These are reactionary times in which many are quick to anger and slow to listen. Neither action draws anyone closer to God. Let us be sure to point to Jesus in our actions and follow this principle. Let us not listen to respond, but let us listen to hear their cry for our Beautiful Savior so we can better bring them to Him. People need Jesus, not our judgments and opinions.
In my reading this morning, Ezekiel 44:23 “They are responsible for teaching My people Israel the line between the sacred and common. They are to instruct My people on how to detect what is ritually pure and impure” stuck out to me. Now, this is speaking about the Levitical priests and what the Lord had instructed them to do. However, as modern day Christians, we are priests as well (Revelation 1:6). Looking at the times in which we find ourselves, have we accurately discerned and taught the difference between the sacred and the common? Do we look at our world through the lens of Scripture, giving us a biblical worldview?
I also came across an article titled “10 Signs You Lack a Biblical Worldview” posted on Joseph Mattera’s website. First, Scripture already had me thinking along these lines, and second, this article has me thinking further. Now, I would like to say I have a biblical worldview, but I also know that I have much room for improvement. Don’t we all, though?
As New Testament priests we should possess a biblical worldview enabling us to easily distinguish what is Holy from what is secular, and be able to live and teach it accordingly. Yet, over time we have lost site of the correct view of our world. Our culture has changed from one in which biblical principles were the stones our nation’s foundation was built upon and in which the Kingdom of God affected the cultural norms, to one in which biblical principles are frowned upon and tossed aside for secular humanism and “feel-goodism”. Sadly, some of our churches have traded Spirit-filled meaty messages for watered down milk to appease the masses, often focusing more on programs and fellowship rather than teaching how to live biblically in Spirit and truth; powerless, fruitless and educationally weak. In my opinion, and as an overall cultural generality, we have gone from being accountable and responsible for our individual actions to blaming others for our own choices and/or trying to erase the ramifications of our choices. We have become a nation of people who seek our own personal growth, gain and prosperity regardless of the cost to others. We want everything now and we don’t want to put the effort in to work out our own salvation. We no longer seem to value life, or the married nuclear family units consisting of mothers, fathers and children. We are a nation too used to handouts instead of leg-ups, and we have allowed others to educate our children on all fronts without fully understanding the quality and curriculum of said education. As a result of this our culture has given us a self-centric and secular worldview.
Most, not all, have put more trust in man than in God. Scripture admonishes and reminds us our trust should be in God and God alone. Man is fallible, when he dies all that we trusted him for dies with him (Psalm 146: 3-4) but God is infinite. He cannot die, He does not lie, He never fails. He is faithful, He is trustworthy, He alone knows what lies ahead for each of us. We cannot expect our civic governments, pastors and churches, and educators to do all that we need to do on our behalf. We must take upon ourselves some personal responsibility, after all we are told to study to show ourselves approved to God (2 Timothy 2:15).
How do we obtain a biblical worldview? First, we must make the time to regularly study God’s word. This includes quiet, personal study time and prayer. It involves digging deeply into Scripture and asking God how to apply it to daily life. Prayer is another vital component to a biblical viewpoint. We must not only speak with God, but we must be attentive and listening for when He speaks to us and be obedient to His directives. We must learn to discern His voice above all others and the way to do that is regular communication. Gathering together with other believers, whether this is fellowship, church services, or small groups, when we are with other believers we are challenged as well as challenging each other to grow. Serving others helps us have a Jesus-centered lens. When we put aside our self-driven desires and wants to fill the needs in others lives, we will begin to value what God values and go where He would have us go.
As Believers in Christ, we are not better than anyone, but we are different. We are called to be set apart, different and effective. We must begin to choose Kingdom over culture, having Kingdom values instead of worldly values. When the world looks at us, they should see a different people, in how we live and interact with others, in how we love, in how and what we put value and priority on. History shows that the Church impacted the culture around it, let us once again begin to affect culture.
I’m an introvert. I’ll take email and text messages over phone conversations and group interactions any day. When I discovered Facebook 10 years ago, I was all over it. I dove in head first and no holds barred. It was my platform for sharing my thoughts, pictures, family life, day to day happenings, my fiber arts skills and whatever else I fancied. With Facebook Memories, I could relive those moments (or cringe at some of the stuff I posted) over again. I have met and befriended wonderful people through social media and been able to keep up with distant family. Those relationships are solid and commumication has extended outside the Facebook-verse. However wonderful it is to see what everyone in your circle is doing, it was never a satisfying option and often I would find myself fighting depression and disappointment because I, or my expectations of otthers, didn’t measure up to the lives being shared online.
Over the years I have taken social media fasts and/or deactivated accounts, only to jump right back in after a relatively short break. While praying about what God has to say about 2019, part of what He began speaking to me was the conviction that my Facebook usage was a major time waster and distraction (I’ll post the rest soon). This was not a surprise as I have been feeling less enchanted with social media for a while now. I deleted my Twitter and LinkedIn accounts years ago, having found them useless, and last year I deleted my Instagram for almost the same reason.
As I began telling Papa what I wanted to accomplish in this next year, He was showing me how my connection and addiction to scrolling my Facebook feed was keeping me from accomplishing it all now. My devotional time was cut into a fraction of the time I used to spend and it is limited already. The constant tug of “what is everyone doing” was always hovering on the fringe of my bible study and more often than not, I’d start scrolling. That’s all He needed to tell me.
My time with Him is precious and I am convinced that I will not accomplish anything if I allow the distraction social media provides. Is it harmless? Well, I’m not sure, but like Paul said it may be lawful, but it’s not edifying or helpful to me (1 Corinthians 10:23). You may feel different, and that is okay. I’m not here to convict you to delete yours.
In the few days since I deleted my profile, the urge to scroll and poke into the lives of others has lessened each day and I find myself meditating on Papa’s word more, listening to Him speak and enjoying my family and surroundings more. I plan to become more intentional and present in my relationships and endeavours.
What word has He given you for 2019 and how is it impacting you today?