Christian Living

Do You Need to Unplug?

To Hear from God, We Must Be Ready to Listen

Advice that’s commonly given to writers is that we need to unplug from time to time to fuel our writing and feed our creativity. When we remove the distractions of our technology is when inspiration strikes. It’s when we solve writing problems and are best able to move forward with our words.

Unplug to Hear God

The same is true—even more so—with our faith. We need to unplug and have idle time—that is, available time—for us to best hear from God.

Yes, his voice can overpower anything and everything that surrounds us, but it’s much easier for us to hear when his message doesn’t have to compete with the barrage of information that we surround ourselves with and assaults us on a continuous basis.

Multitasking Divides Our Attention

I see too many people with their smartphones open when there’s no need for it. They’re engaged with their technology and miss much of the life happening around them. Though they think they can do both, they’re deluding themselves.

We can’t truly multitask. Though we can do one subconscious activity along with one conscious activity, we can’t fully do two conscious activities at the same time. One will always suffer, perhaps both.

Trying to multitask between a device and people disrespects others.

The same is true—with even more significant consequences—when we try to multitask our time with God. We can’t be fully present with him when we’re partially engaged with our technology.

To be with God we need to unplug.

Remove Distractions

But it’s not just our technology that contends with our time with God. Yes, the place to start is to put away our smartphones, turn off the television, and walk away from our computers. Yet, our busyness can also keep us from God.

When we pack every moment of our life with intention, we effectively remove God from our schedule—from our life. True, he can interrupt our plans to interject his own, but how open are we to do this? And how do we react when he tries to get our attention?

Though we need to be careful not to take this too far, sometimes we should unplug from life. This doesn’t mean to isolate ourselves or forgo social interaction, but it does mean that sometimes we need to be quiet to listen for God’s still and small voice.

Open Our Ears

The sons of Korah write that the Almighty says, “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10, NIV). We start this when we unplug, stop multitasking, and remove distractions from our lives.

Then we can open our ears and hear what God wants to tell us. We can be in his presence. We can bask in his glory. And then we’ll have the best chance to hear what God has to say.

When people complain that they don’t hear from God, I wonder how hard they’re trying. If they unplug and be in a posture to receive, they’ll have a much better chance.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.

Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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