I call myself an internet rat, because I do a lot of things online. I must say that the internet is many things; it can be distracting, disturbing, educating, inspiring, and many more. The internet can make or mar you, as little as it may seem, and it’s funny how time flies so quick while you have your eyes glued to your screen. You keep scrolling down your screen and flipping through tabs and different applications; you decide to take a glance at your time and you discover an hour or two is gone. Oops!
The internet is great, and I really can’t imagine my life without it. I’m grateful for technology and the amazing things it has opened every one of us to. My question now is: do you know there is a life outside the internet? Oh! Obviously, there is. This shouldn’t take you by surprise, but there are a lot of people who seem to forget there is a real life outside the walls of social media or locking your eyes on the screen all night, either it is being productive or not. I like to think that I am quite chatty and I will rather talk with you over the cyber, than sit with you and talk for long hours, especially if we aren’t close friends. But then, I also like to remind myself sometimes that there are real people around me and there are things to do to groom myself into someone better, rather than admiring a Facebook or Instagram fan, of which I don’t even know how the person lives outside the internet.
What happens when you turn off your internet connection? For me, it’s like shutting down a world, and flipping to another. You shouldn’t be so glued to the internet that you forget you have a life, the life God has placed into your hands and you will have to account for, according to Romans 14:12 “So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God”. I’m not saying you aren’t living a life by being glued to the internet, but then, there are a lot of things to do offline that you will never be able to do online.
It is very easy to shut God down or silence him or keep him on hold, just to respond to that WhatsApp message, or to scroll through your Facebook news feed one more time. It is easy to wake up in the morning, and pick up your phone to do one or two things on the internet, without telling God a hi, let alone say a word of prayer. It is easy to shut your alarm reminding you to pray, all because you are stuck with your Instagram newsfeed, and oh! It won’t hurt to steal 5 more minutes from your praying time, right? It may even escalate to 10 minutes, or till whenever you decide to have His time.
Listen to this, you don’t give God a spare time. You aren’t lending him your time, it should be sacrificial instead.
“I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world but be ye transformed by the renewal of your mind, that ye may prove what is good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” Romans 12: 1-2.
You probably haven’t fully understood what those two verses means. You shouldn’t only present yourself as a sacrifice, but a sacrifice that is acceptable. Lending God your spare time, like you are doing him a favour by praying to him, isn’t a sacrifice. Not the kind of acceptable sacrifice God wants. God loves diligence; the people he used in the bible were diligent, and that was one of the criteria God needs (Proverbs 22:29). You shouldn’t also be conformed to the world and let go your grip of God.
If the internet makes you floppy about the things of God, you need to check yourself and be sure of where you are standing.
To live an active and imparting offline life, it is important that you are diligent, and that you also remember Psalms 2: 11
serve the lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling.
Philippians 2:12 echoes it better
wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
Jesus does not have to be here before you can serve him as you are expected to, because I am very sure if he were physically with you at the time your alarm rings for you to pray, you won’t dare ignore it and focus on the Internet. Those two bible verses explain that while you serve the lord and rejoice, you should keep these two things “fear and trembling” somewhere in your mind. I want to believe you know how deep and powerful those words are, and God is mighty that he deserves the fear and trembling.
This isn’t a difficult thing to do like many people think. Pick up your notepad, either digital or manual (pen and paper), and write out things you are to do at a time. This can be a daily thing, or you even have a template to run your everyday life. If there’s nothing to do, you need start thinking of having a vision; something that will keep you going in life, that when you wake each day, you just want to think of how to succeed in it.
Proverbs 29:18 says
where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.
Another interesting part of the bible is Habakkuk 2:2-3
and the lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon the tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is but for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.
When you have everything on your notepad, you can appoint time to everything you engage in. For example, you can appoint 6pm as the time you will write that pending article or the time when you will turn off your internet connection for the day and focus on other things. Discipline is very important, because if you are not careful, you will end up not yielding fruits. God does not like you being fruitless too.
Mathew 3:10 and now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore, every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire”.
Everything being said, you need to create time for God. The internet is great but God needs a fellowship with you, and he wants to see your relationship with him grow. Groom yourself spiritually and reach out to as many lives as you can.