Sweetwater Presbyterian

Small in size, Big in Faith and Love

Devotion December 14, 2016

Greetings all!

“Just because you are paranoid doesn’t mean that someone isn’t after you.”  is one of those trite sayings that we’ve heard for years.  But, you know, just because a saying is trite doesn’t mean it isn’t true!  
I guess I got a little paranoid the other morning as I was driving to a meeting.  It was about 6:30 in the morning and I stopped to get gas.  As I got out of the car and started to pump my gas, the gas pump started talking to me and letting me know of all the many services that I could obtain at this particular gas station. 
 It was then that I realized I was also being bombarded with advertising from the loudspeaker that was announcing all the coffee products and breakfast items that could be found in the convenience store inside of the gas station.  
I already had coffee in the car and I had already eaten but by the time I had heard all the adjectives which made this coffee and food sound like the nectar of the gods I was starting to want something that I really didn’t want.  Which of course was the objective of the talking gas pump and the overhead speaker.  
It is no wonder that we are all a little paranoid anymore about the things that are going on around us – advertising has reached a place that it is almost as of we don’t have a chance!  They know exactly which buttons to push to make us want things that we don’t need, much less even really want.  You can’t go to a little league ballgame without advertising, you can’t listen to the radio anymore without there being more advertising than music, TV shows have more advertising than show – it is everywhere.  And what advertising does is convince us that we don’t have enough – we need something newer, better, prettier, or just more of it.  
And what this does is produce in us the very attitude that Bible tells us to beware of.  Throughout the Old Testament the people are constantly being reminded that God will provide everything they need.  Throughout the ministry of Jesus he is constantly reminding the people that God will provide everything they need.  If you truly trust in God, the newer, better, prettier and more shouldn't matter because new or better or prettier or more are all held in the perspective of God – not in loud voices over the loudspeaker at gas stations or TV or radio or billboards littering the highway.  
This advertising bombardment is what scripture is warning us of – because as we allow these voices of new and better to saturate our thinking, the trust in God’s provision seems to get pushed to the outer margins and before we know it  our life becomes about getting prettier and more rather than living in the trust of God.  Its subtle and it happens before we realize it.  
You’ve got coffee in the car but before you know it - after listening how pleasing the taste and aroma of their freshly brewed coffee you find yourself at the counter with your succulent tasting cup of premium blend……. It is only through the work of the Spirit of God that we can come to the understanding that there isn’t much we need…… God does provide.  
So maybe we should be a little paranoid as we come to see the advertising folk trying to get us to depend on them to let us know what we need and want – instead of God.