While lodging with a mission team here in South Africa, there have been some surprises. No one expected to stay in an inn that had no heat (especially when winter is making its entrance in Cape Town); however, the lack of internet access has been an even bigger hurdle for most of us. Everyone brought a laptop or IPad expecting to be able to do business as usual. Although there was a varied response to the lack of communication, we all felt the loss. After much searching, we finally found a coffee shop where internet time could be purchased, which is the reason I am able to do this posting.
Many of us now live in a world totally dependent upon instant communication. Ministry carries me to one country where internet is not available for any of the population and to some others where it is greatly restricted. Even in those countries, though, the people are aware of the possibility of instant access and greatly desire it for themselves.
It is now possible to make connection with someone from the other side of the world, form a friendship and never meet face to face. We have seen recently how Twitter and Facebook have sparked revolutions and even changed the punishment for a high school student who asked for a prom date using his school wall. Complete strangers now have the possibility of becoming involved in any issue, whether it pertains to them or not. Social media is a great influencer.
Those of us who are dependent upon the internet feel the loss immediately when it is not available. However, how long does it take us to discover there is a loss of communication with God? Prayer is conversation with God. He is always instantly available. His desire is that we come to Him with anything that is on our minds. Whatever concerns us concerns our heavenly Father. He loves His children and yearns for a relationship that is unhindered by sin. God is as close as our thoughts – even closer – His Spirit resides within our hearts.
Although God never leaves us, it is possible to block communication with Him. When communication is broken, it is all of our own doing. We can ignore Him. When world noise rings louder in our hearts than the voice of the Holy Spirit, it is because we have chosen to let it be that way. Even believers, who have the Holy Spirit, can permit the temptations of the world to interrupt fellowship with God. However, the connection can be quickly restored. As obedient children, when we succumb to temptation, we can then immediately go to God, ask for forgiveness, and then fellowship is once again unhindered. However, if we let the temptation dwell in our heart and give in to the desire, we create a wedge between us and God. When that wedge becomes as prominent as losing the ability to go online, perhaps we will be quicker to remedy the situation.
If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear (Psalm 66:18).