The world infiltrates our mind, our emotions, our thoughts. It shows us, what in most instances is a false realty, a reality that is made up, that is filled with deception, and manipulation.
Today, we can so easily fall into the trap of what has been coined FOMO. FOMO is a reality friends it is a perception that is created, a perception that there are happenings, that we are missing out on. It is a perception that somewhere, in the world there is life changing events, that if we do not keep our hands on the button we would be missing out on.
And I say hands on the button, because technology & social media have joined forces to keep us in bondage, to keep us in fear, and to take us away from the purposes of God in our lives. FOMO is the enemy of time, time that we can better spend doing the will of God.
Jeremiah 29:13 (AMP)
Then [with a deep longing] you will seek Me and require Me [as a vital necessity] and [you will] find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.
Genesis 3:5 (AMP)
For God knows that on the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened [that is, you will have greater awareness], and you will be like God, knowing [the difference between] good and evil.”
Jeremiah tells us – that we should seek God as a vital necessity, with a deep longing and with all our hearts, but the world on the other hand wants us to submit to its agenda, to its desires and pleasures as a vital necessity (a need for survival), with a deep longing (desperation) and with all our heart (sacrificing God for the pleasure of the world).
1.Missing out on the world
The world makes us compare ourselves to others, it makes us believe that we are inferior, that we are missing out on the latest buzz, the latest hype, and when this happens, we put aside the things of God, we put aside where God wants us to be and we trade our place in the kingdom for a place in the world.
Many times, we want to be the kept in the loop, we want the world to think that we are cool and important and so we paint a façade, of who we are, when in fact we are the total opposite.
This whole issue of FOMO started in the garden. In Genesis 3:5 the serpent comes to Eve, and he tells her, that God knows that when she eats of the fruit she will become like God, and immediately the mind of Eve began to wonder, about how much she is missing out on, how wise she could be, why would God not want that for her and Adam. And so, she began to fear the prospects of missing out on the wisdom, missing out on knowing the difference between good and evil and the greatest one of all is missing out on being “like God”.
This is the root of the problem friends and it has never changed, Just as Eve wanted to be like God, we want to be like others, we become envious when others are blessed, we compete with the Jones’s, we become jealous when others are successful. And so, we fall into the trap of the world, and we start to become obsessed with always wanting to be important, always wanting to know what is happening.
1 John 2:15-17 (AMP)
15 Do not love the world [of sin that opposes God and His precepts], nor the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust and sensual craving of the flesh and the lust and longing of the eyes and the boastful pride of life [pretentious confidence in one’s resources or in the stability of earthly things]—these do not come from the Father but are from the world. 17 The world is passing away, and with it its lusts [the shameful pursuits and ungodly longings]; but the one who does the will of God and carries out His purposes lives forever.
I am in no way saying that we must not know what is happening around us, but when this becomes all that we think about, when we become infatuated with keeping abreast of everything happening around us, when we become fearful that something will happen and we will not be informed, it begins to consume our minds, it consumes our hearts and it eventually dominates our lives. This is in essence what FOMO is, it is the rush that the world gives you, the dopamine rush, that gives you pleasure.
We must understand that the agenda of the world is to take you away from God, take you away from the presence of God. I see that in the current pandemic we are in, people are always waiting for the president to talk, always waiting for the latest stats, always waiting for the latest news on the corona virus. The question today, is are we also interested in the word of God, do we also have our fingers on the pulse of what is happening in the Kingdom, the same way or with more fervour and zeal than we do with the things of the world.
Hosea 4:6, says “My people perish because of a lack of knowledge.” Not a lack of knowledge of the world and what is happening around us, but a lack of knowledge of the things of God, lack of knowledge of the will and purpose of God for us and our lives.
2.Missing out on worship
The one thing that this pandemic has reaffirmed to me, is that we are never guaranteed of tomorrow. We set our alarm clock to get up the next morning, but the alarm clock can go off, yet we will never hear it. Life is short. You never know when you would breathe your last breath. Yet we value and put precedence on things that will fade away, things that are not eternal.
Do you ever have a fear, or even a concern that you are missing out on the opportunity to worship God. The sad reality today, is that our lives have become so hectic, that even the commandment of gathering has become one of convenience, instead of something that our spiritual lives depended on.
Hebrews 10:25 (AMP)
not forsaking our meeting together [as believers for worship and instruction], as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more [faithfully] as you see the day [of Christ’s return] approaching.
Hebrews 10:25, says we should be meeting together as believers for two main reasons:
- Worship – this is what we are called to do, to praise & worship God, to honor God. The one thing that David understood was the fact that despite circumstances God needs to be worshipped. Paul & Silas in prison praised & worshipped God. This is a vital part of who we are as believers.
