Summary: This message focuses on the auto-correct functions of smart phone and how we are sometimes like the smart phones in how we try to auto correct God.
Although it was “my” goal to continue with my present series “Be Encouraged” I felt led to hold it until I return in a few weeks. This morning I want to share a brief warning with you and I want to do so in such a manner that hopefully you will think about this message every time you get ready to send a text message from your smart phone. The idea for this message was birthed by my brother Barry after we both purchased new smart phones. This morning I will use the accepted term “smart phone” as I compare them to “stupid phones” in how they carry out one of their functions. I do not wish to offend anyone with my use of the word “stupid” but I am only trying to make a point.
When I was growing up there were no “cellular” phones. The first mobile phones were those that had to be carried in a case similar to that of a military radio. They were huge! Well as technology advanced, mobile phone became smaller and smaller. I purchased my first mobile phone in 1997 when I was a hospital representative traveling from Little Rock, AR to Tulsa, OK every other week. My phone was small compared to some, but it had a large battery that attached to the back. The battery would get hotter and hotter the longer I talked on the phone. That phone today would be called a stupid phone – or a caveman phone, not having higher intelligence. All it could do was make phone call and at that time it depended on where I was located as to how much those calls would cost. In 1996, text messaging was introduced to the U.S. but its growth was very slow – why – because most phones were stupid phones!
As life would have it, with the growth of any new technology, we must have a convenient way of using it. As text messaging began to grow, cellular companies found a new way to increase their revenue while meeting the constant changing demands of the consumer. The consumers wanted to be able to use all of the current and developing technology and demanded that their phones be able to do just that. So with that demand came the “smart” phone. The smart phone can not only make phone calls, but it can send text messages; take pictures; play videos; and, dare I say it, search the ever expanding internet. This little device is capable of doing what the biggest computer in 1970 could not do.
I currently own a smart phone and my employer have provided me with a stupid phone. I actually prefer texting on my stupid phone because it is “stupid!” My stupid phone does exactly what I want it to do and it does not try to tell me it knows better, hence the two text messages I sent some of you last night (I will talk more about that at the close of this message). One of the most irritating things about my smart phone is that it thinks it is smarter than me – hence the function on the phone called “auto-correction.” My stupid phone does not have this function so it allows me to say exactly what I want to say. It interprets it correctly and does not try to tell me what I mean. However, on my smart phone, if I make the mistake of not catching its correction, then whoever I am sending the message to receive a message and must try to figure out what I was trying to say. Then I am forced to send a second message to correct the first one. I hate the auto-correction function even though it is meant to save me time and speed up my texting. I know I can turn it off, but if I did that you would not be receiving this message about auto-correcting God.
This morning I want you to think about the development of the smart phones and how those phones interact with us versus the stupid phones. And as you’re thinking along those lines, think about how the early followers of God interacted with Him versus how we do? And if you make it this far, go ahead and think about how the early Christians interacted with God versus how we interact with Him today. There are actually similarities between how we have developed as humans and how we interact with God. For the remainder of this message I want you to think of “us” as being in the role of God and the smart phone as being in our role.
I. In The Beginning
When God made Adam and Eve, He made them male and female. He told them the rule the earth and to populate it. God chose to make Adam a help meet, or a partner, someone who would be like him and help him fulfill what God had told him to do. When Adam woke up after the surgery he proclaimed that the woman before him would be called woman because she had come from his body. After God placed them in the Garden of Eden, He told them not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil for if they did they would surely die. When Adam and Eve were created they were naked in the garden and were not ashamed. They were not ashamed because they were innocent, or for this message, like the stupid phones. By the time we get to the third chapter of Genesis, Satan had decided to turn God’s stupid phones people into smart phone people complete with the auto-correct function. Look at Genesis 3:1-6. “And the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, ‘Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden?’ The woman said to the serpent, ‘From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God had said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’ The serpent said to the woman, ‘You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’ When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.”