September 4th, 2019
God sends me inspiration for my devotionals. At times they come from the most unusual things. Who would have thought that upgrading my Internet connection would take on a spiritual direction? Don’t stop reading now, find out!
I’d gotten a bit irritated with my cable TV service, who also is my telephone and Internet provider as well.
We haven’t used the telephone service for a long time because we use cell phones and it just seemed like more of a hassle than a benefit to have different phone numbers for people to use to contact us. The cells are with us all the time and so when I went to the cable provider to see about removing the landline from our service, they informed me that it would raise my bill if I dropped the phone.
Just one of the many things in this world that really don’t make any sense. I could see, having a discount for bundling that would make it reasonable to add on the phone service, but not so much so that you add on the phone service to reduce your bill. I wasn’t going to argue about it, just hung up in dismay.
That was several months ago, before the bill started climbing on my ‘bundle’. Again, several weeks ago, I figured I would check again and found out, it was still the same deal, it cost me to use less of their services.
Frustrated I let it go; I thought so any way. Then I heard about friends and people I know that were ‘cutting the cable’ and saving money. Initially I checked out a few things while it appeared that I could save some money, it would be much more difficult to manage the conglomeration that facilitated the homebuilt package, and I might not be able to get the channels I and my wife wanted to have.
Again, I let go.
Finally, this weekend someone on a community board on Facebook that I’m a member, was asking about best options for internet service as they were cutting the cable and expected to save a considerable amount.
I lit into the research.
By Sunday night, I’d settled on the complete configuration, including 3 HDTV indoor antennas, a massive 940 megabyte per second Internet connection, a powerful wireless router to push that power to the household devices, and a streaming TV package that was comparable to what we were getting from our current cable company.
The monthly cost for this will save me about $70 per month, which pays back all the hardware improvements inside of about four months. The bonus is that since I work from my home office often because I’m on call 24/7 and our current load on our puny 45mbs configuration was being taxed severely; this fixed that!
What made the difference? Putting the effort into studying what was available!
Spiritually Putting in the Effort
This is where the inspiration came into play.
I’m sure that a few years ago I could have done this and enjoyed better service and lower costs since then, but I was so discouraged and disappointed, I didn’t put in the effort to consider the actual set of things that were available.
We also get bogged down in our spiritual lives as well. All of us tend to get into a rut with the things we do, how we deal with situations, what we feel we are required to accomplish and what priorities take precedent.
Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves. Surely you know that Jesus Christ is among you; if not, you have failed the test of genuine faith. As you test yourselves, I hope you will recognize that we have not failed the test of apostolic authority.
We pray to God that you will not do what is wrong by refusing our correction. I hope we won’t need to demonstrate our authority when we arrive. Do the right thing before we come—even if that makes it look like we have failed to demonstrate our authority. For we cannot oppose the truth, but must always stand for the truth. We are glad to seem weak if it helps show that you are actually strong. We pray that you will become mature.
2 Corinthians 13:5-9 (NLT)
Paul was chastising the Corinthian church. It’s pretty clear based on the tone of this message he wrote them that he suspected that there were those among the faithful that were not being all that faithful.
But even if we don’t ‘fail’ the test and find that we pass, but fail to excel, wouldn’t that give us pause to consider how much time we spend in prayer, reading the Word, digging through the pages to garner whatever gems of spiritual wisdom the Holy Spirit through the Word reveals?
The simple exercise of reviewing passages and really considering what God is telling us, then asking ourselves if we really are doing that! Or, are we doing some watered down ‘revision’ of what God is telling us to do?
Self-examination is most effective, when it comes as a direct result of our eagerness, to understand what God is saying to us, and then seriously consider just how we might best accomplish those directives.
Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
James 1:2-4 (NLT)
I’m guilty of standing by and letting God test my faith for me.
We are discounting what James is saying here, our trials often come as conduit for God to grow our faith and strengthen us.
If that is the case then it stands to reason that if we were more proactive in testing ourselves in earnest examination, that we could find many improvements that we can implement and save us the grief and frustration of enduring those trials ‘just’ so we can learn the lessons God wants us to learn.
In addition to avoiding some potential Spirit Guided trials to produce ‘Learning Moments’, if we are making the effort to grow our faith and understanding, we will be growing closer to our Savior. As a result, committing to study the Word more, with an interest in letting the Spirit guide us, you are undoubtably going to fine you “Update Your Life”; more joy, more peace, more confidence, and more depth of meaning in our walk with Jesus.
Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome. For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith. And who can win this battle against the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God.
1 John 5:3-5 (NLT)
We don’t negate our responsibility in “keeping his commandments”, by not seeking out the instruction we need to grow. God has given us His Word to allow us the ability to know Him better, understand what He expects of us, take solace in the commitments He’s made to us. It also is the greatest guidebook in history.
With our faith, He’s even included a tutor to help us to understand His Word, much clearer than the world can by simply reading it.
“Update Your Life”; pray more, study eagerly, and meditate on His Word.
In His Grace!