For many Christians, going to church on Sundays feels like enough. I’m not pointing my finger, I’m speaking from past experience. And one thing I know about experiences is that we are never alone in them.
I came to know Jesus at a young age and while I have spent most of my life growing and maturing in my faith and deepening this relationship, I also spent some earlier seasons of life wanting to live my own way. I have been in and out of churches, in and out of prayer, and in and out of my Bible.
There is a richness that comes from knowing God when you actually spend time with Him and seek to become more like Jesus. We do this by reading and studying scripture, praying, worshiping and praising Him, and by allowing the Holy Spirit to sanctify us. Being a Christian is far more than just declaring yourself a Christian. It is beyond a simple belief that God exists. It is beyond showing up to church every Sunday. It is beyond choosing a final destination. It is an ongoing, conscious relationship with Jesus that we must invest in daily.
- How can we live a life that He has called us to when we don’t know what He is asking us to do?
- How can we trust that He is faithful when we don’t know what He has done for those who have walked before us?
- How can we talk about Jesus when we don’t really know much about Him?
- How can we hold on to His truths and promises during our trials when we can’t recall them or don’t even look for them?
- How can we feel His peace or know which step He is asking us to take when we aren’t in open communication with Him?
- How can we defeat the enemy’s lies if we don’t even know it is possible?
- How can we be in a relationship with the One who, for your sake and mine, was denied, mocked, and tortured and then nailed to a cross to suffer and die, without giving Him praise every single day for loving us enough to willingly make that sacrifice?
Would you expect to develop, grow, and deepen a friendship, relationship, or marriage with someone you don’t spend much time with? The blessings of a genuine relationship with Jesus are bountiful.
God’s Word is full of riches that you may not even realize you need! Prayer is full of new perspectives you may not even realize you’re looking for! Praising and worshiping our Lord brings a peace you may not even realize is obtainable!
Spending time with God cannot and should not be an afterthought. We should be devoted to this time. Call it quiet time or whatever you want, but schedule it in, plan for it, and commit to it.
I understand the struggle with this. The enemy wants to make spending time with God feel like a burden. We all have hectic lives and live in a culture where being busy is encouraged and even celebrated. Sometimes we even feel like if we aren’t busy, we must be missing out on a grand opportunity somewhere!
Do not let the enemy use your busyness as a foothold to keep you from growing in your faith!
I’m not perfect and while I give it my best effort to wake before my children so I can spend that time uninterrupted, my children seem to wake earlier and earlier or I give in to my human desires of staying warm in my bed, wanting to sleep for 5 more minutes that often turns into 30 more minutes.
So what does committing to this time look like in reality? Taking time first thing in the morning to both pray and read my Bible allows me to center my heart and my thoughts on Jesus, by meditating on God’s word, and sets a tone for the remainder of my day.
Sometimes this looks like praying and reading my Bible while my kids eat breakfast with the TV on and still getting interrupted. It looks like listening to worship music on Pandora as I’m getting ready for the day and giving God praise for what He has done.
It looks like praying in my car on the way to anywhere – especially when my kids are with me. There’s no surprise to them when I say, “We need to pray!” Train them up. Teach them. Include them.
Sometimes it looks like reading my Bible app while waiting in the doctor’s office or on my lunch break at work. It looks like continued prayer throughout the day, even just short whispers of praise or asking the Holy Spirit for discernment or courage. It looks like closing the day in prayer with my children and again with my husband.
Any time committed to God is worth it. Try praying before you even crack open your Bible. Ask God to open your heart and your eyes to fully soak in everything He has for you in His Word. Ask the Holy Spirit to lead you in reading, maybe to guide you to specific scripture or a story that can speak truth and hope into your season of life. Ask Him to give you wisdom and understanding.
Whatever you read, think back on it throughout your day, really trying to store it in your heart.
God knows your heart so don’t beat yourself up if you don’t get it right every day. But try going a little further and digging a little deeper.