We as ministers often share that people need to have time alone with God. With the changing of society, technology and all the additions of our personal schedules ‘time alone with God’ has certainly seen some changes over the years.
I was officially licensed into the gospel ministry in 1982. During that time period, ‘time alone with God’ when heard by a minister or speaker generally meant that there was a time that was set aside where you would read your Bible, prayed or had a system that best used the time set aside to communicate with God personally.
In the 1980s people had busy schedules but there were some aspect of our current lives that were not present then, as they are today. For example, cellular phones were a new invention for the United States. If you had a phone back then it was either the Motorola Brick or your other options was what everyone simply referred to as a bag phone. As indicated by it’s label name, it was simple a telephone, much like what was inside your home and was in a black bag. I am thinking that for the younger generation reading some might not even be aware of what a home phone is, given the fact that many homes today do not even have home landlines.
Cellular phones and technology have changed everything around us, even for those that are resisting its ready availability. With this ever advancing means of communication, today’s time alone with God has a ever sense of being connected while being alone with Him. Back in the day ‘time along with God’ had as it’s primary tools a copy of your King James Version Bible, a pad or notebook of paper for writing and taking notes, and maybe even the phone placed off the hook so there would be no interruption. For many in Christendom today, if we do not have an Internet or cellular connection we might just be out of luck in connection with God. We have Bible applications that we’ve downloaded on our phones and many of these contain a Bible reading schedule to help folks read through the Bible. Many of us have uploaded mobile applications that include complete Bible studies of individual books and even themes and topics.
With all the upgrades in society’s communication opportunities through technology there is something I am hearing some folks say that causes me to both smile and finally believe that all things change and then come back around again in practice.
Considering this thought we all have seen fashions come and go and for older folks, our favorite statement to say is, “I had a pair of those.” Once learning what the young generation has paid for today’s new fashion styles all of us are wishing we had only held on to those clothes we thought were outdated and had thrown away. ‘Time alone with God’ is still in fashion no matter your methods practiced. I have counted my Bibles in my study and I’ve got every version, I believe, and I’ve got study Bibles of every kind with multiple translations to compare when thinking during my ‘time alone with God’.
I am still old fashion in that sense and I have yet to fully graduate to all the applications. Many of my ministry friends have shared with me and demonstrated how they work and would make my time alone more successful, they said. To be honest, I like some of the changes but I’ve been just a slow about making all the adjustments. For me it was drastic to discard my typewriter and move to a computer. Today, I’ve gone from a written message and outline typed on paper to using an iPad that I uploaded to a format that is then followed by choosing which application I want to use for my presentation and delivery.
‘Time alone with God’ still involves setting aside a specific time for in-depth study and sermon presentation but with all the changes in technology I have also learned that with the aid and assistance of these new applications and programs, I can make ‘time alone with God’ happen just about anywhere with our without technology.
The number one desire of God is that we are followers will communicate with Him. One of my growing moments in my personal relationship with Jesus Christ is that I could pray with my eyes open. After all, ministers always said close your eyes and bow your heads when praying. Well things change and have changed, but ‘time alone with God’ is still a must.
Contact Tim H. Mills at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter: @THMills.