Recently, a close friend and I sat down to study for our upcoming exams. As we began to settle in, she asked me if we could turn on Netflix since she hated studying in silence. This led to an interesting conversation about how Netflix had become particularly dear to us. To our dismay, we discovered that Netflix had become an addiction, and worse, a distraction that persisted and continuously evaded every part of our life. Seldom were we able to engage in an activity before we felt the need to pull out our phone, laptop or TV and steer over the myriad distractions Netflix had to offer us. Even more condemning was the realization that Netflix and social media in general had seemed to take the place of God as comforter in my life. I realized that more often than not, I seemed to gravitate to such distractions whenever I had a particularly bad day and needed some time to collect my thoughts and well… chill.
Mark 4: 18 - 19 ESV …and others are the ones sown among thorns. They are those who hear the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.
As soon as I discovered this, a deep conviction began within me. I remembered the Parable of the Sower and realized I had become like the seeds that fell among the thorns. It was then that I knew I had to let Netflix go.
Luke 21:34 ESV But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap.
As I continued to reflect on the pressures and struggles I had endured recently, I began to find a pattern. I had spent very little time spent with God and too much time spent browsing social media or watching the newest recommendation from friends on Netflix or TV. Rarely had I spent those particularly bad days sharing my anxieties with the Lord and being comforted by my Savior. Instead, almost every single time, I uttered a quick dismissive prayer and plunked down on the sofa to distract my heart from the disappointment or struggle at hand. I had been duped! Technology had been used to pull me away from God and the obligations in my life had suffered as a result.
But God gently nudged me back to life. The Bible says in 1 Peter 5:8 (ESV) Be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion , seeking someone to devour. and in Ephesians 5:15–17 (ESV) Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
Be aware of the things that often take up your time.
Are they stifling your walk with Jesus? Have you placed an idol above the Lord?
The devil knows exactly where you are vulnerable. But God is faithful and He has provided us with the Holy Spirit who continually nudges us in the right direction.
Read Mark 4 and choose today to be sown on the good soil. Be sincere with yourself and discover what thorns have been placed between you and God. Have a heartfelt conversation with friends and family about what changes need to be made. It is more important now than ever to be immersed in the Word of God, don’t let the Enemy fool you into thinking you have time to spare.
Ephesians 6:11 (ESV) Clothe yourselves with the full armor of God so that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.
Romans 12:1-2 (ESV) I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Photo credit: @sydneyynorberg