facebook, or screenshot for Instagram, and then post it! Again, this rewires your mind to begin realizing that God comes before texting. Final simple step to take: before you put your earbuds in and listen to your favorite tunes, look up Colossians 3:16-17 on your Bible app or in a Bible. If you don’t know these verses, memorize them. This prompts your mind to listen to music that is pleasing to God. Be warned: this will change your life. You won’t want to listen to Katy Perry if you truly realize what these verses say. You’ll delete Jay-Z from your iPod if you heed the words of this Scripture portion. As I said, remove the “non-God.” Simple and life-altering. Try these three simple swaps.
3. Read God’s Word with a goal in mind.
This can be anything. For me, I study His Word. I look for three-point messages. I find repeated words in the same chapter. I look up where else those words are used. In other words, I don’t just read mindlessly for a checklist; I come to my Bible with a purpose. Let me share two easy ways to have goals in Bible reading. The easiest is to read a chapter, then take a pen and write down on some paper what God is trying to say to you through it. Sometimes, you’ll write a paragraph. Sometimes you’ll write one word. Sometimes a long sentence. But realize this – you are writing something! That is a goal! You got something from God’s Word! Simple and applicable. Secondly, use a Bible app or concordance to see where and how an interesting word that you read is used in the rest of Scripture. For starters, look up words like peace, joy, love, or sin. You will find that God has much to say about His own Word! Go into His Word with a goal. And then thank Him for it!
This list could go on and on and on. But you will begin to make your own list of ways to replace the “non-God” with God as you walk each day with Him. Try it for one week and see if I’m lying to you. Look, the world is fighting for our attention, and we are letting it win each and every day. God patiently waits within the pages of Scripture, whispering softly for us to come to Him. We miss it. All the time. It’s time to start being aggressive in our walk with Him. Fight off the “non-God” for the sake of the One Who did more for you than any songwriter, actor, or friend ever did. In His Word are stories and examples of His amazing power, endless love, deep mercy, and righteous Person. There are also accounts of giants getting killed by teenagers, fire falling from the sky, the earth swallowing people, donkeys talking, dead men walking out of their graves, big fish swallowing and vomiting up people, mere words being used to create a universe, bleeding hands being spread in love for salvation, and heavenly mansions being prepared for those who embrace His Son. Doesn’t that sound interesting? The One Who wrote that Book wants you to set aside the “non-God” and come to Him. Don’t believe me? Well, look at what He said about this: “O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.” (Psalms 34:8) See? Just come get a taste of His Word. You’ll want more. Stop saying a quick “Hey!” to God… and sit down and dwell with Him awhile.