As a christian I go through seasons. Seasons I am on fire and running hard after the Lord and seasons where perhaps, I am burned out. Our journey, we are taught, is a lifelong race. It requires endurance, perseverance and faith, and if I may say, giving yourself abundant amounts of grace for those times when you feel as if you cannot take one more step.
From Jan 2016 through Dec 2018 I was enjoying life. My career was skyrocketing, I was in the relationship of my dreams (so I thought), my children were thriving, and life for me was so very good. But...
I ceased my daily bible study.
I quit attending church weekly.
I replaced morning devotion with morning news shows and worldly consciousness.
I cut back on serving my community.
I stopped pursuing God.
Sure I prayed. Yes, I had my christian friends, online apps and podcasts I'd occasionally listen to and gosh, no way did I give up drive time while worshipping and singing but, my pursuit of God wasn't robust. I didn’t feel he was far away, but I felt he must have been sad and waiting...longing for me to recognize him again. God covets closeness. He relishes relationship.
"Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me." John 15:4
As a result of my fading faith, I felt a lessening of gratitude, contentment, joy and peace. I was less patient and gentle and more angry. Not only was my faith fading, the fruit of the spirit was too. I knew I had to abide in him again, so here's what I did. A . B . I . D . E
Ask for help. Jesus says in John 16:7 that if he didn't leave, "the helper" would not come. The helper? The Holy Spirit.
The promise of the Holy Spirit presupposes that we need assistance. Jesus tipped us off about one of the most profound truths of the Christian life - it's impossible. You need the Holy Spirit to pull it off. Ask him to help you turn to God in prayer and to open your heart to spending time with God.
BEHOLD (it's my word of this year, you know I had to)
We become what we behold. It actually means to stand in awe and be amazed, to fix our eyes upon; to see with attention; to observe with care. What are you looking at? If it's all the world has to offer instead of what God has already given (Jesus) then you will forever chase filling a void.
God isn't a pushy person. He's a gentleman. He won't bust his way in, he wants to be invited. It's simple really. One word. "Come." He is an intimate father. Seek him and you will find.
Devote time daily, even if it's 5 minutes to be in prayer. Find a devotional you love, a podcast to listen to as you get ready for your day or a favorite pastor to listen to a sermon. Devote yourself to hearing and reading God's word in some way every day.
Embrace your special, time with your father. It's the part of my day I cherish and look forward to most. I love the quiet and stillness of the morning but for you it may be different. No matter, cherish it.