Christine Caine - The Power of Off - Part 2
You know the fact is, in the year 2000, the average attention span was 12 seconds. And by 2015 it had fallen to 8.25 seconds. Now let me just give you the comparison. A goldfish has a 9.25 second attention span. And it's dropped since 2015. Humans have less of an attention span than a goldfish. What does that tell you when the Bible says fix your eyes on Jesus? We live in a digital age: we're plugged in, virtually, but spiritually, we're disconnected. People wonder why they feel burnt out and empty, like they can never get past 1%. When the reality is we're not connected to the right source. Only time alone with God can recharge our spirits. So let's get unplugged to plug in. I'm Christine Caine and I have a personal mission to Equip and Empower people like you to connect with your God-given purpose and potential. I am so glad you're joining us today. Let's get to the message.
Hey, everyone, how you doing? I'm so glad that you've joined us today. I know that God has a word for you. We are talking about what it is to unplug so that we can plug in to God. We live in a world that is connected, 24/7. It is awesome, there are some great benefits to that. I love that because I travel all around the world. I love to, you know, be on my phone and stay connected to my family and stay connected to my friends all over the world, stay connected to my staff and team. But it is really dangerous. When you get to a point that you can no longer, ever, turn this thing off. And there are people that literally just start to go cold turkey, if their phone is going to be turned off. You know, they say to us that with this generation that the average person spends more than eight hours a day on their phone and laptop. Eight hours a day. And most people have their phone turned on all the time, even in bed.
In my family we don't have that. I mean the phones are out of the bedrooms during night time, not during night time can the kids have the phones on. I can't even believe the damage it must do to have a phone on 24/7. It says that most young adults, this will freak you out, send an average of 110 texts a day. 110 texts a day. That's what the average, it's just we've grown up in a generation that doesn't know what it is to ever be disconnected. And that's largely because, you know, we have our information, we have our communication, and we have our entertainment right here, in out pocket, all the time. And, you know, I grew up in an era where you didn't have all those things. If you wanted to be entertained, you had to go somewhere to be entertained, you couldn't just pull it out of your pocket and go, "Here we go, I'm gonna play games with somebody on the other side of world, and I'm gonna be in this virtual game".
You know, if I wanted to communicate, I had to use a phone that was at home or write a letter. I didn't just pull it out of my pocket and go, "Oh, I'm just gonna talk to my friend in France right now. That's what I'm going to do". I can do that, that's what, and I just think it's absolutely normal. Well growing up, it was not normal that I would pull out my phone in Australia and talk to my friend in real time in France or Facetime them and talk to them. But that's the world that you and I live in. We are so used to being connected, 24/7, that we almost have this sense that we feel this need that we have to be available all the time. We have to be there all the time. And so the fact is that if our external world, if it's just full of people, and full of connection, and full of activity all the time, where on earth do you get time to replenish? Where on earth do you get time then to say, "Hang on, I need to have some time with God. I need to hear the voice of God".
Many of us, we're not hearing the voice of God and primarily through his word, because we're so busy staying connected to people. We're so busy being connected to the internet that we don't make time for God. Do you realize that God is more real than the virtual world? But for a whole generation, they don't understand that. They think that, you know, the internet and the virtual world and the digital world is more real than God. It makes me laugh, like we freak out some people and some traditions and denominations are like, "Oh, leave all the supernatural stuff out". I'm like, "Really"? I got a generation that wakes up and talks to, "Hey Siri". I'm like, "How normal is that"? You think I'm weird because I say, "Hi God". You go, "Dude, you're just talking to yourself"? I'm like someone pushes a button, my Siri's not activated 'cause I refuse to talk to her.
So imagine, "Hey Siri," and this is what people do, people think God is like Siri. They're having these conversations. "Hi, Siri, what do you think I feel like for dinner tonight"? People think, people, you should ask, you should see Google one time because of course we're all on the internet, Siri's most frequently asked questions. It will freak you out. It'll freak you out what people talk to Siri about. Siri's not real, God's real. Alexa's not real, Alexa, change the air-conditioning. We think, this is, I just need you to see the kinda world we live in. We talk to into a machine and the machine talks back, "Siri, what do you think I want, wanna eat? Siri, which way, Siri, can you tell me what"? And you know what, we start to relate to God like that. "Hey, so God, what do you think I might feel like? Where do you think I might wanna go? God, I need an answer on this, this and this". And we treat God like Siri and I'm like, "Sweetheart, God made the world. Siri didn't. God's real, Siri's not".
