The holy and divine are sacred to me. In someway, I have always cherished the fact that God loves me and pursues relationship with me. It is an extravagant mystery for which I am most grateful. Tonight I ponder connection again and the meaning of social media. I think about how Jesus came to break the dividing wall – the veil was torn that kept us from direct access to God the Father. The sacrifice of Jesus made it possible for anyone to come to the table and enjoy fellowship – communion with God.
The other day I pondered whose following is most important. I forgot to talk about what led me to even write that post. I’ve been using social media for a while but Twitter is most recent for me. I’ve had an account for a little over a year now. When I first signed up I only followed less than 70 people. In mind I wanted to connect with people I knew – it’s my default. Don’t judge. I have since learned to think differently about how I use Twitter and other social media venues. This isn’t a reflection on how to use it. You can Google that information and find hundreds of varying opinions.
What strikes me is how overwhelming Twitter can be – please don’t send me suggestions, I’ve got enough of those. There are millions of people using it. Millions of people to keep up with, and when I first started out, I was quite content to only really know less than two handfuls of people. Things have drastically changed since then. I’m up to 1,000+ followers – never thought or planned for that to even happen, but it has happened. Guess what? That okay. I consider them all as people from whom I can learn or share or discuss a variety of issues. It’s another means of seeing the world through other people’s eyes. It’s a chance, place, and space to share hope, encouragement, and exhortation – things that I love to give.
To be honest with you, what matters to me is real, intimate connection. I’m not talking boyfriend-girlfriend-let’s-get-serious stuff. I mean sharing life together as friends, family, sisters, and brothers. I can’t do that with 1,000+ people. I wasn’t made that way, and to be honest, the thought of even trying to do that wears me out. What I do know is that I have a wonderful opportunity to reach out to more people. It’s their choice to participate. I can’t make anyone do anything. So my life’s purpose and mission remain unaffected whether I have 70 followers or 200,000. God has ways of reaching hearts that far exceed my human capacity, and that’s a good thing because sometimes I get in His way – but He’s still gracious toward me.
What blows my mind really is that God has millions of followers. His communication feed (all those million +followers) to Him does not get clogged, ignored, jammed deleted, spammed, suspended, unfriended, or blocked by all the updates, requests, needs, desires, questions, declarations, or surrenders. When you message God, be it through prayer, praise, or meditation, He hears your voice among the throng. He knows the sound of your heart and your voice. When you call or cry out to Him, He answers. The bible is replete with the promise that God hears His children when they call (Psalm 34:4, 18:6, 118:5, 120:1; Jonah 2:2 just to name a few). How is this even possible? I cannot wrap my finite brain around it. God is God, and His ways are not our ways nor are His thoughts our thoughts – He is a mystery (Isaiah 55:8). As I continue to walk with God and read my bible, I realize more and more how intimately connected God is to His people (John 15). He has relationship with us individually. AND … He doesn’t kiss and tell.
If you take nothing else away from this reflection, ponder this:
God wants you. Yes, you sitting there, reading behind your computer screen, iPad, or mobile device. God wants you. Not only does He want you, but He loves you and most ardently too. You have only to look at the bloody cross and the resurrection for proof of that truth.
Here’s the thing though: when you choose to follow God, you get intimately connected, sacred relationship, unfettered to Him. It’s no soap opera drama or sensationalized story splattered on tabloid news. Walking with God in relationship is strictly between you and Him – exclusive – no one can come barging into your walk with God, unless you give consent. But your walk with God is just that – yours. You were called to be His Beloved, His child, daughter, son. His reach is grand. Even more wonderful is that God cherishes you and shelters you. He’s not like a Facebook rant or rave decrying all the bad you’ve done. He’s not like Twitter blowing up your feed with angry nonsense because you failed again. Instead, what you will hear from the heart of God is the message to return. Let these words sink into your mind and heart:
“Now, therefore,” says the Lord,
“Turn to Me with all your heart,
With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.”
So rend your heart, and not your garments;
Return to the Lord your God,
For He is gracious and merciful,
Slow to anger, and of great kindness;
And He relents from doing harm. (NKJV 1468)
Reconciliation, restoration, redemption, covering you with love and grace – these are the heart of God – that you would return to the one who first loved you. When you choose to walk by faith with God, your life is hidden with Him (Colossians 3:3). God’s not going to broadcast, like we silly human beings do in social public spaces, your failures, mishaps, idiosyncrasies, mistakes, issues, or whatever-the-it-is-that-you-think-He-might. His love covers. It does not shame. His love draws. It does not distance. His love restores. It does not tear down. His love disciplines. It does not abuse. With Him, you can be securely safe and safely secure.
So tonight, I ask again. Whose following matters? Perhaps you have been feeling the tug on your heart. Maybe you’ve been wanting to go deeper in your faith-walk, or maybe you don’t even believe God. It doesn’t change this unchangeable truth – God loves you most ardently. He always has and always will – God wants you! Yes, You!
Want to grow and learn more? Here are some bible verses you can read to help you know how much God desires relationship with you.
1 Peter 4:8, Acts 17:27, John 3:16-17, 1 Peter 3:18, John 1:12, Ephesians 2:8-9, 1 John 5:13, Galatians 5:25, Colossians 2:13-14, I John 4:10, Hebrews 13:5, Psalm 84:11, Deuteronomy 33:27, Colossians 3:3
NKJV Study Bible. Radmacher, gen ed. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1997.