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Do you ever feel like a failure when it comes to your relationship with God? Your pastor, your friends, and your soul all tell you that daily time is crucial for your faith, but you just can’t seem to meet consistently with him.
You occasionally hear about the lives of great men of faith and something in you stirs, you long for deep intimacy with the Father, but that longing never seems to translate into real life. You plan to wake up early and spend time with God, and then you oversleep your alarm. You know waking up early will never happen so you plan on meeting with God after dinner, and then your spouse wants to take you out on a date.
Every day it seems like your grand intentions of spending time with Jesus are forced aside due to something. Your kid wakes up with a nightmare, your boss e-mails you with a question, your spouse is watching tv and you want to hang out, the mountains of laundry that need to be folded, and frankly, you are tired and you don’t want to do something you “should” do.
Good things are truly the enemy of great things. There will always be a thousand reasons, excuses, emergencies, and opportunities for you not to spend time with Jesus.
But what could your life look like if you spent time with Jesus every day? How would your heart transform? Your attitudes and your interactions with others?
C.S. Lewis, Billy Graham, Mother Theresa, Corrie Ten Boom, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer all started their walks with God where you are right now! It’s not too late to experience a deeper life with God.
2. Reordering Your Life Around Jesus
3. Tools for the Changing Seasons
1. The Foundation
Your father in heaven lavishly loves you regardless of whether or not you have gone three days without spending time with him. He is not a punitive God, ready to heap fire and brimstones on your head. His over the top love for you is not based on your performance. There is nothing you can do to make God love you any more or any less than he does right now.
Ephesians 3:17-19 says, “And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God.”
This love that is overflowing with grace is the foundation for your entire relationship with God. How can we go beyond a surface relationship with God? How can we experience a deeper life with God?
First, by taking some time to ask ourselves, why do you want to experience a deeper life with God? Do you feel resistance to having devotions? List those reasons (ex. It seems like a waste of time, nothing ever happens, there is so much to do, I mess up so much that God doesn’t want to spend time with me etc.) Really examine your heart and be real. Is it because you feel like you should spend time with Jesus because that’s what good Christians do? Or because you know it will be good for you? What is your reason?
There is no right answer. Your father in heaven has been pursuing you since the moment of your existence. Regardless of where you are talk to God about your resistance, your thoughts, and feelings, and ask for a deeper desire for him.
Do you know that every time you show up and are present that you bring joy to God? Every time you make the small choice to say yes to spending time with Jesus and no to something else (even good things) you fill his heart with joy.
2. Reordering Your Life Around Jesus
A couple of years ago I trained for a half marathon. When I decided to race, I knew it was going to take more than a goal and fancy running plan. I woke up every morning at 5am. I ran through blisters and cramps, I ran when it was the last thing I wanted to do, and I kept running when I was tired, hot, and discouraged. I ran for hours.
I reordered my life to accomplish my goal. It took sacrifices. I went to bed earlier, I had to say no to some social activities, and I watched what I ate. I was single-minded in the pursuit of my goal.
The key to success was that I didn’t just try and fit my runs around life, I rearranged my life to fit my running schedule.
This idea crosses over into our relationship with God. If you have a desire to go deeper in your relationship with God, wishing won’t get you there. To have an intimate relationship with God, you need to reorder your life around him. It doesn’t work to make a goal, create a fancy plan, and then try to fit it around your schedule. Other things will ALWAYS move you away from your goal.
It will take sacrifices. You might have to get up earlier, say no to a tv show, or time with your family. But know that these sacrifices will pay DIVIDENDS in the future. You will be a woman who is operating out of your identity as a beloved child of God and that simple fact will CHANGE everything. As you go deep in the love of God, that loves flows through you, and overflows on the people around you. Your simple act of faithfulness will transform your family and your life.
Are you reordering your life around Jesus?
3. Tools for the Changing Seasons
Do you feel like your time with God is boring and stale? Do you feel like you are not connecting with God? Rest assured, you are not defective or a bad Christian. As we transition into different life seasons, the ways we connect with God might need to change in order to fit where we are in that season. Being flexible by not getting locked into certain ways of meeting with God can help you connect with him in different ways and at deeper levels.
For instance, you have entered into a very busy season either with your kids or at work. You are spending a large majority of your day in the car driving. This would be a great opportunity to change it up and start listening to an audio version of the Bible.
Or you find yourself slogging through current devotional (which you LOVED two months ago) and not really connecting with anything other than how much it is NO LONGER working. This would be a great time to either try a different devotional or connect with God using art.
Here are some ideas for how you can figure out what might be a good tool for your current season.
- Ask God what are you inviting me into?
- Ask yourself, what am I feeling drawn towards? Is there a devotional that you can’t stop thinking about? Do you get excited about the idea of using art as a way to connect with God?
- Try out different tools until you find one that seems to be a good fit.
Don’t feel the need to finish something. If a tool is no longer meeting you where you are at (you are dreading you using it) put it down, it may really fit where you are in a future season.
Here are some resources that might be a good fit for your current season.
What about you? What is your #1 issue when it comes to living life with God? Leave a comment, and don’t forget to follow Most Important Work on Pinterest!