Have you ever felt like you’re not doing enough to strengthen your spiritual journey? I know I have.
I have had the experiences of, “I’m not praying enough” or “I need to get back into reading scripture”. Even pastors have these experiences. If we are honest we will admit the fact that we don’t have every aspect of spiritual discipline perfected. We all have our limitations.
A few years back, I found myself only opening my Bible to study for a sermon and not for my own personal development. I found myself praying, but only when it dawned on me to do so. I knew I wasn’t doing it right, so I had to create a better way of focusing on my spiritual development and strengthening.
Just like any workout routine, your spiritual journey takes training. All too often, we think, “Oh, I need to start reading the Bible again. I’ll read the entire book of John tomorrow.” Then, we read a few verses and Candy Crush takes over.
You wouldn’t decide to run the Boston Marathon and start training the day before. You would take months, sometimes years, to prepare for a race of that caliber. So, why would you expect your growth in Jesus to be any different?
I have a bunch of friends doing CrossFit and it seems intense. I wouldn’t walk into a CrossFit gym and expect to match up with people who have been doing it for years. That would be ridiculous. So, why do we expect our Christian walk to be easier than CrossFit?
So, we have established, it will take some time to get to a point of feeling like you are on a disciplined path, but you can be doing some things now that will assist with making you spiritually stronger tomorrow.
- Stop Comparing Yourself to Others! When we look at other people and think, “Man, I will never be as wise or disciplined as they are. They know so much about the Bible”, we are setting ourselves up for failure. Your journey s not like someone else’s.Yes, they might be similar, but they will be different. Don’t compare yourself to someone who memorized the entire book of Romans and you struggled with “Jesus wept”. People will have different ways and timeframes in growth.
- Take Your Time! Don’t jump into reading the whole Bible today. Take a few verses and work through them. If you feel led to keep reading, do it, but don’t force yourself. I love the idea of reading the entire Bible in a year, but for many of you, your time is limited. When you miss a day or two, you give up because it seems like an insurmountable task to catch up with 40 verses. Take a few verses at a time and study them slowly. Pray slowly. Don’t stress on how long or how short you pray. Seek God with whatever you have, just dedicate some time to do it. It can be a quick one minute prayer or a long 3 hour time, but whatever it us, do it sincerely and not rushed. You will grow at your pace as God leads.
- Shut Down Your Screen! I will admit right away, I am horrible at this, but I am aiming at getting better. Our screens hinder our ability to see what God is doing around us. We are looking down and we fail to look up. Our conversations are limited to abbreviations and emojis. We need time away from the light of the screen to focus on the light of our life (that’s poetic magic!) Start slowly. Take 15 minutes away with notifications off. Then, gradually increase your time away. It will be beneficial to you and your time with God.
- Spend Time With Like Minded People! First, this doesn’t mean you and your friends have to agree about everything, but it doesn’t mean you have a similar belief system. Let me stress this, do not stay away from people who hold a different belief system, but find a group people you can discuss faith matters with in your own system as well. You need strengthening in what you believe. You need challenged in what you believe. You can get both from both groups, but the friends you have who hold to your faith values will understand you in your thoughts about Jesus and God. Grow strong with others and continue to strengthen others.
- Find A Way To Serve! Yeah, in that time you shut down your screen or while you’re with your like minded friends, find a place to serve and love others. Go to a local mission and serve a meal, help sort clothes, or clean. Ask the city if your group can serve in some capacity. Find a church that is serving in your community and join them in mission. Serve the senior citizen community in some way (i.e. meals on wheels, nursing homes, senior center, etc.). When you serve, you get healthier, spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically.
These are just some ideas for improving your spiritual health. Your journey is long and you need to be able to run the race well.
If your spiritual health is weak, then you cannot expect your relationship with God to be strong.
May you find time to focus on your spiritual journey. May you find ways to serve others. May you slow down and follow your path, not someone else’s. May you be strengthened in order to strengthen others.
Peace and blessings friends.
QUESTION: What are you doing right now to strengthen your walk with God?