Today we live in a world that many rightly call the age of the screen. We gather information through watching TV, laptops, desktops, tablets or smart phones. Technology can be used for good or bad. For example, the Church can use technology to advance the Gospel through hosting audio or video content on their websites. Christian bloggers can relay godly messages on blogs, and podcasts. Yet, the internet can also be used for evil, as many websites are filled with pornography of every type or gossip; all of which cause Christians to neglect time with their families, work, or fellowship with believers.
In this post we will look at four ways to fight against the dwarfing of biblical spirituality the heart of which is grounded in the Gospel of Jesus Christ for the purpose of growing in the grace of God.
1) Understand your tendencies when you use the internet.
I only use my laptop late at night when my wife is around with my wife being a source of accountability. By understanding your tendencies in using the internet you will not succumb to temptation or give your life to the world of screens. Instead, you will properly surrender your tendencies to the Kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ.
2) Live in community.
By the grace of God put yourself under godly leaders in a local church. Many Christians today think they can be lone-ranger Christians but forget the New Testament epistles were written to churches with people who placed themselves under godly leadership. Living in community with God’s people helps us to grow in Christ by allowing others to see us as we really are. In other words, sanctification is a community project. If you are unable to find a pastor or elder for accountability I suggest you find a godly older man if you are a man or a godly older woman if you are a woman to hold you accountable and mentor you.
3) The Gospel is for all of life.
Biblical spirituality is grounded not in mysticism but in the truth of God’s Word and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Christians should look to the example set by the Puritans; men who sought to implement a biblical worldview to the life of the people of God. All of our lives are under the gaze of an all-knowing and all-present God. Many people are unsettled by the biblical truth that one day they will be held responsible for every word, deed, and action of their life. When we grab hold of that truth, we will come to see that to fear God for who He is and what He is like is the beginning of knowledge and wisdom (Proverbs 1:7; 9:10). Technology is a blessing, but with it comes great responsibility as nothing escapes God’s ever watchful eye. This means we can’t live anyway we want as the people of God, we must live under the Lordship of the God who created the world, who saved us, is sanctifying us, and will one day glorify us.
4) Understand who you are in Christ.
Only by understanding who Jesus is, what He has done, and how He empowers the people of God through the Holy Spirit will we stand in His grace. While the world is surrendering to a world of screens, behind those screens are non-Christians who need to be saved by Jesus and find a new identity, a new purpose, a new mission, and a new message in the Gospel. Christians are the beloved, called to make a difference in a world where people pledge allegiance to technology instead of Jesus.
As Christians seek to be faithful in this world of screens, our first concern should be to be killing that which displeases God in our own lives before venturing out to point out sin in the lives of others. The Puritan John Flavel once said, “It is easier to cry against a thousand sins of others than to kill one of your own.” Jesus is the great sin killer and through the Holy Spirit, He convicts His people of their sin and points them to the sufficiency of His work. Christians are called to reach people infatuated with technology with a message in the Gospel that transcends time and space. Behind the Gospel is a God who is unchanging, who is not bound by time, and whose promises are yes and amen in Jesus Christ.
In a world of screens, the Gospel is joyous news where real people are met by a real Savior in Jesus. Kevin DeYoung rightly declares, “As Christians, our lives should be marked by joy, taste like joy, and be filled with the fullness of joy.” This is at the heart of fighting against the dwarfing of biblical spirituality: To grow in grace is to be filled with joy in God. In a world that increasingly turns the blessing of technology into an idol, God calls His people to use technology for His glory for the purpose of reaching the lost, equipping the saints, and strengthening the Church.