Instant Gratification

I like instant gratification.  I’ve become accustomed to it, living in the world I do.

When I moved in junior high and again in high school, I lost touch with all my friends because communication required a long-distance phone call (pricey!) or writing a letter (who had time?).  Now, I can communicate with my friends back in WV instantaneously through text.

When I get bored, it’s easy to turn on the television and find a show to entertain me.  I grew up without cable yet now, I have approximately a million channels.  Can’t find anything on those million channels (I often feel this way)?  Let me check Netflix.  Let me check Amazon Prime.

Need to know what’s going on in the world, or in other people’s lives?  Just get on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.  Fast news!  Fast peeks into the lives of other people!

Lately, I have been hearing a common theme amongst my Christian friends.  In one way or another, we are all struggling in our relationships with God.  Whether it be a lack of motivation, feeling under attack from the enemy, or simply prioritizing other things in our lives, this underlying theme remains the same.  We are struggling.  We feel like we are failing.

Most days I spend time talking with God.  I read my Bible, I study God’s Word, and  journal.  I pray.  Most days.  Other days, I fall short.  I go through periods of time when I have to force myself to fix my eyes on Jesus when my daughter naps, because I would like nothing more than to lay on my couch and watch TV or read a book.  But, I know THIS is the ideal time for me to spend with God and to journal.  So I trudge through.  In the past, I’ve gone days without spending time with God or prioritizing Him and given into the selfish desires to just rest.  I’m human, and I expect that despite my best intentions right now, I will in the future go through a period like this again.  A period where I just give in and set aside God.

The world promoting instant gratification is affecting our relationships with God.  With God, there isn’t always going to be an instant response.  There won’t always be an instant feeling of peace and comfort.  We will go through periods wondering if He’s even still there and listening to us.  We have no patience; we don’t know how to wait on Him.  So, slowly, we push Him aside.  For me, it happens when I tell myself it’s okay to skip reading the Bible or praying while Caitlin naps.  Just watch your show, it’s this one time.  And then, if I’m not careful, it snowballs.  Or maybe I’ve been trying to control a situation; I don’t have time to wait on God to smooth it all out, so I take control.  It’s okay, though…it’s just one time.  And then it snowballs.  Maybe you can see this in your life.

You know what is so awesome about our God?  He knows us.  He knows what’s in our heart.  He knows what we are going to do a week from now, a year from now, a decade from now… He sees our path.  He forgives us for losing sight of Him, and He will NEVER lose sight of us.

If you are experiencing a time in your life like this, I invite you to give it to God.  Tell Him what’s on your heart – He already knows anyway.  Be honest.  Tell Him you are struggling to prioritize Him.  Tell Him you are having a hard time not just checking a box when you do read the Bible.  Tell Him you need help.  Repent.  Pray.  And trudge through.  Keep reading your Bible, even if your heart isn’t in it.  Keep praying, even if you’d rather take control.  Keep prioritizing Him, even when you’d rather watch TV or attend to the thousand other tasks that this world allows and asks of you.  Every day, start off with this prayer: “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10).  God will respond;  He will work in your heart.  It may not be today, it may not be tomorrow.  But keep praying, keep looking to Him, and He WILL respond.  And those moments of clarity, those precious gifts from God, are so worth the wait.

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