Technology has dramatically changed life in the past decade.
With instant internet access on (most of) our phones, we have the world under our fingertips. At the same time, we run the risk of limiting the world just to our fingertips, missing out on at least four other senses. When we look at our phones to feel connected, we miss out on the possibilities for real connections all around us.
There is another danger in the pull of technology. Not only is there a risk of missing out on people around us, there’s also the real possibility that we forget to connect on an even deeper level. If we want to feel peace and defeat the daily grind of life, making connections with God is of vital importance.
We see this in the example of Jesus himself. In the Bible, we learn on several occasions that Jesus removes himself from everyone else to pray. Sometimes, his own followers have to look for him in the mountains, where Jesus sits and connects to God. This deep connection can balance us, create direction and purpose in our lives, and recharge us for the rest of the day.
So what do we do when we’re alone for a bit? What if Jesus had a smartphone? Would he be walking in the mountains, check his Facebook feed first, then his other social media, and then rush back to his disciples because the day was almost starting without him?
No He wouldn’t, of course. But this is the risk we run when we’re left to our own devices. Instead of looking for a deep connection, we often tend to fall into the shallow connection of a world that’s always available. The connection that runs over WiFi is junk food, and we’re made to have more than that.
In this article, we’ll outline five ways to stay connected to God in a digital age. They range from using technology to get closer to God to understanding what’s behind our desire to get likes.
1. Daily devotional apps
For many centuries, a daily devotion has been a popular method of connecting to God. Usually, this time of devotion involves studying a text from the Bible, a brief lesson, a short thought-provoking question, and a prompt for prayer. And of course, there’s an app for that.
By using a daily devotion app on your phone, you’re using technology to get connected to God. When you make it a habit to pull up your devotion app instead of your social media or internet apps at least once a day, you’ll build a moment where it’s not all about you.
Here are some highly rated daily devotional apps:
2. Turn off devices
This one may seem obvious, but there’s more to it than you’d think at first. There are many reasons to turn off your phone every now and then. Schedule a time in your day where you are not involved with any screens, and take that hour or 30 minutes to find a connection in the world around you.
Aside from finding a deeper connection, there are lots of other benefits of turning off devices. Time away from your phone or other devices also boosts productivity, reduces stress levels, and will help you sleep a whole lot better.
3. Silent time, taking a walk
Although it seems related to the last one, this method is a little more intentional. Instead of just not being on your phone, you can follow Jesus’ example and take a walk in silence.
Many great thinkers and leaders scheduled a daily walk to help their thinking and connect to God. Winston Churchill walked every single morning right after he got out of bed. Other great leaders who set the same example include Einstein, Beethoven, and of course Jesus.
The difference between sitting in a room without your phone and taking a walk is that the walking will activate your brain a lot more. This is why those daily walks are so closely connected with creativity.
Turn off your devices to slow down and rebalance, but go for a walk to talk with God. In the Bible, going for walks with people is often God’s way of connecting.
4. ‘Heavenly likes’
Our need for connecting often just masks our need for attention. We all want to be noticed, known, and loved. It’s the reason why Facebook really thrives on likes. It’s hard to imagine anyone being immune to the happy feeling a ‘like’ can bring.
But it’s often good to remember that there’s a real danger in relying on the attention of others. For some people, it’s never enough. If you are looking for the happy feeling that comes from the attention of others, you will get disappointed at one point.
God knows, notices, and loves you. He is the only one who’ll truly love you for who you are. The creator of the universe cares about you and wants to spend your day with you.
Knowing this, and taking time out of your day to realize and feel this will make you happy beyond all the Facebook likes in the world.
5. Seeing beyond the selfie
Finally, just as God loves you beyond measure, he loves every single person that comes up in your Facebook feed, your Instagram feed, or whatever other social platform you find yourself on.
When you notice the lives of those people, take a moment to view them from a godly perspective. Pray for the people who need your prayer, and talk to God about the people you see coming by.
Invite God in your browsing, and you’ll build a connection that goes beyond the fastest internet.
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Below is a sermon on the topic of connecting to God. You can download it here.
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