I get questions all the time for tips about starting a blog, how to use Instagram as a tool for ministry, and overall how to glorify God with Instagram. The truth is, it’s not always easy or fun. We are living in this world that hates what we have to say (John 15:18). And everyone on the interest, is subjected to their own opinion.
You desire to encourage people, remind them of their identity in Christ, and to talk about the passions that the Lord has placed on your heart, but how?
Here are some tangible steps for that:
Don’t try to preach a message you haven’t learned yourself.
God doesn’t want you to be a hypocrite. He doesn’t want you to speak on something you are doing the opposite of or have not experienced yourself. Of course there are exceptions with certain topics but overall, don’t talk about topics that you are secretly still struggling with. For example, I would not post about receiving comfort from the Lord only when in reality, I am going to guys for my comfort and affirmation. On the other realistic side, I received a DM the other day to post writing to seniors in college! I haven’t been there since I am still in my early years of college so I really can’t write about it. Only write about topics that the Lord has brought you through so you can write it with genuineness.
2. Post what God has put on YOUR heart, not for other people.
This is something that is hard for a lot of people (me including) because you wanna write about what is trending and what is applicable for people, but the reality is that yours will be just another opinion. Of course the Lord will use it, but that doesn’t mean we should just always choose our own way. When you have something on your heart to talk about, that’s usually the Holy Spirit. Those messages and posts are 100% more impactful than what is trending. The fruit you will bear from obedience rather than posting what everyone else is doing will be so much sweeter.
For example, about a year I started to open up on Instagram about my previous struggle with Pornography and Masturbation. I did not want to share it AT ALL. But I KNEW that the Lord so clearly was saying I needed to start the conversation and open myself up for others to receive freedom. I shared it despite all my fears and doubts, it was sweet. It has been sweet sweet fruit. Hearing stories of freedom and girls confessing about it to their loved ones for the first time because they read what I wrote. That is powerful. When the Holy Spirit pushes you to talk about a topic that isn’t “normal” or fully accepted by the world, that is when you get to see Him go with you in the process of doing something brave.
3. Guarding your heart.
Especially after point 2, this one is incredibly important. If you have followed me even for a few days, you know I am pretty vulnerable with what I talk about. This is only because I have learned that I NEED to guard my heart with each post and be covered in prayer with topics I talk about. When you are sharing your thoughts (especially when they are passions the Lord placed on your heart) the enemy is going to try and attack that. He is going to try to make you feel like it was a mistake, nobody read it/ nobody was impacted by it, you are a bad writer/you aren’t a good enough writer, you aren’t impacting anyone, and so many more lies. When you have a topic on your heart from the Lord, you need to walk it out with confidence. Therefore, you need to protect it and steward it wisely. This means pray before or after for your heart to be comforted and affirmed by the Lord. To not allow any type of comments from people to get to you, and to stand firm in what the Lord has said.
4. Set boundaries for yourself.
The enemy only has power over you when you allow him to (Ephesians 6:11, James 4:7). I have a whole blog post on this and what some of my boundaries are with Instagram. Here is the link:
But what I will say to you, be selfish in your pursuit after the Lord’s heart. Meaning, do whatever it takes to guard your heart. Do whatever it takes to protect your ministry. Of course, don’t hurt anyone’s feelings and still walk in honor/respect of others. A few months ago, the Lord had invited me into a deeper level of boundaries. To unfollow most of the guys I followed on Instagram. I messaged a few to let them know why I was unfollowing them and affirming them it was not personal, but just being obedient to the Lord. Well, some took it so great and some took it bad. They got angry and didn’t understand. But that isn’t my issue. Now, I only follow maybe 3 or 4 guys on Instagram (only men who directly point me back to the Father) and it has eliminated so much temptation I didn’t even realize was a problem. So be obedient to the Lord and don’t be a slave to what others may think.
Last, but MOST important...
5. Cultivate your own secret place with the Lord.
I have gone through seasons without realizing, but I was only spending time with the Lord so I would be able to have content for my posts. This is incredibly bad because I was pouring out so much and not receiving anything for me. I was soon very drained and became really discouraged. I wasn’t writing or speaking from a place of overflow (Proverbs 2:1-11, Matthew 12:22-45, Genesis 32:1-33:20). This is where the most powerful “content” comes from. Personal revelation from the Lord, from scripture, from quiet time with just Jesus. A boundary that I have for myself is that I need to spend time with the Lord first before posting anything on Instagram. This has helped me so much and would encourage every single one of you to try this out!
Of course, there is so much more I can say about this topic, but try these things out first and see how the Lord ministers to your heart. Take these to Jesus and wrestle through your flesh’s desires to see what He desires.