In case you hadn’t heard my whining… The wifi is out at my house.
It’s been out since the night of November 1st. Quite a shock. Hard not to miss its absence since Josh and I were deep in preparations for the American Baptist Youth Convention. There are times when a voluntary “Internet fast” is a useful thing indeed! This was not that kind of time.
This was worse than when we had dial-up! (Which wasn’t as long ago as you might think and was definitely worse than most of you would expect.)
So into town I drove to use publicly accessible wifi… Sometimes multiple times a day… Until we headed off to the Holiday Inn where wifi was in (constant, uninterrupted) abundance.
And then we came home…
…to no wifi.
Still not fixed and no quick answer in sight. So back I went to planning trips to town to get work accomplished. Which is not as easy as it sounds and requires a lot of preplanning.
Last night I said to Josh , “I want to go back to convention, the land of free, unlimited, reliable wifi… And Jesus.”
The Jesus part kind of snuck out of my mouth, I hadn’t seen it coming, but once it did, the correlation made a whole lot of sense.
Convention, like camp, is one of those times when God seems so very present… So close… Worship is powerful… Scripture is alive… Fellowship is strong… Prayer is moving… And ministry abounds…
And often when we come home from such a time, we feel like I do about my wifi… It’s gone and I just want to go back.
The Spirit of God isn’t wifi.
Seems silly to compare them both and yet we often treat Him as if that is the reality.
Wifi is only available in my home when the network and associated equipment is working properly and since something is wrong the result is no internet access for us. The result? Into town I go seeking a new source.
Returning from a thin moment with God we mistake the difference in how “close” we feel with a lack of His presence resulting in a desire to go back or find another source of closeness with Him.
But God is not wifi.
This weekend I was reminded of Matthew 27:50-51 speaking of Jesus crucifixion, “And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split…”
That curtain? Significant beyond belief! It was the curtain that separated the Holy of Holies, the place on earth where God’s presence dwelt, from the rest of the temple, where man had access. That curtain rent, torn in two as Christ was torn for us! This did not symbolize the loss of the Spirit of a God here on earth but that God no longer dwelled in the temple made by man. Instead, through this tearing of Christ and the curtain a way was opened for God to dwell within us!
No longer do we need to travel to the place God’s presence dwells as I have to travel to where wifi exists! Through Christ we are redeemed and God’s presence is here!
While there are times (I call them, “Thin Moments“) when God seems extra close, we are blessed beyond measure that His Spirit is with us always!
We cannot hide from God’s presence!
Nothing can separate us from His love!
That is truth you and I need to claim and live! It is a game-changer! We don’t have to wait until we go to church on Sunday, camp this summer or convention once a year to be close with God!
God’s presence is not a place, it is a person!
How does this truth change the way you think and the way you live? OR Even though God’s presence is always with us, in what ways is God calling you to draw near to Him or remove barriers?
And, I want to be honest here, I hope you’ll answer. It’s nice that you’ve read this post, I wrote it kind of hoping that you would. But I’d also like it to be something more… A chance to really engage these topics, a chance for conversation and a help along the way.
4 thoughts on “Wednesdays with Jillene: wifi”
I think that I have a fair grasp on God’s presence with me, and it has changed a lot of things in my life. But I think that I should be spending more alone/devoted time with God in order to learn more about him. This also may remove barriers to understanding his will for me.
This is awesome. Our internet goes out allll the time. At the guest house, it goes out every weekend, all weekend. Its during these times that i look around wondering what i could possibly do. Only when i am at a loss or am bored do i notice my bible, my devotion book, and a couple books i am reading about prayer and being a follower. Of course i have a scheduled time to read indepthly and take notes everyday but my main source of entertainment, the internet, has to be taken away before i consider being in God’s word as option for something “fun” to do. I always enjoy it of course but somehow forget . I have been desperately wanting to have that constant “wifi” connection with God, to feel him in my life and not just in a book. I have been discussing it with my students during the bible study portion of english class. We are going through Acts and focusing on how people such as the disciples, the believers, and paul change their lives once being filled with the Holy Spirit. Its easy to confuse being faithful and obedient with being filled with the holy spirit, but they are really two compleyely different things. Being christian doesnt necessarily mean you are filled. I have started looking back and outlining the times in my life when i know i was truly filled. My life looked and felt so much different. I was motivated by completely different things. I think perhaps my failure to feel filled now and to feel his presence as much as i have in the past is part of what is keeping me separated. I am completely discouraging myself. But i havent quite figured out what to do about it besides continuing to act in faith and be searching for an opportunity to get closer.
Oh Jess- don’t be discouraged! You bring up a good point to talk about. To make sure we are on the same page/understanding of terminology, how do you define being filled by the Spirit and how is that related to/same/different than being faithfully obedient?
What I define as filled with the Holy Spirit is when I feel as if God is right beside me, doing everything with me, giving me input and advice on my driving, my cooking, my studying, the test I’m taking ,the paper I’m writing, discussing my future…I live my life as if he is right in the room. I naturally choose TV shows, movies, music, and friends that are going to bring me closer and not be a distraction. Everything in my life just aligns to God. My conversations with others move toward him, I’m put in the right place at the right time to help others, I always have what someone else might need just because I always ask God what I should pack in my purse or my car that day.
When I am merely being obedient or faithful, I feel like I’m desperately struggling to know what he wants, I try to throw myself into the right path, but I am holding back, there are things I want to keep for myself, so I don’t quite make there. I can go the whole day, a whole week, without stopping to ask his opinion on something. I act according to “the rules” but often bend those rules to fit what I want at the moment. I still love God and want to seek him and obey him, I still give time and effort to ministry and try to make him a topic of conversation, but I have let go of his hand and no longer allow him to speak through me.
Many people are obedient and show their faith when they continue a ministry or a service that God has led them to, but they might only be operating under what is required by the responsibility, not necessarily allowing or asking God to work through them. I could feel that myself when I first got to Burkina. In the month before I left, I realized that I didn’t want to go, but I knew God wanted me to so I did. The first few weeks here felt completely useless. I was doing what I needed to do as a teacher and I was attending bible study and I was doing devotions, but it really felt like it meant nothing because I wasn’t letting God be involved. I was just following the vague instructions. Like trying to put a bookshelf together by looking only at the picture on the box. It’s never going to be quite right.