It’s called the Google Effect.
Anyone who has spent any amount of time trolling the web, searching for the answer to a question, has experienced it, whether your search implement of choice happens to be named “Google” or “Siri” or perhaps even “Bing.”
It’s a fairly simple proposition. In the wake of such rapid advances in information technology, human beings who utilize search engines to obtain information actually retain less of it, while claiming to know more.
Don’t think you’re susceptible to it? Stop for a moment and ask yourself a question: How many phone numbers do you have memorized? Now, how many phone numbers did you know just a few years before you bought that phone that allowed you to call someone simply by pressing (or saying) their name? I’ll bet the difference is startling.
In short, we remember not the information *itself,* but rather where the information *is stored.* And our minds, as individuals and as a society, continue to be reshaped in ways we haven’t even begun to process.
Yet, we, as believers, are also allowing our minds to be shaped by forces we choose not to understand.
How? As Pastor Bryan shared Sunday, God has revealed to us his Fullness and his Truth in his Word.
Yet, we as Christians, approach the Word as we would any other subject of information. We read the Word, and perhaps we may remember a tidbit here or there – but often only enough to create a mental tab to recall – maybe- where we can find it later, perhaps when we feel we actually need it.
In the meantime, we allow waves and waves of other information and input from the world around us to flow into, around and through our minds and our hearts. And this information – even the kind we may consider innocuous or at least “not bad” – works to reshape our minds and our hearts in ways we don’t comprehend.
And that lack of comprehension continues even after the enemy of our souls has used that shaping to run us over, beat us down and leave us for dead, broken and defeated, often feeling as if there is no hope left, or even resigned to our fate.
Yet that is not what God has intended – not even close.
Forty days after he rose from the dead, Jesus ascended to Heaven. The angels told the apostles gaping in wonder at the sky that the same one they saw be taken up to Heaven will return in just the same way, and when Jesus comes, he will return in power.
But before he left, Jesus gave us a promise. He was not leaving his friends and his disciples – His Church – alone and defenseless. No! Exactly the opposite!
He promised when he took his seat in his rightful place at the right-hand of God the Father, he would send us a helper – The Holy Spirit!
This was confirmed on the day of Pentecost, 50 days after Jesus’ Resurrection, when the Apostle Peter, preaching to the crowds, gaping in awe at the spectacle of Jesus’ disciples and friends speaking in other tongues, with tongues of flame upon their heads, said of Jesus: “God raised Jesus from the dead, and we are all witnesses of this. Now he is exalted to the place of highest honor in Heaven, at God’s right hand. And the Father, as he had promised, have him the Holy Spirit to pour out upon us, just as you see and hear today.” (Acts 2:32-33 NLT)
But this power and wonder, this Fullness of God, was not given only to those first believers. No! That power is there for us today, for all who believe and call upon His Name!
It is a blessed sequence, one we should all commit to memory, because therein we find the truth of Gospel and the Promise of God’s Power: Because Jesus died on the Cross, our sins are forgiven. Because He is risen, we have new life. And because He is exalted, seated at the Father’s side, He has poured out the Holy Spirit upon us.
Today, we encourage you to search the Scriptures for yourself, and ask God – not Google - to show you the truth of these words. He is risen! He is ascended! And because He is ascended, we have the Holy Spirit, to lead us and guide us into all truth, all knowledge, all wisdom, and into power, both for today and for eternity!
Today, taste and see, that the Lord is good. Choose to experience the Fullness.