- Instruction – Receiving the word of God, from your pastor is crucial in you being built up spiritually, yes, we can listen to other sermons and other pastors, but you need to be fed by your Shepard. He knows your struggles, he knows your joys, your pain, he is the one praying for you. That is why Paul says that we should not neglect coming together, because this is where we grow spiritually, were we are built up and we are able to encourage one another.
Just chatting to another brother, some churches right here in the Southern Cape, have opted to close their doors and move to gathering in coffee shops and having online services even before the announcement of the new level three lock-down rules. The whole commandment of us not forsaking the gathering of the saints has become just another verse. And we cannot blame the pandemic, we cannot blame the lock-down, – you see the lock-down has just made evident the reality of what was happening already in the world we live. Dare, I say that the reality of the church world has been exposed through the pandemic.
We have become filled with fear of missing out on the things of the world, but have lost the fear of God, have we lost the fear of missing out on an encounter with Jesus Christ.
2 Timothy 3:1-5 (AMP)
But understand this, that in the last days dangerous times [of great stress and trouble] will come [difficult days that will be hard to bear]. 2 For people will be lovers of self [narcissistic, self-focused], lovers of money [impelled by greed], boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy and profane, 3 [and they will be] unloving [devoid of natural human affection, calloused and inhumane], irreconcilable, malicious gossips, devoid of self-control [intemperate, immoral], brutal, haters of good, 4 traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of [sensual] pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 holding to a form of [outward] godliness (religion), although they have denied its power [for their conduct nullifies their claim of faith].
Many people would rather listen to online sermons, sermons on face-book and YouTube, so that they can fit hearing Gods word in amongst their busy schedules.
Isaiah 58:13-14 (AMP)
13 “If you turn back your foot from unnecessary travel on the Sabbath,
From doing your own pleasure on My holy day,
And call the Sabbath a [spiritual] delight, and the holy day of the Lord honorable,
And honor it, not going your own way
Or engaging in your own pleasure
Or speaking your own [idle] words,
14 Then you will take pleasure in the Lord,
And I will make you ride on the high places of the earth,
And I will feed you with the [promised] heritage of Jacob your father;
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
3.Missing out on Eternity
If we look around us, there are people dying around us at a faster pace. As i write this Covid-19 has taken the lives of 2.04 million people. This should be a major concern. The question we need to ask is: How many of these people have made heaven their home? How many have accepted Jesus as Lord and Saviour? How many are people that you know (friends, colleagues, family)? The question today that we need to ask ourselves, have these people entered into eternity with Jesus or without him.
Jesus tells us that he is the way, the truth and the life, and unless we choose to follow Jesus, unless we choose to surrender our hearts to him, we cannot make heaven our home.
Hebrews 4:1 (NLT)
God’s promise of entering his rest still stands, so we ought to tremble with fear that some of you might fail to experience it.
While we should not allow the world to pull us into a state of fear where we always want to be in the middle of everything that is happening in this world – there are three things that we should take note of today, that Jesus tells us.
- Missing out on walking with Jesus – Jesus said I am the way. Unless we follow the path of Jesus, unless we walk the narrow path, we will always allow ourselves to be consumed and to be dictated to by the agenda of the world. The narrow way is difficult, but I can assure you today that it is worth it, and with Jesus leading you, if you keep your eyes and your focus on him, you will come out victorious.
- Missing out on knowing the truth – Jesus said I am the truth. The world will give you its perception of the truth, but today, truth can only be found in the word of God, truth can only be found in Jesus Christ.
Psalm 86:11 (NIV)
Teach me your way, Lord,
that I may rely on your faithfulness;
give me an undivided heart,
that I may fear your name.
3. Missing out on life – Jesus said I am the life. The world is all about pleasure and being satisfied for the moment, but Jesus wants to give us eternal life. A guarantee that even when you close your eyes to life on this earth, your life continues in the presence of God.
John 10:27-28 (NKJV)
27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.
We can have eternal life, if only we will follow Jesus, and make him Lord of our lives.
Our eternity should be a concern to each and every one of us, it should be such a concern and there are three things that we should always be in the middle of, always wanting to be a part of, and always keeping our fingers on the button of:
- Walking the narrow path – being obedient to the will and purpose of God
- Not forsaking the gathering of the saints – for worship and instruction
- Working out your salvation daily with fear and trembling
Deuteronomy 30:19 (NIV)
This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.
The only FOMO that should concern us is the fear of missing out on eternity with Jesus, and we should do everything possible to remain focused and remain in the will and purpose of God.
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