Acts 24:24-25 “And after certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Christ. And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.”
In this age of technology, there are gadgets for just about everything. Driverless cars, home monitoring from your phone while vacationing; doctors able to diagnose patients from the golf course and robots performing surgery. We’ve gone so far as to create robots with which to have relationships instead of human interaction. We have even called watching a service online; ‘church’.
The creation of the computer and the cellphone were supposed to make our lives simpler and save time – they have accomplished the exact opposite. People spend more time with technology than ever. Go to the average restaurant today and look around. You will see old and young more engaged with their phones than each other.
Convenience. We literally have everything at our fingertips. If you can’t find something, you can find it online. You can shop without leaving your home. If there is a need, there is an online presence of some company providing a service. We push away human interaction for something which we can control their response.
We have grown up with the fast food mentality. We drive up to one window, order a hot meal and in minutes, drive away with our food. Often, that is how we treat people, the church and God. Confrontation over a difference of opinion turns suddenly violent because we cannot calmly discuss ideas in an amicable forum. We get offended easily and then run from an opportunity to grow and learn.
God gave us a free will to choose. Our Heavenly Father, our Creator, so desires the interaction with us – but not as robotic programmed responders. He wants us to want Him, to desire Him, to seek Him. Would to God we would run to Him when the problem arises, the bad news comes or there is a sudden loss.
In Acts this morning, I read of Felix. Leader of one of the greatest nations of its time. His position was feared and revered. Paul the apostle, was accused of the Jews and brought him to be judged in Roman court. Given freedom to speak, he told of his conversion. Paul reasoned with this ruler many days and on one occasion, brought such conviction to his heart, he pushed him aside – until it was convenient.
Often, we are called upon to stand for our faith when it isn’t convenient for us. The timing isn’t right; our schedules are too full; we just can’t seem to fit it in. We do it with people and we do it with God. Many think one service a week is enough. We complain at the length of the service – how long the sermon lasted or the push for giving or – God forbid – we would have to attend a special revival or missions conference.
We want to fit God into our schedule when it is convenient for us. How convenient was it for Jesus to accomplish all He did while here on this earth? How convenient was it to take on the physical cruelty of a Roman crucifixion? How convenient was it to take on the extreme burden of the sins of the world? Yes, YOUR sins and MINE.
The price paid for the privilege of sonship. The cost of my freedom from eternal punishment. The promise of entrance into Heaven; a place prepared specifically for me. We make room in our lives for that which we deem important. We choose what is convenient according to what we judge for ourselves. But as a child of God, I must live according to what my Father desires for me whether it is convenient or not.
Time passes by so quickly and convenience cannot be the excuse for missing opportunities and divine appointments given by God. May we pray to have our priorities aligned to the expectations of our Heavenly Father instead of trying to bend Him to ours.