Hey everyone, welcome back to Serenity in The Spirit! Today I want to write the second and final part of this mini-series about how to persevere with the things of God. If you haven't already, check out part 1 for the first 2 tips. Today I'll be giving 3 more that, I hope, are practical enough to start implementing straight away. As I mentioned in part 1, when I say 'things of God' I mean activities that grow your relationship with God and anything that He may have placed on your heart to do. I pray this post can be of encouragement to you and help remind you of the importance of our relationship with God as well as our God-given assignments and purpose.
3. Start small and with what you enjoy - with this point I am particularly referring to any calling God may have placed on your life. Our God is so much greater than we can imagine and He will sometimes give us visions and missions that go beyond what we are capable of doing without His help. This can be overwhelming but we have to start somewhere. Let's take this blog as an example. I believe God has placed it on my heart to write blogs encouraging my brothers and sisters in the faith but recently, I have struggled with motivation. Something that helps me during these times is looking at what needs to be done and breaking it down into smaller, more manageable and enjoyable tasks. In times when I have been lacking the motivation to write the blogs, I allowed myself to focus on creating social media content as I had the motivation to do it and it's something I enjoy. Whilst this is not the only thing I believe God wants to me to do, I believe it is better than doing nothing. It is precisely as a result of planning and creating content that this blog series was born and I felt motivated and able to write again. I continually prayed that God would align my desires with His and this prayer was answered through starting with a smaller, more enjoyable activity for the ministry. It's worth noting that a place of minimal effort is not a place we should stay, we must always strive for more and planning for/writing this series has personally lead me to feel more convicted to obey God despite how I feel.
The Lord answered, “If you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘May you be uprooted and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you! - Luke 17:6
4. Remove distraction - this one is quite obvious but is usually easier said than done. Anyone who knows me, knows that I enjoy playing The Sims. Recently. I am ashamed to admit I have definitely replaced time that I should have spent on this ministry playing the game. Our productivity with the things of God will improve if we do not allow ourselves to get distracted by other things. For many of us, this may be the distraction of social media, the infamous YouTube rabbit hole, Netflix etc. I really encourage you to look honestly at how you spend your time - whilst I don't believe God doesn't want us to have any fun, I do believe we should get our priorities right and this is difficult to do if our distractions are always in our faces. This is something Ted and I have recently felt challenged about and we are therefore going to try to remove some of the most prominent distractions in our lives. This includes pointless scrolling on social media, watching entertainment shows and of course (for me), stopping playing The Sims! We'll be doing this throughout May so I'll be sure to let you know how it goes in a post next month.
Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need - Matthew 6:33
5. Read about others with your struggles in the Bible - my final tip points us back to God's word. The book of Ecclesiastes tells us that there is nothing new under the sun which means that nothing you are going through is unique. As Christians in the Western world, we have direct and easy access to a life handbook that tells us the journey of many before us and we should definitely use this to our advantage. If what God has called you to do feels much bigger than you, read the story of Moses. If you have people around you who are stark atheists, read the conversion story of Saul to Paul (author of a lot of the New Testament). If you are suffering and finding it hard to continue with your relationship with God, read the story of Job. The bible also speaks on topics such as being called to the unknown by God (Abraham), the power of the Holy Spirit (the gospels and book of Acts) and much more. There are plenty of websites, YouTube videos, Bible Plans on the Bible App and even physical study Bibles that provide topical studies on key topics in life. By studying other people's experiences, we can learn from their mistakes, take inspiration from the move of God in their lives and ultimately learn something new about our situation that can help us on our journey. A topical study can also help with a lack of motivation to read the Word as you are now searching for something specific in the scriptures.
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only - James 1:22[a]
Thanks for reading everyone! I pray that God has spoken to your heart today and at least one of the tips given over the mini-series can help you in your walk. Being a Christian and following God's plan for our life is not promised to be easy but I do believe God has given us all that we need in order to do this successfully.
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God bless you,
Song of the Post: I Won't Go Back - William McDowell