Hey everyone, welcome back to Serenity in The Spirit!
Today I just wanted to share with you how I’ve been feeling recently in regards to my relationship with God. As a society we often have a habit of only portraying the positives in our lives while skimming over the negatives, if not ignoring them completely. This isn’t healthy for us or for those around us.
We should always acknowledge and address how we feel about what we are going through (remembering that feelings change and the only constant in life is God Himself - Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever - Hebrews 13:8). It’s okay to feel sad, angry etc. We need to give ourselves time to consider how we’re feeling so we know how best to handle our current situation. By saying it’s not healthy for those around us, I am by no means telling you that you need to publicly declare all of your feelings and negative experiences to those around you but if we are only showing others our highlights others may start to believe that there is never anything wrong with us and start to believe that therefore there must be something wrong with them. This is the reason I have chosen to open up in this post and share some of my current struggles.
Recently my relationship with God has not been what it should be and in all honesty, it is a result of my laziness and lack of planning. I have said in previous posts that it is good to spend some time each day reading your Bible (Joshua 1:8) and talking to God every single day (1 Thessalonians 5:17) but I have failed to do this in the past week or so. This is partly due to a lack of motivation/energy which has come from being pretty busy and not getting the right amount of sleep. Instead of planning my days to ensure I had dedicated time for the Lord as well as other tasks I needed to do, I resorted to reading the bible only when I had time or simply reading the verse of the day and pondering it for no more than a few minutes - if that! My prayer time was impacted too, often I was saying a quick general prayer in the morning, not praying too much throughout the day and then leaving my night prayer until when I am so tired that all I want to do is sleep. This meant my prayers were short, generic and I didn't allow myself to be lead by the Holy Spirit or give the Lord time to speak to me.
I am telling you this because I believe it is a phase we all go through as Christians, usually even more than once and sometimes for long periods of time. If you are in a similar situation to me and you feel you need a change but you're not sure how, the first step is crying out to the Lord to ask for forgiveness and to ask for His help. Try a prayer like this one:
Heavenly Father, thank You for your grace and patience. I ask for Your forgiveness for the times I have not put You first. Please strengthen me and help me to make decisions in the spirit and not the in flesh. Set a fire in my soul and refresh my spirit so that I may hunger and thirst for You above all things. Help me to remember that I am a part of the body of Christ and that other people are reliant on my obedience to You. Lord, I give You honour, glory and praise for all that You have done and all that You will do. In Your name I pray, Amen.
So, what is the next step to get out of our rut? Whilst for many of us, prayer includes asking God for what we would like and thanking Him for what He has done, it is equally important to factor in some time to ask God what He would like to say to you. God might give you instruction or encouragement which could help you and/or those around you develop spiritually. However, this is something I still struggle with despite realising it's importance. Personally, I find it hard to focus and sit completely in silence but it was from completing a YouVersion Bible plan I realised that even in our 'distracted' thoughts the Lord could be speaking to us. Since reading that plan and being intentional about listening out for God, He has spoken to me through thoughts during that silent time. As strange as it may feel, I recommend trying it, even if you set a timer for just 30 seconds at first. If you don't attempt it, you are potentially reducing the ways He can speak with you and, trust me, you wouldn't want to miss anything He has to say to you.
In addition to prayer, a level of self-discipline is required however, this can be a difficult thing to get right. It is important to regularly set time aside for God but I also think it can do more harm than good to simply spend time with Him just to tick it off your to-do list rather than to become closer to Him and get to know His heart. Be cautious of this, be sure to check-in with the Holy Spirit to understand the best use of your time. For example, you may feel led to read a particular book of the Bible and often when praying, the Spirit leads us so we know what to pray for. Quiet time requires a careful balance of not over-thinking everything but also being present in the moment and intentionally seeking the Holy Spirit. This is something I am still working on myself but let me know here if you would like me to do a separate post with more practical advice on how to do this.
Ultimately, the solution to being in a spiritual rut where you have a lack of motivation is to turn to God in prayer, The Word and also worship music. Try not to feel bad about feeling this way, i'm pretty sure every Christian has felt a lack of motivation before and if you do know other believers, try seeking some advice from them too based on their experiences. As some beginning steps, schedule your time with the Lord but allow the Holy Spirit to lead. Think sensibly, if you get tired at 10pm, be sure to get your nighttime prayer in before this. If you find it hard to focus on the Bible as soon as you wake up, try switching up your morning routine: maybe have your coffee or shower first. It might take a while for you to get back into the swing of things but God is faithful and will help you if you ask Him. Also remember that sometimes it just takes some self-discipline: delete your social media apps for a while if they are a big distraction to you or choose to watch an online sermon rather than binge-watch your favourite TV series. We may not feel like spending time with God sometimes but it is very important so we should make it a priority despite how we feel. Jesus, our example of a perfect human, did not 'feel' like dying on the cross to save us but He did it anyway knowing it was the will of God (Luke 22:42).
Thank you for reading! As usual, feel free to let us know what you think of today's post using the social media links below or Curious Cat. We love hearing from you, even if you completely disagree with what we believe. Have a great week guys and keep an eye out for our #SiTSBits (little nuggets of practical guidance for your walk with God) on Twitter and Instagram!
Song of the post: How I Got Over/Baba Ose - Volney Morgan & New-Ye and Muyiwa Olarewaju