technology

FINDING GOD WITHOUT A GPS (PART 1)

Recently, I travelled with my family to a city I wasn’t very familiar with. I had a car to move around with but I needed help getting around to the places I wanted to visit. Fortunately with Google Maps on my phone and with the aid of the Global Positioning System (GPS), I was able to navigate my way to those places. Even when I missed a turn, it was quite reliving to see the app automatically re-plot and display the next suitable route to my destination. But interestingly, Google Maps didn’t know every place I was going to and I had to use the nearest identifiable location and figure out the rest of the trip. It was still a decent helper anyway. With such levels of technological advancements as we have today, could we possibly someday, find God by some form of technology, maybe by the GPS?

One established fact is that God is not searching for us. He sees us and knows our location every time. He is omniscient and omnipresent. He can reach out to us at any time. And because He is God, He can choose to manifest Himself to us in a new way at any time. The question is, ‘Would we recognize Him when he reaches out to us? We might be looking out for the miraculous or some physical show of unusual powers, because we think that is what we need and that that is what would indicate the touch of God in our lives.

People think a supernatural manifestation would change their situation. They look forward to some ‘light, camera, action’ sort of display from God. Folks want to see the dramatic, eye-popping and jaw-dropping… to be convinced of the workings of God. Interestingly, God Himself knows that not all spectacular displays of His power draw people to Him. As we see around us this days, such displays for so many people produce a momentary high before they are back to where they were before. In Luke 16, Jesus told a story of the rich man and brother Lazarus who both died and went to different places – one to hell and the other to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man wanted Lazarus sent back to preach to his siblings, expecting that a revival would occur because someone had come back from the dead to preach to them. But father Abraham told him that if Moses and the prophets who they had with them couldn’t help them, neither would a resurrected beggar bring any change.

God might reveal Himself in a supernatural way and He can also decide to reveal Himself in very ordinary circumstances. Some times when we pray, we ask God to demonstrate His power as if a failure to do so would put a dent on His reputation. We say such things like, ‘show your power in my life so that people would know I serve a living God’ or ‘change this condition of mine so that my faith in you is strengthened’. But the truth is that God has nothing to prove to anyone. He owes no one any explanation for what He does or doesn’t do. God is not on trial here. He is not in the dock.  He has a pedigree that outlives eternity. There is no event or circumstance that can smear his reputation. The heavens already declare the wonders of God and the skies show what He has done. He is God and He calls Himself I AM. This name represents all our finite minds can visualise about God and much more.

The kind of relationship God wants to have with us is one in which we love Him more for His person than for His acts. Such love keeps our focus on Him and helps us know Him better. So whether He comes with the brightness of the sun or wrapped in a cloak of darkness, we can still recognize Him and walk with Him.

In the concluding part of this writing, I would share some tips I have learned on finding God without a GPS.

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FAITH IN TODAY’S WORLD

I made a trip by air recently. Shortly before takeoff, I called my wife to tell her we would soon be airborne. Fifty-five minutes later, we landed and I switched on my phone to let her know that I had arrived at my destination. Okay, let’s do some time travel to the recent past.
Once upon a time, the conventional way of non-verbal communication was by sending letters via the public postal services (now called snail mail). Letters could take a couple of days depending on the distance between both parties. So, for example, when children left home for school, possibly by road, they would write a letter back home to tell their parents they had arrived safely in school. Parents would look forward to those precious mails from the postman bringing the cheery news of safe arrival at school. They practically had no better means of communication. When telephone landlines became available, travelers would look for any available one to let their folks know they had arrived safely. This was not always immediately possible on arrival, probably because the queues at the phone booths were long, the network was congested or the network was totally out for hours. Anyway, people still managed to wait patiently for those calls from their loved ones. Then mobile phones became common place. Everybody is supposed to have at least one, so you make your calls immediately you arrive. Now there is a problem! People estimate trips and know when you are supposed to arrive and so when that call is not received, they become worried and even more agitated when they try to reach you and cannot get through. Now, how come it was easier for people to wait patiently for those snail mails or even the calls from phone booths, believing all was well and we get so worried these days when there is some silence for a few hours? People could wait in those days without expecting the worst but now the mind goes to work mischievously when there is a little delay. Maybe one of the reasons is the accelerated rate we live our lives these days. The information age thrives on the speed of dissemination of information and changes take place at paces much faster than we sometimes can keep up with. Nowadays, you can stay connected all through your trip and even relieve your experiences along your journey in real time to people thousands of miles away. So have our technological advancements aided our faith life or killed it? Our faith and confidence in God’s goodness, mercies and protection should not waiver under any circumstance. We can trust God more deeply and hang on tenaciously to His faithfulness in spite of whatever.
Next time there is a delay in an expectation, believe God that all is well and that you would still get the best after all. Let not your heart be worried and be anxious for nothing (John 14:1; Phil 4:6).
Let nothing, not even modern day advancements erode our sincere love for God or shake our absolute faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His power. What shall separate us from the love of God or our faith in Him? Not the breadth of knowledge nor the depths or heights of scientific accomplishments in our world(Rom 8:35-39).
Just as the heavens declare the glory of God and inspire praise, let the wonders of science and technology around us inspire worship, faith and love for God (Psalm 19:1). Selah