Jesus continued, “You are from below; I am from above. You belong to this world; I do not. That is why I said that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am who I claim to be, you will die in your sins.”
“Who are you?” they demanded.
Jesus replied, “The one I have always claimed to be. I have much to say about you and much to condemn, but I won’t. For I say only what I have heard from the one who sent me, and he is completely truthful.” (John 8:23-26)
Relate: I recently started reading Ted Dekker’s book, Heaven’s Wager. I didn’t get very far in when I read this:
“I had no idea there was more than one Disneyland.”
“Heaven’s, Mother,” Gloria said. “There’s been more than one Disney park for years now. You really need to get out more.”
“No, thank you. No, no. I get out quite enough, thank you.” She said it with a grin, but her tone rang with sincerity. “My being a stranger in that world out there is just fine by me.”
“I’m sure it is. But you don’t have to sequester yourself.”
“Who said I was sequestering myself? I don’t even know what sequestering means, for goodness’ sake. And what does this have to do with my not knowing about a Disneyland in Paris anyway?”
“Nothing. You were the one who brought up being a stranger. I’m just balancing things out a bit, that’s all.” God knew Helen could use a little balance in her life.
Her mother’s eyes sparkled. She grinned softly, taking up the challenge. “Balance? Things are already out of balance, Honey. Upside down out of balance. You take one hundred pounds of Christian meat, and I guarantee you that ninety-eight of those pounds are sucking up to the world. It’s tipping the scale right over, love.”
React: That’s about as far as I got in the book. Every now and then something random that I read, or see, or hear seems to just knock me over. This was one of those moments. I put my nook down as I felt God asking me, “How ‘balanced’ are you?” I started thinking about how much time I spent watching TV or movies. I thought about how much time I spent religiously reading every single article in Sports Illustrated. I thought about the time wasted playing stupid “smartphone” games. These are all mindless distractions that waste my life away.
None of them in and of themselves are necessarily bad.
Yes they are. They are purposeless distractions. They waste away one of the most precious gifts God has given us… time. They divert our gaze off the One to whom our eyes should always be fixed. They are tools being used by the enemy to create a lazy, apathetic, bored church. And they are far more effective in that they don’t in the least appear as insidious as they truly are.
So back to the question God asked me, it is one we all need to regularly ask. How “balanced” is my life. Am I using words like “balance” and “relevance” as a justification for the sad truth that far too much of me still belongs to this world?
God, set my sights higher. Raise my vision up. All too often I find myself looking at things, and wasting my time on the stupid, the mundane, the pointless, and the worthless. I am allowing the entertainment “diversions” of this world take me away from You. Make me heavenly minded. Help me to see how earthly things, though seemingly innocuous, are really no good. I want You, more of You, and only You. Give me a Higher Love.