In today’s world, spiritual warfare comes from ever-increasing directions. It is clear that the devil has many varied “devices” and “wiles” in his arsenal.
As believers, we are encouraged not to be ignorant of the devil’s devices nor give him a “place” in our lives (2 Cor. 2:11; Eph. 4:27). While several of the enemy’s devices are fairly obvious, some are much more subtle and unrecognized. In this article, we consider devices I call “weapons of mass distraction.”
While modern social media provides tremendous new opportunities for communication and ministry, there is a significant risk we must not overlook. That risk is becoming so busy and inundated with electronic bells, dings and voices, God’s voice and intimate presence are crowded out.
In John 15:4-5, Jesus said close abiding in Him is essential to all we are and do. When the Lord says “Be still and know that I am God” and “Go into your closet and seek the Father in secret,” He is surely calling for our full attention.
Of course, He is also reminding believers not to be like the Pharisees who prayed for a public show. Since Jesus is the primary example and pattern for every believer, we must note that He continually spent much time alone with the Father. Thus, when surfing the web and social media intrude into the prayer closet, technology has gone too far.
While we should fully utilize modern technologies for Christ’s kingdom, they must never become substitutes for unhurried time in prayer, cleansing and meditation on God’s Word. According to God’s Word, there are simply no shortcuts or substitutes for the type of closeness with God that yields full New Testament power.
Keeping ‘good’ things from crowding out the ‘best’
Today’s generation has witnessed by far the greatest expansion of information, programs and social media in the history of humankind. While much of this is positive, studies reveal a growing problem of information and communication overload.
Without a strong determination to maintain balance, believers become over-dominated by superficial electronic demands on time and attention. When this occurs, meaningful time with loved ones and God Himself are seriously compromised.
While the world pushes us toward instant sound bites and noise, God calls to depth, intimacy and power with Him. He commands believers to “redeem the time.” Yet concerning redeeming the time, there is great news.
If we ask, God will provide generous wisdom to find balance in our lives. For practical help, five indicators help us know when we are to make adjustments.
Five indicators of a need for better balance
1. When my time in God’s Word and prayer is rushed, inconsistent or distracted, there is a need for adjustment.
2. If I am spending so much time online I am neglecting quality time with my family, there is a need for better balance.
3. If the web and social media are becoming time consuming burdens to maintain, there is a need for change.
4. If a great percentage of my communications with others is predominated by the surface and trivial, there is a need to better redeem the time.
5. If there is a sense that social media is running me more than me running it, there is an urgent need for adjustment.
Even when the things that consume our time may not be bad, they can be keeping us from things that are best. May God help us “number our days according to wisdom” and “redeem the time” for His glory (Ps. 90:12; Eph. 5:16).