And if we're not careful, you know, I said that this series could be one of the most important series that I've ever done. It might not be the one that'll bring the roof down and shout everyone down, but I'll tell you, we're missing something. When we have a generation that just thinks Siri is real, and God's not, I want you to just wonder where we're going with all of that. And when we start to treat God like we treat Siri, as if somehow God's our sugar daddy. "Tell me this and give me this and do this, and honestly Siri, that just bugs me. I'm gonna change your voice. I don't like how you sound and what you're delivering and what you," and you go, "Wow". Don't think that's the God in the Bible. Don't think the Hebrew name for God is Siri, it's okay, I don't think that's the case. But what happens to us is we don't realize that the spiritual supernatural realm is more real than the digital, virtual world. But we are so used to that digital, virtual world in our pockets, that we relate to it more like reality than we do to God and the supernatural.
Now that can be dangerous for a generation. That could be really dangerous. You don't just go, "Hey Siri, can you fight this spiritual battle for me? Siri you know I know the weapons of my warfare, I'm not warring against flesh and blood, but against, you know, powers and principalities. And so can you just like go to fight for me"? Siri is not your angel. And we got a generation that doesn't know what's in this word, that wouldn't know how to fight a spiritual battle. But look, it says it up here, "Hey Siri, can you fight the spiritual battle for me"? "Sorry, I can't take in all those words at once, can you try again"?
Let me tell you, God can take in all of those words at once. God can take in all of those words at once. But in our texts, when Jesus healed the leper, and then the crowds came and it went viral. Jesus' meetings went viral. And the Bible says that Jesus stepped away, I love this, it says that he would withdraw to desolate places and pray. So he didn't even go to places that were lush and that were green and that were full of, he went to desolate places. But we don't like desolate places. We don't like it, we're gonna pull out our phone and play a game. We're gonna pull out our phone and download an app. Because God, I feel dry. God, it's just hard, I don't feel like I've heard from you for like 30 seconds. And God, you just haven't entertained me like I think that you should and you didn't give me what I wanted.
And so I don't I like this desolate place because it's just so hard. And like, you know, I know that I said I'm gonna keep my self morally pure, I mean, I haven't swiped right for one day. For one day, God. You're so lucky to have me. One day of a desolate place and we don't know what to do. Some friend doesn't call us, we don't get invited to that party, we're not in the little clique thing, and all of a sudden we've gotta fill that place with activity, we've gotta fill that place with other people because we don't know what to do. And Jesus is saying, "Hey, I went away to desolated places to find my father".
Do you think that maybe you can find God in that desolate place? Do you think that place of stillness, that place, do you think that maybe God has made sure that for a season, your friends have pulled back? Do you think that maybe God has orchestrated this situation where you're alone and you feel like, "Man, why does it seem like nobody is with me? Why does it seem like this isn't working out"? Do you think that maybe God's trying to say, "I want some time with you,"? I want some time with you, I wanna get to know you, I wanna speak to you. I've got some thing I wanna say to you but if you keep filling all of your desolate space time with activity and more and more activity, how are we going to move forward?
And you know, I was reading a book from a woman called Nancy Collier, and she said some fascinating things about this era of staying connected and 24/7. And the fact is that you know, our connection with God is the only thing, ultimately, that's gonna keep our hearts pure, that's gonna keep us on mission with what God has called us to do. He is the one that gives us our strength and our joy and our sense of peace and our significance and our security. And I think so many of us are spiraling out of control. And feeling anxiety and depression in because we just stay plugged in to a virtual world 24/7. And this is what Nancy Collier said, I thought it was fascinating. She said, "The more virtual friends and followers we acquire, the more connected and loved we feel".
How scary is that? So it's not even like the friends we have but if we get more followers and more friends, we feel, we actually have a dopamine rush, we feel like people love us. The more likes we get, for our opinions and our ideas, the more liked we feel. And the more we like ourselves. Which means if that was how it was working, that means if I posted and it got a lot of likes, "Oh, I feel good and I like myself". And if I posted something that God wanted me to post, but nobody liked, I wouldn't like myself. That's a dangerous way to live. If I live like that, that would be so bad, because then I wouldn't be doing the TV shows that I've felt that the Lord was speaking to me about to speak about. And I wouldn't speak prophetic truth, I would just tickle people's ears because that's what people like.
