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Keep God in the Picture

February 24, 2017

Technology is moving faster than ever in the 21st century, and every time we look around another new gadget hits the market. Selfie sticks, camera phones, and streaming video cause us to see the world, and each other, in a whole new way. It’s exhilarating and exciting, but we need to keep our perspective on what’s really important in life.  As long as we keep God in the picture we won’t lose ourselves.
We can be dazzled by what we see around us, but we can also be overwhelmed by it. The danger lies in being tricked into thinking that what we observe physically is all there is. There’s nothing inherently wrong with having the latest upgrades and the newest devices as long as we remember that they’re simply a collection of glass, plastic, circuitry, and electrical impulses. They may set us back a few dollars before they become outdated, but we can direct our gaze to something more valuable that never becomes obsolete. “Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things, and revive me in Your way” (Psalm 119:37, NKJV).
The word “revive” caught my interest because when we surround ourselves with technology, sometimes we can reach a point that is cold, detached, and drained of the vibrant life Christ wants us to have. To revive is to restore someone back to life. Unplugging and shutting off our electronic devices, leaving cyberspace behind for a while, and reaching out to real people enriches our lives in a way technology can’t. “Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?”  (Psalm 85:6). Surrounding ourselves with too much “stuff” can deaden us to the overwhelming joy He wants us to experience.
Images we see on movies and television are just that—artificial images. Getting too involved in worldly things distracts and prevents us from forming real, meaningful relationships or maintaining the ones we have. A vicarious experience is a sensation technology is very good at reproducing, but we can have the real thing when we keep God front and center in our lives. “Keep your eyes straight ahead; ignore all sideshow distractions” (Proverbs 4:25, MSG). God wants us to have strong friendships, and He’ll bless the relationships grounded in Him.
For some people, the thought of life unplugged, with no on/off switch or reset button, is scary. There’s no safety net, and opening ourselves up to another person makes us feel vulnerable. We can hide behind technology or accept the fact that there’s more to life than meets the eye. God’s will is for us to enjoy our lives, but also to stay close to Him.
Our electronic gadgetry may be fun for the moment, but it can never capture the spiritual things that make life precious. There is an actual enemy out there—the devil—who is intent on using it to redirect our focus where it doesn’t need to be. This enemy is sneaky and devious, but Jesus tells us openly that He wants only the best for us. “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10, NKJV). Trusting Him on this will enrich every aspect of our lives.