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. . . bowing down to distractions . . .

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Have you ever thought or been told that the Bible is so antiquated, that it is hardly even relevant in times like these?  Ironically, I have heard it described this way before, but nonetheless, when I read it, I feel like nothing could be further from the truth.  Like, did you know that the word iphone is mentioned at least 156 times in the Bible??  Well, actually I guess it’s not, but the word: idol is, which is basically the same thing, right?  We will get to that in a minute

The Bible is the Living Word of God, which means it has the ability to breathe life and understanding into situations like no other self-help book out there.

Hebrews 4:12 (HCSB)

12 For the word of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the ideas and thoughts of the heart.

Every time I read it, I see something new, or gain a new insight, I realize something or see a new comparison (even if I have read that same verse a thousand times), and  the only explanation I can give, is that . . . it really IS living.

Well, the reason I am bringing this up, is because the other day I was reading from the book of Isaiah, which is dated to be written around 701 -681 B.C.  (source).  That is quite a long time before Christ was born, and there are a few chapters in Isaiah, especially Isaiah chapter 53, that prophesy or predict the coming of Christ, and it often gives me chills to read it.

Today, however, I want to direct you to another section of Isaiah.  Pretty close to the beginning.  Isaiah 2 verse 8, and also Isaiah 2 verse 11.  Isaiah was addressing Judah and Jerusalem at the time, but I’m pretty sure when you read these verses, you are going to see a shocking comparison to today.

Isaiah 2:8 (HCSB)

8 Their land is full of idols; they bow down to the work of their hands, to what their fingers have made.

Wow – did you see that??  What Strong word for today.  No, we don’t necessarily build or carve images or miniature wooden idols to literally worship.  But, this picture of man Bowing down to the work of his hands . . . to what his fingers have made, is real enough and kinda reminds me of this:

https://pathdiscoveries.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/cea65-phones1.png

Isn’t this just what our society does every single day?

And, yes in this sense, we are quite literally, bowing down.

When you look at it like this, it is pretty obvious that our land is full of idols.  We are constantly bowing our heads to our phones, tablets, devices, etc.  Well there’s a word that brings new meaning: devices.  We are bowing down to our own devices, now doesn’t that seem like an interesting thought?

https://i2.wp.com/i.huffpost.com/gen/1323300/thumbs/o-HEALTH-APP-WOMEN-facebook.jpgAm I saying that all of those things are evil and should be avoided at all costs?  No.  We obviously couldn’t breathe properly if our phones were surgically removed.

We need them.  We use them all day, every day, to keep appointments, to make appointments, to take pictures of our growing kids, and of course to play Words with Friends, and dare I mention it: Candy Crush into the wee hours of the morning.

Not any one of those things is inherently bad.  So, why all the fuss about the time we spend on phones?  I have actually seen at least 3 different posts about over-usage of smart phones lately.  I think it is because, people are sensing an addictive behavior coming on.

But, why am I bringing this up?

Simply to show you that the Bible is as relevant today as it was more than 2,000 years ago, and will remain relevant 2,000 years from now.

And now, for the other verse  I wanted to share with you:  Isaiah 2:11.

Isaiah 2:11 (HCSB)

11 Human pride will be humbled, and the loftiness of men will be brought low; the Lord alone will be exalted on that day.

It goes on to describe a day that is coming which belongs to the Lord of Hosts, a day against all that is lofty, against all that is lifted up (or elevated in priority, perhaps) will be humbled.  I just have to wonder if this is talking about us.

We can be so consumed with the latest technology that we miss out on the life we were meant to have, or are in the very least, only seeing it through the screen of our iphones, and devices:
http://michaeldariano.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/img_0066-001.jpg (What a nice view of the trees overhead showing the change of season.)

I’m just as likely to be seen looking down at my phone as the next person.  SO, I’m not saying this from a Holier than Thou standpoint, just from one that realizes how all-consuming my own devices have become, and realize that God is not surprised at all by this, even if I am.  He wrote about this sort of thing years before it ever happened.  Which makes Him kind of an expert, right?

Bottom Line:

Maybe we should look up every now and then?  That’s Just a thought.  I think we will all be happier if we did, though.

Question:

Which works of your own hands are you bowing down to?  Is it your smart phone, or your need to create the perfect meal to showcase, what is it?

Versos en Español:

Hebreos 4:12, Isaías 2:8, Isaías 2:11

going Somewhere?

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Hello Again!

The following entry comes from today!  It is taken from two different passages (Deuteronomy 13: 12-17 CEV & Psalms 115:1-8 ESV), relating to the same thing: Idols.

For the sake of space, I’m only going to quote Psalm 115: 1-8, so please go back and read the other verses for clarity if you need to!