So if you live for the approval of man, you will die by the criticism of man. And so have to be very careful. She goes on to say, "The more we communicate," the data shows, "The less," you know, the fact is, sorry, "The more entertainment we consume all the time, we feel less bored". Now I'm talking about feeling, I'm not talking about what's actually really happening. But these short-term feelings, we keep trying to get more of this, because I don't feel lonely if I'm being entertained. But I just feel really good in this moment because I feel like I'm connected.
I wanna behold God's greatness and God's glory before I wanna behold the latest image on Instagram. I wanna hear what God says before I hear what the news feed says on what's going on. I want God to be my rush and my source and my strength. I don't wanna have to get a dopamine rush from what I'm seeing on here to make that happen. And so, you know, when was the last time that you consciously unplugged from people so that you can plug into God? When was the last time that you did that? Are we more anxious but less present in our lives and in our world? When was the last time you were really present with the person that was across the table? When you were looking in their eyes, you didn't even have a phone on the table? Where you didn't have a phone, so you could be engaged. I come in and come in and see my staff when I do it, I leave my phone in my bag so that I can go into their office and find out about all their love lives, most of them are single, so please come and see my staff. And you can come and marry them all up.
But I wanna know what's happening. I'm Greek, matchmaker, matchmaker, you know, that's the way that it goes. But the fact is, have you ever been out with those people that, you know, mid-sentence, maybe their phone, their watch goes off. And it's like you're not even there. They're just looking at and you're going, "Oh excuse me for being here with you, having a coffee appointment". That is one of the worst things in the world in which we're in: that you feel like the person that's with you wants to be anywhere else except with you. And there is nothing worse than not feeling seen, than not feeling like you are there. One of the, I really truly believe one of the greatest evangelistic tools in our generation is that you would actually give the person that you're with the gift of attention. I think if you do that, people will be so shocked. They'll go, "Well what is wrong with this person? They're not checking their phone and they actually care about me"? That you can look at someone and go, "Man, you matter so much to God, you matter to me. You are where I am in this moment and where I am right now," it would change everything.
And so, so many of us, we are relentlessly available to everyone all the time and we're wondering why we're so hyper stressed. We're wondering why we're so freaking out. And I see it, people are coping and just trying to cope through life by basically becoming a robot. They're just kinda going through life answering texts, answering emails, answering, or getting addicted to substances. Just going, "Man, I've just gotta get through this. I'm just gonna pop a pill. I'm just gonna drink an extra," and just trying to get through life. They're not thriving, they're not flourishing, not living in the fullness of the abundance of what Jesus Christ died and rose again to give us, but just barely getting by, falling into bed at night, barely getting enough sleep. Staying connected all the time. And it's killing us, it is literally killing.
And you know, Jesus himself said he went to desolate places, there's a revival happening. And he took some time out to go a desolate place, it wasn't even a trendy, cool place. A desolate place to plug in to God. If he needed it, how much more would we? Because there is a vicious cycle that comes out of this, the more available we become, the more available we believe we need to be. It's just, you gotta get on this hamster wheel. You know, we believe we cannot be important in life and to others on a part-time basis. We just start believing these lies. We believe if we take time for ourselves then we're taking time away from people that really need us. All of these are unhealthy. The best gift that you can give to your family, to your friends, to your colleagues, to the people at work is a healthy you, is a good you. We believe our level of importance is to our availability.
And that means that you're broken on the inside. If your whole world has to just orbit around, if it can't exist without you, there's something wrong. You know the day that A21 or propel or if I am the linchpin, meaning like if it cannot orbit outside of me, then the thing is I'm in the wrong thing. I'm in the wrong thing. And I've got people all over the world, have empowered them and delegated and you know, I'm a set and forget. I set it and I forget it. It's your responsibility now and that's how I'm gonna sleep at night and you know, it doesn't mean I abdicate responsibility, it doesn't mean I abdicate, it's not like you give people and then you suddenly have no responsibility for it anymore, but you let people do what they need to do and go, "You know what, I cannot be on call for 24/7 for this thing, because otherwise I'm not God". And not only that, Jesus himself, who was God, didn't do that. Therefore why would I do that if Jesus didn't do that? I don't know when we thought we could become God, because we are not God. Because even if that's what we think God does, then we are not reading the God of the Bible, because God himself did not do that.
