Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Cyber Communication (email, IM’s, etc) (11/04/10)
By Dalyn Woods
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In this age of e-mail, instant messaging and ‘round the clock communication, we expect God to work on our timetable. When we don’t get an immediate response to our prayers we wonder if they’re getting through. However, immediacy is not a biblical promise. In fact, there was a 22-year gap between the time David was anointed king and when he actually assumed the throne (Arthur, Moore, & Shirer, 2008, p. 14). What happened during that time surely must have made David question if God was listening; he was hated, threatened and pursued by King Saul. The psalms are filled with David’s cries to God. In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me (Psalms 86:7 KJV). But, while hiding out in the wilderness with a band of outlaws and misfits, he learned valuable lessons about waiting for God’s perfect timing.
We must not allow the method of delivery to diminish God’s message. Whether the response is “staffed out” to a little maid (II Kings 5) or a prisoner in an Egyptian dungeon (Genesis 41:14-16), we should not feel slighted; God is still the author. The fact that a heavenly host joined in announcing the birth of Christ doesn’t detract from the good tidings of great joy. He is not here: for He is risen is no less powerful because it was presented by an angel. Even we can become staffers when He chooses us to teach a lesson, write a devotional or praise with song.
What about the prayers leaving our outbox - could they be spam? God’s sacrifice in John 3:16 clearly demonstrates that we as individuals are not spam. And, I Peter 5:7 invites us to pray: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you (KJV). But a study of Luke 18:10-14, shows the prayer of the Pharisee was spam. Other spam prayers are described in James 4:3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts (KJV). We can ensure that our prayers are favorably received and answered by following the instructions in Matthew 6:5-15 and checking that our heart and motivation are pure. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much (James 5:16 KJV).
So I can rest assured that God responds to me, but what about the other side – do I read God’s e-mails? Does He get a high priority flag or do I move Him into the junk folder along with the jokes and urban legends making their way around the Web? Do I heed His text messages – encourage that woman, witness to that man – or do I ignore the beep of my spiritual phone until it’s too late and the moment of action has passed?
Jeremiah 33:3 urges call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not. But are we listening and watching for the response? Remember, it may not be in the form we expect. In Elijah’s experience, it wasn’t through the wind, earthquake or fire that God spoke, but through the still small voice (I Kings 19:11-12). So the psalmist advises us, Be still, and know that I am God (Psalms 46:10 KJV).
As often as you check your electronic devices for e-mails, IMs, texts, voicemail, facebook updates and tweets, take some time to listen for the most important communication of the day. Let “you’ve got mail” serve as a reminder to constantly monitor your spiritual inbox.
Arthur, K., Moore, B., & Shirer, P. (2008). Anointed, Transformed, Redeemed: A Study of David. Nashville: Lifeway Press
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