What Worries Us
There seems to be an underlying sense that something great is going to happen and we may not know about it or be able to experience it. No matter what is at hand or how good it already is, there could be something better. FOMO keeps us looking for more while at the same time, instills in us a certain level of discontent. What we COULD have diminishes what we DO have.What we COULD have diminishes what we DO have. Click To Tweet
The devil has used this to keep us distracted from what truly matters. In a worldly sense, we keep an undue amount of attention on superficial things and it has cost us the necessary attention to the right things.
The Invitation Worth More Than Our Excuses
In Luke 14, we find Jesus attending a dinner when He begins teaching about the kingdom. In verse 15, someone at the table says,
Blessed is the man who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.
At this point, Jesus takes the opportunity to teach them about misplaced priorities and the harm that can result. It is interesting that this is His response to a seemingly nonchalant statement. Verses 16-24 reads,
Jesus replied: “A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’
“But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, ‘I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.’
“Another said, ‘I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’
“Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’
“The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.’
“‘Sir,’ the servant said, ‘what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.’
“Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full. I tell you, not one of those who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.’”
It is interesting how the guests had the opposite view of FOMO. They were quite content to miss out on the intended event because they had their own priorities to pursue. They weren’t fretting over the fun to be had at the banquet which they would be missing.
This makes me wonder why.
Why wouldn’t they want to attend a grand party rather than make excuses?
There could be several reasons.
- They don’t realize what they would be missing.
- They are deceived
- They don’t care.
In essence, they made 2 miscalculations that we do as well.
They over-valued lesser things.
They under-valued greater things.
FOMO could have worked to their benefit but it didn’t because they valued the wrong things….. and often, so do we.FOMO can greatly benefit us but only if we are valuing the right things. Click To Tweet
The Same Excuses
Jesus is giving this story to warn them ( us as well) about neglecting what matters the most. He teaches that what may be “urgent” isn’t always what is most important. The demands in life from work, family, and pleasures are secondary to our relationship with God. When we delegate Him down the list in order to prioritize our own agenda, we will miss out on what truly matters in the long run- our relationship with God.
It is dangerous to think we are fine in our faith when in fact, we aren’t. The guests invited to the banquet had no idea what they were risking with their excuses. They thought their personal priorities wouldn’t be a significant issue but they were according to Christ. Jesus indicates it was far more important than just missing a good meal. It was offensive to the host and therefore would carry unforeseen consequences.
The guests would have benefitted by the attitude of FOMO common today. Indeed, we would benefit by it if it were about the right things. Why is it that we have a fear of missing out when it comes to worldly pursuits but not Godly matters? How often are we considering what we may be missing by not drawing closer to God?
The Greatest Invitation and The Greater Opportunity
The devil has successfully distracted us too many times with the fleeting, superficial priorities of today while at the expense of more weighty, eternal matters. When we consider the wonder of a Holy, Loving God inviting us into His family, it is glorious! How magnificent that we would be allowed into His Kingdom much less into His presence! If we think an American actress becoming a royal was highly unlikely and impressive, what about this?!
So the invitation itself is miraculous and even more so as we consider the privilege of drawing near to our Creator!
Whenever I read through the Bible, as I make my way through the latter part of the Old Testament, I find myself overwhelmed at how such a High and Holy God would basically plead with His people to be loved in return. Reading from the prophets, I hear the humility in the voice of God as He tries to reason with a stubborn people. He has rescued and redeemed countless times, extended His love profoundly, forgiven them continuously, yet they still stiff-arm Him.
Had He not done enough? What more could He do in order to be loved in return? To be respected and valued?
This is what goes through my mind when I have made my excuses to God. There have been plenty of times I stiff-armed Him as well.
No, not today God, I’m busy. Not now, I have other things I want to do. I need my sleep. I have kids to raise and bills to pay. There are fun activities I want to enjoy. I’ll get to You later………
Readjusting Our Values
If we only knew all that God had in store for us maybe we wouldn’t be so careless with our priorities. Then we could use FOMO with Godly matters instead of worldly ones and be perfectly positioned to reap the blessings. We wouldn’t be living life discontented or on the fast track of trying to keep up with what our friends on social media are doing. Our lives would be rich from the acceptance of time with God through personal devotions each day and commitment to a local church.
By fearing what we could be missing in our faith, we will actually be better positioned to live in the fullness God offers each of us. He offers ALL of Himself so let’s not be the ones willing to take less than that. No excuse is worth missing God’s best!