God Desires More Than “iPhone Spirituality”

Plugging into Jesus
In a recent talk I used the following illustration:

I had in my left hand my iPhone. In my right hand I had the white power cord  that came with the iPhone. Next to me was the podium. In my illustration the iPhone represented me, the podium Jesus, and the cord my spiritual practices that help me to connect to Jesus.

I am like my iPhone. I have all sorts of apps. I have a dad app, a husband app, a shepherd app, a friend app, a pay-all-the-stupid-bills app. I go about my day doing all my apps. But I get run down. My battery slowly goes dead.

So I grab my power cord (spiritual practices), plug one end into me and the other end into Jesus and I expect him to recharge me. “Jesus,” I pray, “I need more grace. Give me power. Give me wisdom. Heal me. Strengthen me.”  Then I unplug myself and go out and do all my apps…..

This is really poor spirituality. And it is an apt picture of how many live out their walks with God. Plug in, get the juice, then go out, and do life. We tend to objectify grace, wisdom and all we need from God when it is a Who we are seeking, not just all “the goods.”

Abiding in Jesus
This is where in my illustration I paused. I very strongly stated that this is not the type of relationship God desires with us.

I then took my iPhone, sat it on the podium and then moved the podium across the stage as I went about my day as an illustration of me being in Jesus and abiding in Jesus throughout the entire day.

This is the relationship that we are invited to. One of constant connection, constant dependence, constant communion, constantly being loved, cared for, taught, guided and so on.  And it’s important to remember that this is not all up to me. God always initiates, I always respond. That is why Jesus simply said, “Remain in me.”

How do you Abide?
One of the desired markers of maturation is integration. I have my “devotional life” and then my “real life,” yet those two worlds may or may not connect. What I am invited into is a walk with God through all of life all of the day. How can one grow in integrating spiritual practices into the rest of life? What does it look like to walk in constant attentiveness to him? How can that be best facilitated amidst life? I have become aware that it is far too easy to get caught up in my day and live off of adrenaline and my own best efforts. God is merciful and allows that – for awhile. But he desires more. He draws us into a life with him.

What practices help  facilitate abiding in your life?

As shepherds we have the wonderful privilege of shepherding people deeper into communion with Jesus as we tend to them. In fact, all of life is an opportunity for this to take place. Our growing communion with God in Christ is his greatest desire and thus as shepherds it is ours too. We desire to guide people into an ever growing communion with God as they go about their daily responsibilities.

What has God taught you about communing with him amidst life?

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6 Responses to God Desires More Than “iPhone Spirituality”

  1. Frauke says:

    Really interested, what others find helpful. Praying as one goes about the various tasks, especially counseling is helpful, but the tendency to unplug is always in me. I am trying the daily Examen right now. Obviously, another practice, but there is a component of emotional awareness and leaning into Him that I find helpful.

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    • Scott S says:

      Thanks Frauke. So glad to hear of your practice of Examen as you tend to many others.

      Yes, I too would love to hear from many people about what they find helpful by ways of practices that help them abide well amidst the stuff of life and work. Any one want to share?

      SS

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  2. Patty Stallings says:

    Such a good and timely reminder, Scott! I’m leading a Developing People workshop that starts tomorrow and I know it is His presence that turns my ordinary water into wine that meets the need. Your post not only reminded me of that truth but encourages me to rest and commune with Him moment by moment in the middle of it all. Thanks!

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  3. Nairy says:

    Great visual of the phone, power cord and podium. Thanks for breaking it down in a very relevant and effective way.One way I try to abide is taking one thing which he has revealed to me in the morning and specifically try when possible or relevant, to share that with others throughout my day, whether counselees or friends or even strangers. A way for me to soak in and recall his truth throughout the day.

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    • Scott S says:

      Thanks Nairy for the idea on keeping current lessons from the Father before yourself. Great idea. I find I am a forgetful one and require constant reminders. This is a helpful practice you have suggested. Peace to You! SS

      Like

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