Daily disciplines are hard, at least when we first begin. Getting ourselves into a routine is often challenging because we fight back with our flesh that is tired, our minds that make excuses, and convince ourselves that tomorrow will be the difference. I think we all just need to chill out a bit and give ourselves a break. Jesus didn’t die for us to give us a life where we live in a perpetual cycle of defeat in our mind, but he calls us higher to renew our mind in him. We can get so performance based for so many different reasons that we miss the joy of living life that is right in front of us. We are constantly looking for better and faster means of productivity, but to what end.
Take Bible reading, a very helpful habit to get into so that we can keep our minds on the things of God and be transformed into Christ-likeness. But unfortunately we have come up with thousands of ways to read the Bible, plans to help us and different versions to help us understand. Again, we tend to loose our joy of knowing God in the process, because we are subconsciously performance based in our approach. We go to church, where we are encouraged to read our Bibles, but often times we aren’t encouraged to find creative ways of spending time with God. So we end up trying to read our of obligation, possibly transformation, but we leave feeling guilt ridden if we didn’t come away from it with a take away. We turn it into a pragmatic practice instead of an invitation to meet with God. Even with great tools at our fingertips such as YouVersion, (which I love, and used this morning), we can quickly feel overwhelmed and defeated in our minds when we survey all the different options and reading plans to choose from. Add to that the notifications that share what your friends are reading and have completed. I know it all sounds petty, but I bet that even if you don’t admit this, you’ve been there in your mind too, it’s just part of what we do as humans.
So how do we slow down and meet with God in His Word so that we can truly have transformed minds and live? Well, I think the answer is that it is different for all of us. So step one, is stop comparing your efforts to everyone else around you. Now, I’m all for Bible studies that bring us together for fellowship and gaining different perspectives from one another, but we also need to find a daily rhythm with God that works for us personally; after all this is a personal relationship with Jesus that we have often times confessed, so let’s make it that; not closing ourselves away from learning from others but just as no two human relationships are the same, neither is anyone’s spiritual relationship with Jesus.
I am even doing this when I write. Trying not to say, “you should..” As some type of authority on what your relationship is suppose to look like with Jesus, but to encourage all of us to take a deep breath and ask Jesus to guide us into understanding how he wants to teach us.
So what are some ways to form a daily habit of spending time with God? I know your going to want me to spell this out, or give you some neatly defined steps, but it doesn’t work that way. Habits are good, but only if they align with your greater values. So let me start by asking you “why do you want to carve out any of your precious time to spend it on Jesus? I know that seems like an obvious questing again, but if you will dig deeper you will come to find if you really want to be transformed or not. Again, seems obvious, but the way of living for Jesus, as I shared yesterday in my post is not a nicely laid out plan; it will take you on an adventure where you have to continually choose to place your trust in Him, because he will lead you to many new and interesting places that you weren’t planning on.
So first, get real with yourself and God, and make sure that you are showing up for the right reasons.
Second, do you really want to know Him. I know, it’s super obvious again, but dig deeper. Do you want to spend time in God’s word to check it off for the day, patting yourself on the back, or do you want to live out the grace that He gives, by finding your own rhythm with God
You see, we normally set goals to achieve a visual goal that we can look back and say “I did that” “All my hard work finally paid off”; whether that is daily exercising to loose weight, or saving money for the future, we are taking steps to make it happen-If we don’t do it, the goal won’t be met, and we won’t see results. BUT, spending time with God is not a goal!, it’s a relationship. I don’t spend time with others that I care about to achieve something, but because I enjoy their presence and for who they are. Sure I love their insights, but I am there are out love, which is not self-seeking. Also, it’s not all up to us. We’re not in this to show Jesus how good we can read, absorb, or sit quietly before him, we want to commune with Him, to hear what is on his heart for us, to reassure us, to comfort us, to give us courage and strength. We can’t do it without his input.
I can’t tell you what’s going help you connect with God on a deeper level, only you will discover that by spending time with him and learning to hear his voice. I do now that it will often change and look different, just like seasons do. There are seasons when I have been deeply drawn into the scriptures, and I heard His voice there so much. Then there are seasons like where I am right now, where God may take me to a part of Scripture like the Psalms where He really wants me stay, so that he can speak to me on a deeper level, that is different from any other season, but it’s not a reading plan, it’s just how he leads me in that book. It’s not even every day, because he will meet me in my times of worship and soaking, where he will call to mind a Scripture or promise that will lead me to His Word.
The whole point of finding a rhythm is to let Go lead. Be hungry, be available, and ask Him to show you what your relationship with Him is to look like in this season. Ask Him what He wants to teach you in this season. How He wants to speak to you. He will answer, but do need to give him your full attention to be able to hear him. Wherever you are, receive his grace today, allow him to come and lead you on the journey.
So what are some examples of your rhythms with God. I’d love to hear how God meets with you. Blessings, Robin