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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Swipe Up

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith ...”  Hebrews 12:1-2 NIV

We are in the age of the cell phone. Many people have them, and while they are wonderful, they can also be challenging to figure out.

Lately, I have had the problem of my battery wearing down swiftly. The phone battery can be charged up 100% first thing in the morning and then be down to 40-50% within an hour or two.  It is a “smartphone” so I know it is busy doing many things, but the battery drain has perplexed me.

I did what many of us do with challenges – I went to the internet to find an article on “cell phone battery drains too fast” and found a wonderful blog article by a very bright man (David Payette) who used to work for the company that makes my phone. Suggestion after suggestion revealed things I knew nothing about but I tried each remedy he named (and hoped I would remember it should I want to undo it!)

He came to a final point and said, “Do you know your apps may not actually be closed, even when you think you have closed them? They may still be running in the background without you knowing it and be a strong source of battery drainage.”

Wow! I wondered how you close an app more perfectly than just closing it. He said I needed to find the screen showing my last use of the app and “swipe up.” I did as he said and found several app screens. One by one, I swiped them upward brushing them off the phone screen, which he instructed would fully close them.

Later in the day, I was walking and felt the Holy Spirit draw this phone experience to mind and use it as a means to teach me. “You know,” He said, “When you feel you cannot hear Me or fully focus on Me, when you have trouble sleeping restfully at night, you are like your phone.”

I began to reflect on this simple thought and realized what the Spirit was teaching me – my preoccupation with worries about various things, my constant thoughts about troubles (when that happens), is similar to having a lot of open apps. My battery, that is my heart, zeal, energy, and hope, all get drained because heavy thoughts are all running in the background of my mind. I am trying to solve my problems on my own in those moments. I am focused on the negative and not on the Lord.

“Aha! Thank you, dear Spirit,” I thought to myself. I need to swipe my apps upward, that is I need to “cast all these cares upon Him because He cares for me.” 1 Peter 5:7 NIV

The difficulties of life and our thoughts about them can become something we obsess about. In this state of mind, we run down, become weakened and weary.  The writer of Hebrews said we should “throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.” And the writer’s advice was to accomplish this by “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.” Hebrews 12:1-2 NIV

In other words, it’s renewed faith that puts our eyes on Jesus. The beauty of this is that Jesus is the author (the giver) of faith and He perfects (grows it up) in us.  Our only task is to put our eyes on Him and take them off the troubles.  Putting our eyes on Him comes from prayer, praise and worship, community life in a good church, reading of the Word – and doing that all simply as His child.

Copyright © 2017 Dr. Pam Morrison. Used by permission.

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