So there's something wrong with us when we think we've gotta be on call 24/7. There's something wrong with us if we think, "This thing's not gonna make it without me". Then you know what, Jesus himself, there was revival happening and he said, "I'm going to pray, so knock yourselves out, knock yourselves out". This is gonna be awesome. So you know what, I wonder how your soul is? You've just tuned in and scripture says beloved I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health as is your soul. Beloved, I pray that you prosper and are in good health even as your soul prospers. Is your soul prospering? Because what I see across a generation, across the world, is people whose souls are not prospering. People full of anxiety and depression and people that are not getting enough rest and people who are not eating well. And people that are not healthy and you know, we just believe everyone's trying to catch up and I feel like I haven't got enough time.
And other people are saying, "You know what, I'm just gonna go to sleep when I'm in heaven". I'm like, "Honey, you're gonna get to heaven really quick, the way that you are going, and you're not gonna be effective here on earth. You are gonna be no spiritual, of no spiritual value if you are just broken down on the inside". And so you know what happens, I think our phones are getting smarter but I'm not sure that we are. Our souls are generally not prospering. We are more connected, but we are more disconnected than we have ever been in our feelings. We have more and more and we are increasingly anxious about what we don't have. We know more and more but we don't know what do to with the more and more that we know. You know, we do more and more and we still don't have time to do it all. We see more and more and we keep looking for more.
There's something wrong, there's something wrong with this equation. What we have to do is stop. We have to simplify and we have to go, the goal isn't just more, I don't know what we thought was, "Man, if I just do more, if I just see more, if I just have more," and you notice, no one's ever got enough. Everyone's still feeling empty. Everyone's still feeling like it's not enough. But I don't have what they, that's because your ultimate satisfaction is gonna be found only in Christ. Paul writes, "I have learned to be content. My contentment is in Christ". This thing 24/7 is gonna keep you discontent. You're never gonna feel like you've got enough time, you're never gonna feel like you've got enough money, you're never gonna feel like you've got enough resources, you are never gonna feel like you've got enough talent, so you've gotta get out of that.
You've gotta get into the Word of God and you've gotta see the fullness of all that you have in him. He has blessed us with every spiritual blessing that is in Christ Jesus. He has blessed us. We must learn to be with God apart from people, we must. You know, the fact is, in the year 2000 the average attention span was 12 seconds. And by 2015, it had fallen to 8.25 seconds. Now let me just give you the comparison, a goldfish has a 9.25 second attention span. And it's dropped since 2015. Humans have less of an attention span than a goldfish. What does that tell you when our Bible says fix your eyes on Jesus? That you're to set your goal. I think the enemy has come to try to get us off course, 'cause if we're gonna run our race and we're gonna finish our course, we need that's more than 280 characters and more than 8.25 seconds. We need an attention span that is going to help us run our race and finish our course.
See, we have a screen between us and the real world. We have filters and we have edits and I think what has happened to us and our relationship with God is we end up filtering our relationship with God. We kinda put a screen between us and God. We don't know how to relate to people. It's like an effort for us to relate to people in real time. It takes real energy. And so we are longing to be seen, we're longing to be known but we end relationships by text. We don't even call people, we don't even talk to people. We don't even treat people as human beings created in the image of God anymore. We think nothing of not keeping our word and just not turning up for an appointment. Just sending a text, "I forgot," or not even sending a text.
Maybe we've been friends with someone for years and then just send a text, "You know what, I'm just dropping back, you know what, I don't wanna date you anymore. You know what, this is," and we just treat people like disposable objects, because we're not up close with people in flesh and blood anymore. And we're so used to a screen between us and everybody else, that we just kind of just send a text, send a tweet, we talk to people on social media like they're not real human beings, created in the image of God. And if you don't think that's affecting your relationship with God, it is, let me tell you. It affects how you see God, it affects how you interact with God, it affects the intimacy and the reality of your relationship with God. So it is time for many of us to unplug from the world so that we can do what Jesus did. We can go to a desolate place and we can plug in to our father. That's what we need to do, that's what we need to do. Amen? Amen.