(If you missed the beginning of this series, click here to read what it’s about.)
Key idea: The world encourages us to pursue entertainment, God frees us from worthless things.
Our world emphasizes entertainment. Did you look through the black-Friday sales this year? How many TVs, Blue-ray players, video game consoles, movies, cell phones, tablets and video games were pictured? And where did most Americans put their new Televisions? In the center of the living room. I think it’s safe to say, one of the rhythms of the world is to pursue entertainment–to live our lives for it.
There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a good movie, by the way. But compare the emphasis of the world, with the emphasis in Scripture. Psalm 119, the longest chapter in the Bible, is a poem about God’s ordinances, statutes and laws. The message of the poem is this, God’s law—his precepts, commandments and ordinances—give life, and outline the best way to live in this world. They are full of hope (v. 49), they are promises that bring comfort (v50). Surprisingly, the description of God’s law is not presented as a list of dos and dont’s to keep God happy, it’s presented as a list of precepts that give life. And what is one of the precepts that gives life, “Turn my eyes away from worthless things…” (119:37) Evidently, there are A LOT of worthless things that can get in the way of us experiencing the full and abundant life that God has for us. Samuel the prophet put it this way, “…and do not turn aside after useless things that cannot profit or save, for they are useless.” (1 Samuel 12:21) Jesus told us to pray, “Lead us not into temptation.” Temptations aren’t just sin, but also all the things that glitter and distract us away from our true purpose.
What distracts you from experiencing the full and abundant life of God?