Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Depravity of Devices

I’ll probably get flamed by some of my readers, but I woke up this morning with these thoughts draining out of my ear onto my pillow. That’s usually an indication that something inside should actually be outside. But then again, I’ll let you run with that analogy.

Anyway, I was thinking about the latest iPhone craze. It’s nothing particularly new you know; the frenzy associated with a highly anticipated or desired product. Anyone still have their Cabbage Patch doll stuffed in a closet somewhere?

The Bible tells us, “with all thy getting, get understanding.” (Proverbs 4:7b KJV) Not just another shiny object or device. If you dig just below the surface of Genesis 3:1, you’ll find that the serpent at the heart of that narrative was far more than just a snake. As a matter of fact, if you exegete the Hebrew word historically translated as serpent (noun) as serpent (adjective), you’ll find it’s meaning to be the shiny one.

Kind of odd how when fishermen are looking for their next big catch, they employ their best shiny lure to snag their prey, but surely there’s no analogical connection to Genesis 3:1, right?

My thinking is we are so desperate for the next shiny device in life; we’ve lost our desire and maybe even our ability to pursue understanding. We just seem to want the things that twinkle in our eye. And since genuine understanding is the love child of wisdom, it’s no wonder understanding is a rare commodity these days. (Proverbs 1)

If we reject wisdom there is no way we will be able to get genuine understanding. Oh you may develop a mental or even emotional storehouse of strategic schematics on how things function, but you will never really have genuine understanding of purpose beyond the simple or the obvious.

For us to live in the pursuit of genuine understanding we must agree with the premise that devices can alter our ability to understand and thereby further compound our real problem; lack of wisdom.

As a Pentecostal Christian, I believe in the empowering work of the Holy Spirit in the life of believers; even beyond the empowerment one typically envisions for the work of evangelism. For genuine outreach and bridge building to occur, I must know and understand God’s purpose in the earth. From the macro perspective of outer space to the micro perspective of the inner man; understanding the purpose behind those mysteries is paramount to my survival and my active employment in the advance of the Kingdom of God.

So what do I mean by The Depravity of Devices? What I don’t mean is that someone shouldn’t own a new iPhone, or plasma TV, or any number of other new shiny things in life. On the contrary; live within your means and enjoy the things of this life, but just keep them in perspective.

Devices are NOT the answer to the advance of His will and purpose in the earth. At best they are feeble tools we may use FOLLOWING a revelation of wisdom and understanding gained only in and through His presence. At worst they become the devilish focus of our pursuit in life and ministry; falsely believing that if we can lay hold of the next big cool shiny thing, we’ll catch more and bigger fish.

Our advances in this world for the sake of His Kingdom are not predicated upon our ability to find the next new shiny device (or business plan) to carry this ancient message of hope, but our advances are 100% predicated upon our ability to gain understanding of Him and from Him. And that understanding comes as we enter into deep and mysterious discourse with and through His Spirit. (Romans 8:26-27)

Could I be so bold as to say we’ve been deceived by The Depravity of Devices and we’ve abandoned the genuine source of wisdom and understanding: praying in tongues and worshiping Him for extensive periods of time until the Spirit reveals the needed wisdom, understanding and purpose for our very existence as sons and daughters of God? I guess I just did.

What we need is a divorce from devices and a marriage to the mysteries of God. For as we are baptized in the darkness of His mysteries through the intercession of the Spirit (and I do mean praying in tongues); revelation comes. Answers come; strange and wonderful understanding of previously confusing issues arrives.

In short, we finally realize the POWER is NOT in devices or plans or even the mechanisms we USE to accomplish His will and purpose in the earth, but the POWER COMES supernaturally through our literal and bilateral communication with Him. Not some book on what the next big shiny marketing procedures others are using in some locale or another, but simple, pure, raw power and understanding. Only received as time is spent letting the Spirit pray (breathe) into and through us. His Shiny Devices in this lost and dying world are US. Not things made by the hands of man.

So the next time you hit an impasse in life or ministry (they’re synonymous), don’t reach for the latest best selling book, but get on your knees and pray in tongues and worship God until you get an understanding that clearly and only comes from above. Not from below.

In all you’re getting, GET UNDERSTANDING and don’t be deceived by The Depravity of Devices. Because you will never have enough time or money to amass shiny stuff to attract the fish God’s sent you to catch. Let God IN YOU become the lure that sets the hook, not some human device or idea.

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