my new iPhone and God’s tech

Psalm 141:2 ~ May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.
Romans 12:2 ~ Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

1-DSC_0372Friday morning I acquired a sleek new iPhone. Not cutting edge or the latest-and-greatest – I never do that. I always replace my phone with something that has been out at least a couple of years. I don’t need to pay for technology I’ll likely not use; besides, it’s an upgrade for me so the wow-factor is most definitely still there.

My (late) iPhone 5 had been on its last legs for a while. Slow, overburdened with software upgrades it can’t handle, temperamental, turning itself off with no warning. Thursday the device cut out on my way to a doctor’s appointment for my dad. No map, no GPS, 22 miles to an unknown part of Raleigh, no address other than on the dead phone, and no way of calling to ask directions. Fortunately I had glanced at the map when I got the office location off my computer so I tried to visualize the flash memory as a heads-up display. Unbelievably – with some trial and error – we made it just on time.

To be honest, I think my iPhone has become an extension of my brain. It’s like I’m part android and my phone is more implant than peripheral device. So I was glad to find I still have the sense of direction and fundamental navigating skills to find my way around when disconnected.

Rely on God:

1-DSC_0374What I need to do more of is to trust the Holy Spirit like I trust my phone. God is far more typically an add-on device for me than implanted directly into my heart and soul. I don’t automatically reach out to God like I reach for my tech and I undersatnd that has got to change.

In many respects I still operate on the “Faith 1.0” system I first adopted as a teen. Meanwhile I have gone through many iterations of phone and operating platforms. This morning Apple recomends updating to iOS 11.4.

Prayer provides a huge piece of the puzzle when it comes to keeping faith updated, downloaded, and accessible. Add to that Bible study, regular worship, and the men’s groups I’m involved in.

It’s all good, but my God life needs to become more reflexive, more autonomic, more built in.

Simply put, God loves me and intends to permeate my entire being with love and light and purpose. Jesus put it succinctly in the garden: “Not my will, Father, but yours,” he said. “Not what I desire but what you desire. May what you want be done. I want your will, not mine” (Matthew 26:39, various translations).

The Holy Spirit is God’s tech. Faithfulness must be my only response.

Prayer: “Use us, Lord God, as instruments of your peace, conduits of your light, and vehicles of your purpose. Amen.”




derekmaul View All →

Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at, and there’s always something new in the works.

Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.

Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.

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