There is a very, very fine line between feeling a clear calling on one’s life to share God’s heart with others, and the addiction to self-worship, the need to have approval from others, to have others agree with all you say and see spiritually. The weight of the burden that comes with such a calling can sometimes feel incredibly heavy, because at the core of that calling we have placed our need to be right above all else, instead of the exaltation of Jesus Christ. Jesus himself said come to me all of you who are weary for my yoke is easy and my burden light. Clearly when the calling to share God’s heart and what we see with spiritual eyes becomes so heavy that we are unable to operate, unless we feel the approval and support of those who matter to us, it is obvious that we have gone beyond our calling and begun operating on our own strength alone and for all the wrong reasons. What was meant to be a blessing and an honour becomes an addiction which will gradually but most definitely separate us from God one day at a time.
A blogosphere friend has recently challenged me deeply and painfully on this particular area, because in my zealousness and passion to share what I see and hear from the Holy Spirit, I am at risk of allowing into my heart the very religious spirit which I am so desperately trying to remove myself from. We all have blind spots which we are unaware of and I am blessed that God has placed someone in my life to bring this particular blind spot to my attention in a loving but resolute and direct manner. Satan will often seek to ruin us through our blind spots, and these areas are often the very ones we often confront others for failing at. Funny that, isn’t it?
God has been doing a pruning work in my character over these last few years, and months. There have been things in my life which I have had to change, comforts which I have had to eradicate, and yesterday I felt very much challenged to deactivate my twitter account permanently. The thing is that months ago I would not have been able to contemplate doing that. I convinced myself that having a Twitter account was a good thing in my life, a wonderful source for learning about other people’s ministries and missionary work, a great source of encouragement and inspiration, a source to study the word of God in depth, and an incredible resource to hear the teachings from some of the most well-respected men and women in Christianity today. How could that be such a terrible thing, right? Since exchanging various communications with this friend, I have come to realise that actually it did matter to me how many people were following me on twitter. It did matter to me that people read my tweets. It did make me feel relevant that for a period of time Rick Warren followed my tweets. In short, I had become addicted to the approval of others and to the absolute need to have others validate what I say and write. Ouch! It hurts me in the stomach to even admit to that, but addictions are not overcome unless we acknowledge them first, and trust me when I say that thousands of Christians share this same addiction to social media today.
Have you ever thought about the fact that some of the most popular Christian people on Twitter to mention but one of the many social media tools, have on their “following” list thousands of people? And what can be the reason for that other than to draw attention to their own twitter accounts, to enlarge their own following? These are in many instances people with important ministries and a massive responsibility to The Church and ultimately to God, and yet by implication from the figures of people they follow which appear in their twitter pages, they must spend every second of the day catching up with the tweets of thousands of people. Clearly, it is not humanly possible to do so, and so the question remains for each and every one of us who use social media to share our faith: Is this tool the means I use to serve others and glorify Christ or am I serving and glorifying myself primarily? Can anybody else see how these powerful tools can become real and serious death traps that keep us from actually being active in the Harvest and truly instrumental to further the Kingdom of God? The question each person who invests a large part of their time in social media must ask themselves is: What is the cost of this addiction in my life?
How can one person go from an addiction to a social media tool to destroying the source of that addiction with one simple click of the mouse? GRACE AND GRACE ALONE, THAT IS ALL THAT IS NEEDED. The Holy Spirit convicted me yesterday through an email from a friend. It was not pretty, I am telling you. When I read that email, I was gutted and so angry that a person whom I trusted and loved as a friend could be so blunt, bold and frankly hurtful, BUT there is hurtful and there is HEARTFUL, and though my stomach was churning as I read that email, I knew in my spirit every single word was right, with a purpose and emanating from a deep love , a double-edged sword that cuts through bone and marrow in order to bring health to the spirit. I needed such a sword to sever a cancer in my life, and by the grace of God alone I am now free of so many things that threaten my walk with Christ. This is of course not to say that Twitter in itself is a sinful activity. What causes my spiritual life to come to ruin may be the very tool God is using to charge another person with a new responsibility in the kingdom or to “promote” them to a new level of ministry. The key is to be in tune with the Holy Spirit to such depth that we are not swayed so much by our need to always be loved, accepted and validated by others, but much more so rooted in what the word of God tells us is TRUTH, and what the Holy Spirit is speaking into our own life daily.
I am on a journey to become faceless, because facelessness is the only path to meekness, and meekness is the only way to walk alongside Christ. Watch the video below. John Paul Jackson explains it beautifully.