Thursday, March 3, 2011

Growing Closer To God

Like most Christians, I have a desire to grow in my relationship with Christ.  The most common ways of doing this are going to church, praying, and reading the Bible and other Christian books.  All of these things are good but to be honest they somehow don't always make it into my schedule.  I've tried daily devotionals and reading plans.  I've tried to have a set "quiet time" in the mornings, during the day, and at night.  In an attempt to grow closer to God, I feel obligation to check it off my list and guilt when I don't make time for it. Does this sound familiar?  I hope I'm not the only one.

Here are 3 different perspectives that have helped me develop a deeper relationship with God.  

1.  GET to vs HAVE to - My friend Braden said that he has learned to look at spending time with God (reading, praying, listening) as something that he gets to do rather than something he has to do everyday.  This way if he misses a day he feels as though he missed out on spending time with the Creator rather than guilty for not being a good Christian.

2.  Quality vs Quantity - Spending quality time, sharing joys, pains, conversations, and doing life with someone is better than spending a planned quantity of 15 minutes each day.  Christianity is about having a relationship with the Living God, so maybe that relationship should look more like our relationships with our loved ones.  I don't talk to my best friends or parents for 15 minutes everyday but we are still close. 

3.  Read For Change, Not Completion - I used to read the Bible like any other book.  I just wanted to finish so I could get another book.  I have learned to read for understanding, clarity, and most importantly for change.  I have been reading, studying, and understanding the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-8) for about 6 months and it is rockin' my world.  Our church has been studying the book of Ephesians for months now.  Sometimes its better to take your time and figure out how it applies to you before you move on.

What has helped develop your relationship with God?

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