Monday, May 13, 2019

FOMO: The Fear of Missing Out

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I’m Doug Apple...and my heart is on fire!  (Luke 24:32)

I guess you’ve heard of FOMO:  the Fear Of Missing Out.

Sometimes it motivates teenagers to do stupid things.  And adults.

When you hear people spout this trendy phrase “no regrets,” it’s often coming from the same source.  They say things like, “My only regrets would be the things I didn’t do.”

See it?  It’s the fear of missing out.  And some people have the attitude, “I would rather sin and live with the consequences than risk missing out on something.”

Wow.  That’s almost crazy.  It’s probably a thought from the pits of hell, one of the wiles of the devil, a deception to blind the eyes and get people to do things that God says are wrong.

But look closely.  It plays right into a true human fear – the fear of missing out on something good, on something great, on the opportunity of a lifetime.  Truly, none of us wants to miss out on something so good.

So could there be a positive side to this fear of missing out?

I think so, and it’s rooted in this phrase found so often in the Bible:  the fear of the Lord.

One way I fear the Lord is that I fear missing out on what He has for me, His plans, His desires, His goals.  I don’t want to miss out by not following His ways, His rules, His precepts and statutes, His laws and commandments.

Yes, I’m saved by grace, and yes I live in His grace, but I also want to walk in His Spirit, not in the flesh.  I want to build on rock and not on sand.  I must not grieve or quench His Holy Spirit, or I risk missing out on what God has for me today and everyday.

So when it comes to FOMO, the fear of missing out, that is what I fear missing out on.  I fear missing God and His good, pleasing and perfect will.  I fear missing His leading as my Good Shepherd.  I fear missing His voice, His direction, His, “This is the way, walk ye in it.”  I fear sinning and putting myself in a place apart from the dead center bullseye of His will. 

I fear that, because I know that His ways are good.  His ways are awesome.  His ways are the best, both for eternity and for now.

So FOMO?  Yes, it steers my life each and every day.  I must live and walk by the Holy Spirit of God, because I truly have the fear of missing out:  the fear of missing out on all that God has for me.

May God bless you today!

I’m Doug Apple.

Monday, May 06, 2019

Are You Reading the Bible by Rote?

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I’m Doug Apple...and my heart is on fire!  (Luke 24:32)

Are you reading the Bible by rote?

I just heard someone say that, that they were just reading the Bible by rote.

In other words, they were just being mechanical, doing it because they knew they should, sticking to their schedule...through the Bible in a year, baby!

Of course scheduled Bible reading is a beautiful thing, unless you aren’t getting anything out of it.

Maybe you are reading the Bible because you know you should, but it’s rote, it’s mechanical, it’s lifeless.  The Spirit’s not in it, and by that I mean the Holy Spirit.

So what can you do?

Here is a sure fire Bible reading plan:  read until your heart burns within you. 

That’s what happens when God opens the Scriptures to you.  His Holy Spirit will suddenly leap inside you, basically saying, “There it is!  Look at that.  Focus on it.  Ponder it.  Meditate on it.  Learn it and let it sink into your heart.”

 It’s His Spirit testifying with your spirit about God’s truth.

That’s what happened to the men on the road to Emmaus.  They were walking along, and suddenly a stranger joined them.  The stranger began to open up the Scriptures to them with power and authority.  Finally their eyes were opened to see that it was actually the newly resurrected Jesus...and then Jesus disappeared.

And what was their exclamation?  What excited them so?  Here is what they said in Luke 24:32, “Did not our heart burn within us...while He opened the Scriptures to us?”

And I think God does the same thing today.  We read the Bible, and suddenly our heart burns within us, suddenly His Holy Spirit leaps within us as certain words jump out at us, or as the men on the road to Emmaus put it, He opens the Scriptures to us.

The Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of Truth, and Jesus said the Holy Spirit will teach us all things and guide us into all truth.

How does He do that?  One way is by opening the Scriptures to us by making certain verses at certain times spring to life!

So watch for it.  Try reading the Bible, not until you meet your quota, or not until you finish the chapter, but simply read until God opens the Scripture to you, making your heart burn within you.

May God bless you read His Word today!

I’m Doug Apple.