(Here is a link to the online source I use to read / listen to the Bible: https://www.youversion.com/sign-up?redirect=%2F)

Recap:

As a brief overview… in Deuteronomy Moses was talking to the people, advising them that if any choose to go astray and worship other “gods,” that they are to be stoned to death, regardless of who they are.  Picking up in the Psalms:

1 Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!

2 Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?”

3 Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.

4 Their idols are silver and gold, the work of human hands.

5 They have mouths, but do not speak; eyes, but do not see.

6 They have ears, but do not hear; noses, but do not smell.

7 They have hands, but do not feel; feet, but do not walk; and they do not make a sound in their throat.

8 Those who make them become like them; so do all who trust in them.

Ok, so what I’m getting here is that God despises all idols, and the people who ascribe to them.  They are despicable to Him, which makes you want to go, “Duh!” Right?! But, for some reason I’m seeing something new in these verses about idols, which I never saw before.

Let me explain, I’ve always understood “idols” to mean, “Anything in my life that takes me away from God… Anything that I spend more time with than God… Anything that takes precedence over God or His word in my life.”  Merriam Webster defines idol, as an “object of devotion.

In which case, I stand guilty of serving many idols- whether they be school, entertainment, children, friends, etc. the list can go on and on.  I have asked God to forgive me of this, and especially of my so-called, “innocent” addictions, such as facebook, Words with Friends, and even reading…you get the point.

WOW! But how true is His word when it says in verse 8: “Those who make them [idols] become like them; so do all who trust in them.”

Imagine that!  The idolator becomes “like an idol,” and in effect, becomes “idle.”  According to MW again: IdleInactive; spend time doing nothing; worthless; lazy.

Essentially, we / they (whoever you so choose to identify with), become unmoving … immovable.

That’s GOOD Somebody!

Have you ever felt like you had hands, yet you could not feel? Eyes, but you weren’t able to “see” what was right in front of you… the bigger picture?  Ears, but unable to hear that still, small voice of God in your life?  Feet that seem resolute to remain planted?  Or, a voice that no matter what, would NEVER be heard?

Good News:

In Christ, we are given: Purpose.  We are given a Mission.  We are given a Voice.  However, when we stop pursuing Him – our first love, that is – we move farther away from Him… we become, in essence, LESS real.

We become planted in the familiar, in the comfortable, in the seemingly “fun” world around us.  But, we are reminded in Hebrews 11: 25 that “sin is only fun for a season.”

So, while we are having “fun” ignoring God, the enemy is slowly tying our hands behind our backs, gently placing shackles on our feet, quietly setting a muzzle across our mouths, and discreetly putting a blindfold over our eyes.  Whispering the whole time, his cunning lies into our unguarded ears.

Eventually, we become so sedentary, we are as useless as a man-made idol (of wood, if you please).  We lose our purpose – our friendship with our one, true friend – our relationship with our beloved creator, Abba Father.

Just think about it a minute… how upset or hurt do we get when our loved ones, especially our “better halves,” choose NOT to pursue us… when they choose other things, activities, friends, or even work over us – we feel like, “Second Best.”

What is taking FIRST place in Your life?

Is God’s heart aching over your lack of perseverance in pursing Him?

Yes, sometimes (Oh, heck… MOST of the time, if I’m honest) it can be a struggle to FIND time (as if it’s lost…. another topic for another day… lol) to read His Word & Sometimes we read it, at least I do, so fast we get no meaning out of it at all – just the satisfaction of checking that little box off in our daily reading plan for that day.

How do you feel when your significant other is too busy to spend time with you or finds it too tiresome to connect with you in meaningful ways?  How hurtful is it when they just go through the motions with you…trying to appease you with a substitute of themselves? (You know… when their body is present, but they are quite far away)  Go ahead … Think about it.

We are made in the Image of Almighty God.

So, if you had to be honest … are you hurting God’s heart?  Are you forcing Him to literally BEG for your attention / affection today… or are you giving Him your best?!

Sadly, I’ve been in that first category too many times to count!  But, by God’s grace and compassion, He did seek me out and begged for my attention – When I finally {reluctantly, even} gave it all to Him – He made me ALIVE, AWAKE, and REAL again!

Question:

I’m ALIVE today… how about You?

*Original Spanish inspiration:

SALMO 115: 1-8 (TLA):

1Tú mereces alabanzas, Dios nuestro, y no nosotros; tú mereces alabanzas por tu amor y tu fidelidad.

2 Las otras naciones preguntan en son de burla: «¿Qué pasó con su Dios?»

3 Pero tú estás en el cielo, y haces todo lo que quieres!

4 Los ídolos de esas naciones son objetos de oro y plata; ¡son hechura humana!

5 ¿Y qué es lo que tienen? Una boca que no habla, y ojos que no ven;

6 orejas que no oyen, y narices que no huelen;

7 manos que no tocan, y pies que no andan; garganta tienen, ¡pero no emiten ningún sonido!

8 Iguales a esos ídolos son quienes los hacen y quienes confían en ellos.

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