We like to play games, they engage our minds with possibilities that are constrained by rules. These can become addictive or habit forming as an escape from inactivity or boredom. I was thinking about scripture and whether it could become a solution to the lure of phone games. It may be misguided to turn scripture into a mere game and that is not my intention, but the snares of the enemy are often distortions of virtue. If we reject the lure of the trap we may stay upon the pathway of our destiny.
In “Pilgrims Progress”, Pilgrim, Faithful, and Christian discussed the Word of God as they journeyed along the way, identifying facets of truth and marking false assumptions in a process that built up each other. In “Practicing The Presence of God”, Brother Lawrence reveals how tedious duty, idle time, and our proclivity of a wandering mind can be focused into spiritual relationship. There is an old saying, “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop”. Is there a spiritual need or opportunity that waits for us, but is missed as we spend time in games?
I learned late in life that journaling my thoughts, prayers, and meditation upon the Word and Spirit helped me stay focused and recorded the Spirit’s quiet voice. It probably isn’t for everyone, and a big part for me was unloading my inner burdens. There were many things I couldn’t say to another person, but needed an avenue of expression, which I found with paper and ink. Writing is certainly a consuming way to pass time, and there are rules to negotiate, but what of the objective, score, and solution that games offer?
A game no matter how intriguing is still nothingness, but a relationship is something worth pursuing. How is this accomplished in our daily life? God is Spirit and those who worship Him must do so in Spirit and truth. (John 4:24) Brother Lawrence described his humble approach to God’s presence as a continual conversation and when he became distracted, sidetracked or selfish, he simply turned back to God and started afresh. He believed and relied upon God’s grace for this endeavor. In my own limited experience I recommend cultivating an awareness and ear to the Spirit’s voice. Each one must work this out through God’s help, but it involves faith interpreting what we hear, perceive, see and otherwise understand the Spirit communicating. This should not be foreign to any Believer who has spent time in prayer, especially intercession and reading the Bible. Scripture tells us, “For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God… In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.” (Romans 8:14, 26-27) I have written extensively on this subject and it is not as mystical or difficult as it may appear, since God is willing and able to make himself understood to His Children. Do we have enough faith to believe Scripture, “Come near to God and He will come near to you.” (James 4:8) However, we must submit to God on His terms, giving our full and complete attention.