"Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken . . . Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken." -Psalm 62:1-2, 5-6
Before I do anything for God, I must first FIND (develop) reoccurring time to rest in him. It may be an interesting concept, but I need to put in the effort to have rest. Vegging out on the couch while scrolling endlessly through social media may feel restful, but I would like to point out that it may not be as relaxing as it appears to be.
I have found that whether I want it to or not, my brain is constantly taking in information. Some of us retain this information better than others, but we are still processing it. With every scroll, swipe, and tap of our screens, information is being fed to us. The real question that we have to ask ourselves is What is our brain doing with this information?
Recently, a documentary called "The Social Dilemma" brought much-needed attention to the reality of screen time and targeted information. The next time you are at a table with other people, I encourage you to observe how often those at your table look at their phones. How often do our own eyes bounce back and forth to our phones, hoping to have a reason to check an application?
Paul tells us in Romans 12:2 that we are not supposed to be conformed to the ways of this world BUT we are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. He tells the Corinthians that we don't live by the standards of this world but we take every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:1-5). Instead of appearing to meet the standard outwardly, we are challenged to be aware of what kind of thoughts we have. Our thoughts are influenced by what we consume. If we are constantly consuming things that lead us to seek after the approval of people who did not offer you your salvation then I would go so far as to say that you are going to end up conforming to a different version of yourself that you were never supposed to take on.
I enjoy sitting and streaming shows with my wife. I have been on social media for over a decade. I even help manage different social media pages for businesses. I am not saying that the medium is evil, but when we are constantly consuming people's opinions and reading information from advertisements, then I would argue that your outlook on life is being shaped with every moment spent there.
Does this make you feel more insignificant or like you are lesser? Do you feel more burdened and helpless with what’s going on in the world? is your mind left in a chaotic frenzy? Are you more fed up with people? Do you find yourself arguing with opinionated people that you don’t really know? Are you drawn to more explicit imagery/accounts? Is it hard to go 10 minutes without checking your phone?
Paul tells the Christians in Galatia that as we grow in our relationship with God that there will be evidence called “fruit” (Galatians 5:22-23). This fruit develops inwardly, first. We can only fake things for so long; sooner or later we will not be able to maintain the lie. True intimacy with Christ will bring conviction to your heart as you meditate on the Word of God.
What if we worked towards finding out what resting actually looks like? What if we removed ourselves from all technology and enjoy just being HERE? This may look like going to a local park and leaving your phone in your car for an hour while you enjoy walking and talking to God. Perhaps there are some great scenic spots to go to and you sit in silence while listening to God's creation praise him (Psalm 148). Maybe you don't have the time to do this due to a crazy schedule. Maybe you have young children and it feels nearly impossible to venture out like this right now. I would encourage you to find those few moments throughout the day. It may not be hours or extended minutes, but as you ask the Lord, he will reveal the right time every day for this.
I remember waking up, as a young child, and walking into the living room where my mom would have her Bible out and coffee in hand. She would purpose herself to wake up early so that she had some time to spend with the Lord before the day's activities occurred. There were four of us kids, which meant that we demanded a lot from her throughout the day. She always seemed so joyful and full of wisdom. I believe that this was by no mistake as she fed herself daily with the wisdom of the Word. This meant that her joy came from the Lord which made her strong.
Solitude is a designed gift from the Lord for us to able to be refreshed and rejuvenated. My salvation is not predicated upon my own works but it is determined on God's love for me. The good news is that his love is displayed all throughout the Bible as each book details God's desire for us to be relationally connected with him. Too many people are only verbally committed to being a Christian and neglect the essence of what faith in Christ is all about.
Let us be faithful to hear his voice, respond to his voice in obedience, and love people in the midst of life! I pray that you begin to practice resting today.