Has your relationship with God grown stale?
In today’s devotion, Making The Christian Life a Reality, I listed 7 things that help to keep our relationship with God alive and passionate. Under each, I’ve added additional insight and benefits. It’s all about relationship.
1.) Abiding in Christ. (John 15:4, NIV)
Abiding in Christ means to remain in Him. You and I need to be aware of God’s promised presence in our lives. Remaining in Christ means He is the first one we think of in joyous times and in difficult times. When we have a need, we think to ask for His provision. When we experience goodness, we are quick to thank Him and so on. You and I should abide in Christ to the point that we fall asleep in His arms at night, and wake to His presence each morning. Just think how your life will change when you begin to realize your friendship with God is always present and available.
2.) Praying daily. (Mark 1:35, NIV)
Prayer is one way we communicate with God. Communication is to a relationship like blood is to the body. When we practice daily prayer with God, we are nourishing and sustaining our relationship.
3.) Meditating on God’s Word. (Joshua 1:8, NIV)
Reading the Word of God is how the Lord communicates with us. It’s how we come to know God and His ways. How can you and I become passionate about a relationship if we do nothing to get to know our new friend? We can’t. Strong relationships are built on strong communication. Let God speak to you through His word, and then, respond to Him in prayer.
4.) Putting off the old and putting on the new. (Ephesians 4:22-24, NIV)
The Bible says that when we give our lives to Christ, old things pass away and all things become new. Make a list of how your life has changed—an attitude, a perception; a character trait; a desire to go to church, pray or read the bible. Read verse 25 of chapter 4 and do a self assessment.
Only God, who created you and me, can re-create us. Some things change in an instant while others take more time. Either way, you should be able to pinpoint some change. In truth, your desire to change is evidence of your new life. To keep from growing stale, you and I need to take a spiritual check-up often to insure the old is being replaced with new.
5.) Being continually filled with the Spirit. (Ephesians 5:18, NIV)
Did you know this was a command? You and I are to be filled daily with the Spirit. Why—because we are leaky Christians. Sin quenches the Spirit of God in us; therefore, we must continually be filled. There is a onetime filling of the Spirit when you and I receive Christ as our Lord and Savior—and there are many fillings that follow.
I love the analogy of this verse: “Do not get drunk, but be filled with the Spirit”
What controls a person who fills themselves with alcohol? The alcohol controls the person. Who is controlling the person filled with the Spirit of God? God is. If you and I want to experience a powerful life that is able to withstand temptation and sin, we must be filled daily. How?
Each day we must confess our sins, ask God to fill us with His Spirit, and believe by faith He has done so. Then, we are able to walk in His power instead of our own.
6.) Exercising God-given gifts. (1 Corinthians 12:4-7, NIV)
Each child of God is given a spiritual gift. This gift is not for you. It’s for others. The personal benefit, however, is a satisfaction that’s undesirable. Jesus stated in John 15, that His joy was made full when He was doing the will of God. Our gifts are designed to point us to our purpose in life. When you and I are exercising our God-given gifts, others are blessed and we are fulfilled like nothing we’ve ever experienced before.
7.) Actively sharing the gospel with others. (Mark 16:15, NIV)
This is another command of God. We are to share the love of Christ with those in our sphere of influence. The person who abides daily in Christ, practices prayer, mediates on His Word, exercises their gift, and is filled with the Spirit can’t help but share Christ with others.
Think of when you met your spouse for the first time. You couldn’t wait to tell your friends and family about him or her. How about when your children were born? I bet you couldn’t stop talking about them either. The same is true when you’re in love with Jesus. You want the world to know Him.
This is the natural outcome when you’re living a passionate, powerful, fulfilling life in Christ.
I challenge you to 40 days of practicing these relationship building steps. After which, I’d love to hear your life has changed!