When was the last time you called into a radio station to win something? I am betting, like me, you were a kid. All hopeful, optimistic and naïve. Well, now I have a 13-year-old and recently he heard a DJ announce $1000 to caller number 12 and he was determined to win. He whipped out his phone and began listing what he was going to buy with the prize money.
But here is what happened.
He dialed the number and then immediately said, “Mom, what’s this sound?!” He put the phone to my ear, and I heard what you always hear when you try to be the lucky caller in a radio contest: the busy signal.
Me: “That’s the busy signal.”
Son: “What’s a busy signal?”
Me: “What’s a busy signal???!!! You have never heard this before?!”
And then it hit me. He has never called someone and not gotten through! My blessed first born knows nothing of being told “not now,” “you have to wait” or “try again later.” Those concepts are not in his vocabulary. He is a product of our instant culture. The culture where any movie can be found, any piece of information can be googled, and any letter can be emailed… in an instant.
(But, emails weren’t fast enough, so we started texting.)
You get the point.
Technology has transformed how we communicate, learn, work and play. The effects of speed have impacted our relationships, our workplaces, and our free time. And often for the better! But there is one area where speed doesn’t help us.
The concept that faster is always better has translated into our spiritual lives. We assume if we pray for something in the morning, it should be answered by noon. If we read our Bible for five minutes on Monday, it should provide enough wisdom to last all week. And if we face a difficult situation, Jesus better have it resolved quickly.
We refuse to wait, persevere or suffer. We want instant results. Instant change. Instant happiness. And if we don’t get it, we come to this conclusion: Jesus does not affect our daily life. Prayer doesn’t work. The Bible isn’t relevant. Jesus doesn’t care or isn’t strong enough to get rid of the pain.
But it doesn’t work that way. Jesus is not a vending machine. We don’t tell Him what needs to happen and then tap our foot until He does it. We don’t bark orders or make demands. And you know what?
Neither does He.
We are not puppets that He manipulates or minions that He orders around. We are humans that are deeply loved and cared for. We are men and women He has proudly created with high expectations. Expectations to live for a greater purpose.
Though entertainment, communication and hot food are at the push of a button, healing a hurt, changing an attitude or ceasing a bad habit are not. They require walking closely with our Heavenly Father. Asking questions, listening, obeying, surrendering, believing…
Just to name a few.
Allowing Jesus to transform areas of our lives takes effort. But it is so worth it! Nothing compares to knowing at the core of your being that you have let go of bitterness, walked away from a destructive habit, or been healed from a wrenching disappointment.
“And with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26)
Yes, they are!
But we have to come to Him. Sit with Him. Listen to Him. And follow His lead. We can’t settle for a push-of-the-button experience with Him and expect our lives to be different.
Are you ready for more in your life? Don’t settle for an instant Jesus. He doesn’t exist. Rather, make time for the One who does. You won’t be disappointed.
Read John 15:1-8 today and record a list of what it means to be connected to Jesus. Identify one change you need to make in order to stay connected.
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