Have you ever had a close friend who has been accused of being fake? Of having a dark side? A hidden agenda? If I’m close to someone who’s being wrongfully accused, I feel like jumping in the ring for them and defending them tooth and nail. But if I’m not really close to them, or we’ve lost touch over the years, I’m not so fussed. We’re not connected, so my level of caring isn’t that high.
I think of God as my best mate. We’re connected, and we’ve been through a lot together. He was there when I was born in 1987. He was there when I got hit by a car, 14 years later. He was there when I was smoking weed and getting drunk at 15, attempting to fill the hole He was meant to fill. He was there to pull me out and fix me up when I was giving up on life at 16. He was there to save my life on the Gold Coast freeway at 19, and it was Him who arranged that first day I met my wife a few weeks later. God knows me intimately, and I feel connected to Him.
So when God, my Mate, is being accused by Satan of being unfair, dictatorial and restrictive (among other things), I feel like I wanna jump in and defend Him. But Satan’s not too keen on my connection with God and I see Him constantly trying to break that bond. To make me indifferent to His accusations.
Just like in any other friendship, I stop caring when I stop connecting, and I stop connecting when other things become more important. I get distracted by empty entertainment: games, movies, TV series. Most probably aren’t bad for me on a moral level. Some probably are. But either way, I can’t help but wonder whether I’m trading God in for something that’s second-rate.
And, like most people in my generation, I’m constantly connected. Between Facebook, music, gaming, texting, Instagram, Snapchat, selfies, shopping, web browsing, and the million other things I do while I’m connected to my devices, where do I find God? Is it sufficient for me to like Jesus’ Facebook page? When do I connect to my Source of life?
My closest connections with God have been in the bush, alone. When I’m disconnected from my devices, I connect with God like I’m standing next to a Telstra 4G tower, with a brand new iPhone 6 Plus. But there’s a difference. Connecting with a game or a social network or an app feels a bit like eating ice cream on an empty stomach. For me, it tastes sweet at the time but leaves me feeling dissatisfied afterwards. Connecting with God is like having a tasty, wholesome meal. I’m left feeling nourished, intrigued, and utterly satisfied. Satan’s greatest lie today is that we can survive a disconnected life by being connected to entertainment.
Maybe you’re not too different from me. Maybe you feel like, as much as you’re connected and entertained, you’re often left dissatisfied. Maybe, like me, you need to disconnect more, so that you can reconnect with your Maker.