For Reflection

Two weeks ago Julie and I watched a Sunday evening program on the local PBS (Public Broadcasting) station. Although PBS does not broadcast commercials during the program, the station does broadcast advertisements from the sponsors before the program begins. One of these advertisements was from “Viking Riverboat Cruises” in Europe. I was curious to know more about a modern river boat cruise along one of Europe’s historic rivers, so I accessed the “Viking River Cruises” website from my phone. That’s all I did, I merely accessed the website to learn more about the cruises: what rivers they navigate, what cities they tour, and how much a cruise costs.

One week later I received a “Viking River Riverboat Cruises” catalog in the mail, with my correct name and address on the mailing label. I did not give any personal information on the website; I simply accessed the site from my phone. Such is the nature of modern technology: websites collect our personal data and track our internet usage in order to market products and services. Whether we think this is an invasion of our privacy; the fact of the matter is we cannot use the internet and remain anonymous. In other words, if we use the internet, we are on the “grid.” Businesses pay for our personal data because they are always looking for customers; and they are persistent: I received a second identical catalog from “Viking Riverboat Cruises” one week later.

The reality of modern technology reminded me that God is always looking, and has been looking long before the internet existed. But God is not looking for customers, He is looking for people who are committed to Him: to love, to serve, and to obey. In 2 Chronicles 16:9, the LORD spoke through the prophet Hanani, “For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.”

I like the “Message” paraphrase of this verse, “GOD is always on the alert, constantly on the lookout for people who are totally committed to him.”

We cannot hide from God. We are always on His “grid” no matter what we do or where we go. We can only be tracked on the internet if we use it, but God is always looking, always searching for people who are committed to Him. And when God finds anyone who is committed to Him, He strengthens them. Strengthens them for what? It doesn’t say here, but I suspect that one of the ways God strengthens those who are committed to Him is enable them … “to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10)

Are you committed to God? Will you receive His strength to do the good things He was prepared for you to do?
Pastor Mark