Enjoying time with God
I never understood when people would talk about a closer relationship with God. What does that even mean? Time in the Bible is so boring- I’ve always felt like I already know what it says! But now... I just want everyone to experience how incredible a relationship with God is. It used to be boring, and now I honestly believe it’s the best thing in my life. Man- I was missing it! I didn’t know there was more!
So often, I hear people say things like this:
“I want to spend time with God, but I don’t know what to do”
“I know that I should spend more time with God, but I don’t”
“I wish I had a closer relationship with God, but I don’t think I’m built for that”
Those were all sentences I would say too. As I’ve thought about what “next steps” I would recommend for someone who feels this way, this is where I’ve landed:
1. Get Honest with God. One of the things that started all of this for me was 24 hours away at a cabin with God. I did this in January (three days before I lost my job) and I was so exhausted and angry. And just felt like 1,000 miles away from God. I spent that weekend doing three things: One, writing down everything I felt. Why I was angry. All the emotions I had and how frustrated I was with life. Two, writing out a huge list of question for God. Like "Does anything I'm doing matter" and "Why did you make me a mom". Third, I spent time reading. I went through a book and also spent time in the Bible asking God for answers... and he freaking showed up! This was the very beginning of going deeper- it started with honestly and ripping of some layers of anger and confusion I was holding up to God.
I don't know if this is something you feel like you need, but I encourage everyone to do it. Even if it's taking a day of work and sitting in a coffee shop for a few hours. There is a beauty in intentionally saying "God, I want something different"
2. Start spending time with God. As you read through what I wrote about my story, you'll see this is the biggest game changer. I've NEVER regularly spent time with God by myself. When I did, it was a quick devotional where I "learned a quick lesson" and would be done. The biggest change is being with God, not reading what other Christians think. ACTUALLY HANGING OUT WITH GOD! Using devotionals and books really helped me get started, and now it's pretty much me + worship music + my Bible.
Books to get started:
A Call To Die- This is the 40 day daily devotional that really got me started. It helped me get in the habit of being with God each day! There is a different topic each day, but definitely a theme of dying to your self! Highly recommend. A big part of this is FASTING from something so you become hungry for God. This changed everything for me.
Simply Bible Workbooks. I've NEVER enjoyed reading the Bible, or honestly never knew what to do. i would read a chapter of the Bible, get one cool point, and then move on. These workbooks help you to study it slooooowly and I have learned more the past few months from the Bible than I have my entire life. They have them on a lot of books- I'm going through the John one right now, which is really love. The Phillipians one is shorter! This is what my "quiet time" looks like a lot now.
Mary Heart in a Martha World- This one has been HUGE For me. It really teaches you how to have a close, intimate relationship with God in the midst of a busy life. So good.
Theology of the Ordinary. This book helped me a lot because I felt like I had lost all of the "cool awesome stuff" i was doing for Jesus and my life was now so boring, ordinary, and not focused on the kingdom. This little book really helped me understand that wasn't true!
Seated With Christ. This might be a "step two" book, but I listened to it last month on audio book and it radically impacted the way I saw myself, my identity, and my relationship with Jesus.
One of the lessons I've been learning recently is how God always initiates and we respond. He is seeking, he is reaching out for a relationship with us. It's not us "working harder" or "building habits" so we are closer to God. It's responding to Him and saying "Yes God! I want to be close to you!"