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Do you ever wonder how to make God a priority? Do you ever feel like your relationship with God takes permanent residence on the back burner of your life?
The early seasons of The Office, a sitcom based on typical office dynamics, are a great picture of what life feels like before encountering a deep relationship with Jesus; everything looks drab, lifeless, and boring. You watch the employees express their feelings of discontent, and see the hopelessness on their faces as they move about their everyday tasks just waiting for the clock to hit 5pm. They desire more to life (even a different office) but they don’t how to get there.
Do you ever feel stuck when it comes to your relationship with God? You want to want more of Jesus but life just seems to be getting in the way?
Your time with him can consist of scattered prayers, hit or miss devotions, or primarily when you make it to a Sunday morning service. You might hear an uplifting sermon, or the worship really seems to resonate, and your heart is stirred with a desire for more. However, the wet blanket reality of Monday morning falls and all thoughts of the divine fly out the window. A deep life with God can feel like a dream, but not a pressing priority when you have kids to feed, dirty jerseys to wash, and projects at work hanging over your head.
When you finally grab a moment for yourself, the last thing you want to do is crack open your current devotional because it can feel like more work.
You feel guilty, discontented, and stuck. So how do you live a vibrant, exciting, life with God?
How to Increase Your Desire For God
2. How to Create Elbow Room
3. How to Live Life In Community
1. How to Increase Your Desire For God
Seriously, the Holy Spirit is your best friend when it comes to making God a priority in your life (actually, everything ) making God a priority in your life. As we journey down the road towards deeper intimacy with the Father, we have no clue what we truly need. NONE. ZIP. NADDA. We might think we do but we really don’t.
You see the beautiful thing about a relationship with the Holy Spirit is that he has our best interests at heart. He knows our innermost selves, the part that we don’t even fully understand, and if we work with him, he will so graciously lead us by the hand into deeper intimacy with the God.
The fact is we can’t self-help our way into a deeper relationship with God. Inner transformation is 100% the Holy Spirit’s job (trust me, we don’t want it).
What we are responsible for is actively participating in what the Holy Spirit is already doing in our lives.
So how do we make God a priority in our life? First, by asking the Holy Spirit for an increased desire for God.
Every morning, start the day with this simple prayer, “Father, increase my hunger for you today. Let me desire you above all things.”
Seriously, it all begins with prayer. Prayer is an active participation in what the Holy Spirit is doing in your life. When we ask, he is faithful to answer.
2. Create Elbow Room
If we want to experience freedom, peace, and the lavish, unconditional love of God, we need to create some elbow room for the Holy Spirit to work. If we look at our lives, there is so much noise, it’s no wonder we feel like we can’t hear God’s voice, we barely can hear our own.
I love how Dallas Willard put it, when he said, “You Must consider why you have no time to spend with the Father.”
This is not meant to be a shame-based question but a time of exploration. What things fill up your days?
Choosing to make that intentional decision every day to take ten to twenty minutes and spend it with God is where a deeper intimacy with him develops. You get a taste for the over the top love and acceptance of the Father and instead of trying to remember to spend time with God, you want to include him in every facet of your day.
This quote from C.S. Lewis really encapsulates this idea, “It’s funny how day by day nothing changes but when you look back everything is different.”
A life-changing, deep relationship with God all starts with a simple choice every day. To say yes to spending time with God, even when it feels like nothing is happening or it’s a waste of time.
It’s amazing that when you ask the Holy Spirit for a deeper desire for more of God, it actually happens. And it gets easier to make space each day to spend time with God.
3. Live Life Together In Community
Life with God is designed to happen not in isolation, but in community with others. I cannot stress this enough, you need to have authentic relationships with other Christians who are going for it in their relationships with Jesus.
Ruth Haley Barton talks about the power of life in community this way, “The purpose of journeying together in spiritual friendship and spiritual community (whether there are just two of you or whether you are in a small group) is to listen to one another’s desire for God, to nurture that desire in each other and to support one another in seeking a way of life that is consistent with that desire.”
You need the support structure of a Christian community. You need Spiritual Friendships based on trust where you can be real.
There is a well-known story (with multiple variations), about a Sunday School, where the teacher asked the children this question, “What is brown, furry, has a big tail, and collects nuts for winter?” One boy piped up and said, “Well, it sounds like a squirrel, but I am going to go ahead and say, Jesus.”
We need a Spiritual Community where we feel safe to say the real thing, not the “right thing”. We can find this by regularly participating in a church community through services, small groups, serving others, and close spiritual friendships.
This foundation is not optional but CRITICAL to your overall growth and maturity as a Christian.
We need others to come alongside us and affirm what God is doing in our lives. When we develop relationships of trust and vulnerability it allows others to speak Gods truth into our lives. Spiritual Friendships encourage us to press on in pursuit of a love relationship with Jesus.
So how do you make God a priority in your life? Start off by daily asking for a deeper desire for him, create elbow room for the Holy Spirit to work, and live life together in community with others.
Wondering where to go from here? Here are some of my favorite resources to get started:
What about you? What is your #1 issue when it comes to creating elbow room for God in your life? Leave a comment, and don’t forget to follow Most Important Work on Pinterest!