“Then suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone with them except Jesus alone” Mark 9:8 HCSB.
Influencers. They are abundant. And each one is vying for our attention and a chunk of our time in hopes of obtaining another follower.
I don’t think anyone intentionally means to follow so many influencers, but we pick them up, one by one, as we mindlessly (and sometimes intentionally) scroll and stroll through our days on social media. Likewise, I don’t believe we intentionally determine to replace the Holy Spirit with people we don’t know on our social media feed. I for sure didn’t. But it is too easy to turn to other voices when they come so plentifully and effortlessly every time we look at our screens. And before we know it, we can substitute these voices for the voice of Jesus.
Many of these influencers are Christians – pastors, prophets, counselors, writers, and speakers. Each one touting their particular message. 10 Ways To Find Peace. Jesus Is the ChatGPT of Our Souls. The Best Use of Your Short Life. How Not to Implode Like the Titan Sub. Preparing For the Coming Shaking. I rotate through my favorite voices, comparing notes, and trying to hear what God is saying.
In Mark chapter 9, Jesus leads Peter, James and John up a mountain by themselves to be alone. He is transfigured in front of them. Elijah and Moses appear with them, and they’re talking with Jesus. Peter is afraid and doesn’t know what to say so he blurts out, “Let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
And immediately, a cloud came down and a voice came from the cloud saying, “This is My beloved Son; listen to Him!”
Who has our ear? It’s easy to be focused on and influenced by other people. Of course, teachers are gifts to the Body of Christ, and we need them! But we can become so concentrated on the life and teachings of others that we start building “tabernacles” for them in our minds. And most of them we don’t even know personally. They are simply images and voices on our screens. We don’t have real relationships with them.
What if suddenly we turned off our phones and saw no one with us but Jesus alone? Is His influence enough? Is the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit sufficient?
Jesus said, ”…his sheep follow him because they know his voice” John 10:4b NIV. Perhaps we need to unfollow the other voices for a season and tune into His alone.
~ Janet Mueller, writer
~ photo by Diggity Marketing, Unsplash