I try to stay current (well, somewhat current) and I’m learning to snapchat. As many of you know, this is an app that allows you to send pictures of yourself or your surroundings sometimes with text included to your snap chat “friends” as a way to stay in touch. The images can be viewed for just a short while before they go away. And although this can be a dangerous application for anyone to use (as we all know images never really go away), I think it’s here to stay as a form of communication for our teens so I’m trying to learn as much as I can.
There are really only 2 people I snapchat and the main reason I’m adding this little (fairly stupid) activity to my day is to have another connection with my daughter (and perhaps provide a little oversight). I’ve also tried to connect with my son in this way, but sadly he’s opted out.
Once a day, she sends me a picture of herself (called a selfie) and then I send one to her. The more days we participate in this repeated back and forth; we develop this important snapchat phenomenon called a “streak”. And when you have a streak going, a heart develops next to the relationship. Apparently I stink at this part of the snapchat game. Some days I get a little busy with life and forget to snapchat back. My daughter has become so frustrated with me as we continually have to restart our streaks.
In any relationship a consistent connection is vital. And that’s just as true of our relationship with the Lord. We need that daily connection through time spent in prayer, in Bible study, and in worship for that relationship to grow and flourish.
“I am the vine. You are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit. Apart from me, you can do nothing.” ~ John 15:5
And as much as I’d like to see a heart by my relationship status with the Lord, some days it can seem really tough to develop a consistent streak. The chaos and distractions of life, the strong desire for a little more sleep, the lack of motivation to spend more time in the Word (it really can be hard to understand), or perhaps the times we don’t want to meet Him in prayer because we don’t know what to say or we just don’t want to face Him with our sin can all interfere with maintaining and growing our loving relationship with our Lord. Or perhaps like me, you might be a little fearful that the more you know Him, the more He’ll ask of you, and you’d really like to just coast in this life.
We all know there is no coasting. We will all face struggles in this life and we need the Lord there with us every step of the way. There really is no greater joy in this life than what He calls us to. And He’ll always equip us and prepare us for what’s ahead.
And although the Bible can be difficult to understand, I’m always amazed at how the Lord can speak to my heart through scripture. That he can use His words written so long ago to address exactly what I need in the here and now. And how even reading the same scripture at different times, can affect how you receive it. The Holy Spirit is incredible and can really help us to have a better understanding of scripture as we read. And my consistent prayer is that the Lord would give me a life long passion for spending time with him, for better understanding His word, and for sharing it with others. Perhaps it’s your prayer too!
And that whole guilt deal that keeps us away from the Lord, we have to stop it! He so desires for us to confess our sins (I mean it isn’t like He doesn’t already know), He is ready to forgive us, and then we can quit letting it overwhelm and overshadow our lives. And just like the Holy Spirit can help us understand the Bible, He can also provide the words for our prayers when we don’t even know what to say.
“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.” ~ Romans 8:26
With snapchat and with our quiet time with the Lord, there is a word that defines the priority in which we place it in our lives. Intentionality. Find your place, schedule a time, decide ahead of time what you’ll be reading or studying, grab a notebook to take notes and right down prayers if you need to. Just figure out what works for you and do it. Oh, the powerful difference this can make in our lives!
My prayer is that we develop a consistent “streak” with our Lord. That we quit finding excuses or allowing the distractions of life to get in the way. And may our time spent with Him in prayer, in Bible study, and in worship deepen our relationship, develop our faith, and keep our focus centered on Him. It really will be the best streak of all.