The easy conclusion is that today, more than ever, online and television content is toxic, overwhelming, insincere, profit-centric, and unchristian. That would be the easy conclusion, but an honest insight into all things of this world will show otherwise. The things that aren’t of God have never been of God. Even though God is sovereign over all things, many individuals in this world are in open rebellion against Him. However, this isn’t and shouldn’t be news to those in the Kingdom, for the world has been at war with the Lord for a very long time.
There are times when the soul needs respite that can only be sought by disconnecting from our daily routines, routines centered on worldly affairs. If someone is an avid listener of podcasts or the news, then the evils and struggles of the world can at times become heavy weights chained to our hearts. There is a point where the evil of the world, and the open ongoing rebellion against God, is simply exhausting. It is then that God calls his children to not just unplug from the world, but to plug into that which is holy and gives life.
Take the television series of Game of Thrones and Ballers, both on HBO and recently starting new summer seasons. As Christians, the content of these shows, which is often very graphic and mature in nature, isn’t forbidden to us, but we are to consume it with wisdom and discernment. The Christian needs to be in constant search for discernment in all walks of life, but especially with content that we have assumed as part of our routine and everyday life. Often, the daily and weekly habits that we adopt and take for granted are the ones that most easily become idols and daggers aimed directly at our hearts. Therefore, constant discernment and communication with the Holy Spirit is essential in finding a proper balance between what is routine in life and when the proper season arises to disconnect and to let our souls rest in what is life-giving.
As a personal example, I deleted the podcasts application on my iPhone yesterday. At first, it took me a few minutes to go through with it. My fear was, “well, if I delete this, how will I keep up with worldwide news? How will I remain ‘in-the-know’ of what’s happening?” And yet, the moment those questions crossed my mind, that’s when I knew that I had to delete the application. The constant obsession with keeping up with podcasts had been making me anxious for a few weeks, feeling I couldn’t catch up, and I needed to spend hours upon hours going through content. But no, that is no way to live. I felt the Spirit drive to delete the application, and immediately I felt freedom surge within me. That application had become a chain tied around my neck, but no longer.
Walking in the freedom of Christ can take many forms and impacts many areas of daily and weekly life. Knowing when to delete that application, or stop watching that TV show, or not staying up late every night is part of such freedom. The Holy Spirit empowers the believer with discernment to know when to resist the everyday things, and with the freedom to transform our disciplines when a season of rest and recharge is upon us.
The Book of Joel, chapter 2, verse 11 says: “The LORD utters his voice before his army, for his camp is exceedingly great; he who executes his word is powerful. For the day of the LORD is great and very awesome; who can endure it?” Investing time reading and diving into the Word of God is not only essential to the Christian, but also necessary in knowing when to step away from certain routines of this world. Remember that your God is a mighty LORD and his army is exceedingly great. Don’t even let yourself be in bondage to anything in this world, but call upon the LORD and he will chatter those chains.