On Wednesday July 6th 2016 at 11.59am, I deleted my WhatsApp account. I was an addict once but I overcame that by disabling WhatsApp notifications from the Apps Menu. I never used to get any WhatsApp notifications so I dictated when to read the messages that cramped up the interface.
WhatsApp is an addictive social platform. Blue ticks will make you anticipate another reply depriving yourself of sleep and convincing yourself that that was the last text you are sending for the day. Even when you choose that it doesn’t control you, sometimes you would find yourself lazily rushing through that prayer in the morning to check on the latest conversations. You would rush to read the texts that streamed in when you dozed off last night.
A while back I deleted my Instagram account and all my photos on Facebook. I thought, ‘If indeed I am a Christian and I am meant to inspire, am I just doing that on air but off air am just like any other pathetic hypocrite who preaches water and drinks wine? ‘ I chose to minister through my platforms. Previously, numbers counted. The following I got from people really mattered, the hits from my blog really impressed me and the flashy photos crowned my life, showing off what I was made of, not another cheap weakling.
I once asked myself, ‘Why do I show off only the happy times but I cannot share my turbulent and darkest times? Why is it all about my happiness, my joy, places I have visited, clothes I wear, hangouts I have? Isn’t all this fake as deep down I know this is not the case? Why does it have to be all about me anyway?’ My answer was simple, ‘Be real. You call yourself a Christian but it is all about you not Him. Will it hurt using this platform for good?’ This is how I ended up using my Facebook and WhatsApp for ministry – writing one or two poems a day to inspire, give hope and motivate.
In a series #HeartofWorship done at Kkrew Bible Study, Pastor Elizabeth Akinyi spoke of how she spent time singing for God and being the all time awesome worship leader but sadly she had not spent time with God. She had last opened the Bible months ago, it was quite a while since she took her time off to worship and get closer to God. Does that mean I might be a good writer who has never spent time with God? Who has never read the scripture but moves hearts? Yes. Does that mean that I maybe that powerful minister who has never read the word for years but delivers an awesome sermon? Yes. God’s gifts are irrevocable, this means that even if I don’t read nor spend time with Him I would still sing and bring people to God and I would still minister and bring people to salvation. But… There is a big downside to that.
I started ministering on WhatsApp a while back. I would write a poem, post it on several Facebook groups and pages and on various WhatsApp groups and personal accounts. It wasn’t easy. It required discipline and dedication. People loved them. As a result I got so many congratulatory messages both on email and WhatsApp. People loved my work and would praise me for how gifted I was and how I took time to inspire the broken hearted. In all these I would tell them that #ItsJesus and it was all for His glory. What you do, no matter how good and beneficial to others should be done with moderation and with God. One can be obsessed with whatever they do and it becomes entertainment or a centre for praise. You will in turn work for your own glory crediting yourself for everything.
Compliments were many and they were now flowing daily from 99% of strangers. People would tell me of how they read a post of mine that changed their lives and how talented I am. They would encourage me to keep writing and ask themselves why they never found my blog sooner. It was then that I spotted an unusual scene. I realized that in some English Worship videos, the instrumentalists stop playing and get into deep worship. They would leave those wooden stringed boxes and really pray as the service was in session. They would quit playing those dead man-made drums to go before God because they themselves are the living instruments, living sacrifices. It hit me that worship is not a presentation. I noticed that my writing is not a presentation of my art. It is worship in itself and that means I should leave the quill and parchment and get into worship. I should leave the art for a while and present myself as a living sacrifice.
I knew for sure that I should spend time with Him and that includes removing anything that distracts as I find Him. All idols (Things I spend much time in. Things that make me say I will read that book later or skip those long devotions) e.g. My WhatsApp should be phased out. A book, Knowledge of the Holy by A.W. Tozer defines idolatry as the entertainment of thoughts about God that are unworthy about Him. He says that ‘Let us beware lest we in our pride accept the erroneous notion that idolatry consists only in kneeling before visible objects of adoration, and that civilized peoples are therefore free from it.’
I am the civilized person who doesn’t bow over objects made to be like God but why does my WhatsApp command me, ‘Hey, you have a text, read it now!’ Why does it pop even in my Bible study sessions to give me a snippet of an interesting text in a way of telling me, ‘Don’t worry I won’t take much of your time, you can always read that Bible later.’ Am I more civilized or more dumb. Actually being more civilized is willingly CHOOSING to bow over that God-like object rather than let a god masquerading as an important tool of communication unwillingly enslave you into procrastinating on spending time with your REAL God. If I may ask, what hurts most when losing your phone these days? Is it the bookmarks you saved on your Bible? Is it the many devotionals that were stored in your WhatsApp? Or is it the fancy images, the contacts, the messages and the sweet apps? Is the conversation not as, ‘It is sad am not on WhatsApp, but I will acquire a phone soon?’
I believe every Christian should take time to get close to God. Break off that normal routine for Christ’s sake. Do not play that Piano that Sunday and let yourself loose to God. Don’t lead that day and take time to spend with Him. I thought, ‘I am leaving WhatsApp, what about the people I inspire?’ A thought would always come, ‘Now who will handle the piano?’ ‘Who is fit enough to lead?’ Trust me God knows what He is worthy of even before you feel so precious and special that you are the only fit person to do so. What if you fell ill?
Am off WhatsApp because am phasing out what comes before God. Not minding that I was too talented to share my art through the platform. God can always raise another more talented person just as He said, ‘These stones will sing for me.’