Are You Daring Enough To Turn Off Notifications?
Saleama A. Ruvalcaba
Wow…amazing feedback from Monday’s post; A Radical Approach to Blogging This Year! Between blog and Facebook comments the general consensus was a much-needed encouraging word. Much of the feedback consisted of knowing and trusting that we are truly reaching others for God. It made me think; what makes us to doubt? Speaking for myself, I crave feedback. If I don’t receive it, I question my purpose. It’s so bad that I can get eight people in a row, within one hour, to comment in a positive way about something I wrote, yet if it stops right there – with nothing else the entire day, I conclude that it was a wasted message.
Seriously! Am I that dense?
No – it’s more like I lose focus very quickly and allow my fellowship, prayer and trust in God to go out the window in an instant. And that’s the point; trust in God is fleeting instead of unyielding.
Job 31:24-28 “If I put my trust in gold or said to pure gold, “You’re my security, if I have rejoiced over my great wealth, the fortune my hand has gained, if I have regarded the sun in its radiance or the moon in its splendor, so my heart was secretly enticed and my hand offered them a kiss of homage, then these also would be sins to be judged, for I would have been unfaithful to the God on high.”
We consistently excuse our behavior with the way it is in modern times. Every age under the sun had its own “modern times” in which people had the choice to trust God or trust the world. Let’ be honest, when the notifications are sounding all day long it makes us feel good. People need us, or are responding to our message. The notifications give us confidence that we are doing God’s work. It sounds silly. A sound on my phone gives me the trust I need. Not my daily studying of the Bible, or prayer, or being guided by the Holy Spirit – but rather a chirp on my phone.
Psalm 91:2 “I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
Reading that verse I naturally think of being physically afraid or in danger of something. But could it be we are fearful that God isn’t using us for His purpose? Speaking for myself, I did not grow up with affirmation. I wasn’t involved with sports, or dance or any kind of extracurricular activities as a child. I wasn’t in clubs or groups in high school. I wasn’t involved in anything productive. I never experienced any kind of personal achievement. I didn’t graduate college (undergrad) until I was 40. So I had no concept of patience and hard work early in my life. If I did not see instant success in something I quickly aborted it. When I became a Christian nine years ago, I expected everything to finally go my way. I found out right away that’s not how God works. I had to learn, through prayer and fellowship with God, that He has a plan for me. I had to learn patience through studying and living in obedience. I had to learn that God will use me to glorify His name – but it will be a slow work in progress. However, every once in a while I retreat to my old self and become afraid that I have no purpose. Every once in a while I believe Satan’s lie; that I’ve never achieved anything and never will. And when the “chirps” stop – I’m afraid that Satan’s lie is true.
Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he make your paths straight.
My husband coaches high school football. He prayed that God would lead him to a school where he would make an impact and glorify God – and God answered. First, we were led to our new church. Second, he met the head coach of “John Lane High School”, during a chance meeting one morning at church. Third, the coach just happened to need an assistant. Fourth, my husband went through the interview process and everything worked out. Fifth, a random man from church found out that my husband was coaching at “John Lane High School” and told my husband he had prayed for a godly man to coach there to reach those boys. Sixth, my husband has powerfully influenced the other coaches and students by sharing the gospel with them. Then one day – it happened. My husband noticed he was the only coach on the field during football games without headphones. The headphones were a means of communication between the other coaches during the games. My husband would have known the plays and better able to prepare his players in between plays. Yet, he was the only coach without headphones for the entire season. He felt left out. He questioned his purpose. Headphones made him doubt everything God had done through him. Headphones made him forget the answers to prayer. Headphones made him forget how he influenced so many young men to know the love of Jesus Christ.
Matthew 8:26 “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?”
When we truly understand who God is, and how He is working in our lives, little by little the fear that He isn’t using us will slowly disappear. Yes, I get down, but not for long. Yes, my husband doubted, but not for long. Are you daring enough to turn off the notifications? I turned my notifications off. I now say “I trust in you Lord” when I have the urge to check it – all day long! God saved me! God loves me! God has a plan for me! And that plan is to use me to glorify His name. My man-made phone cannot compete! He has a plan for you as well. Can you hear God and live out His purpose without checking your phone? Can you coach without headphones? Can you pastor in children’s ministry while waiting to senior pastor? Can you be a housewife, raising godly children, – and never hear “thank-you?” Can you trust God today?
Dare to walk on the wild side and trust that God has a purpose and a plan for your life. And even if you cannot see it or hear it – trust that you are making an impact. You are saving lives all over the world – and glorifying the name of God.