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Desire more intimacy with the Lord? Want more spiritual practices in your life but don’t know where to start? Start here!
Have you ever thought to yourself, “Wow, I wish I spent less time with Jesus, praying, reading the Bible, worshipping or in fellowship with other believers and more time doing other things?” I am going to make a bold claim and say you probably haven’t had that thought come across your mind.
Why is that?
Because 1) we are usually shortchanging ourselves with time in those areas to start off with and 2) when we DO do those things they give us SO much life so why would we want less time doing them?!
Our hope in this article is to elaborate on three practices that can help you grow closer to God right NOW as well as increase your hunger for MORE of Him:
If you were able to read our latest blog post “4 Steps to Having an Intentional Quiet Time,” these three practices would fall in the section of “experience” (to give a little reference point to how our content and resources work together!).
Our prayer is for you to learn more about these practices and then GO and practice living them out in your lives TODAY! We live in a society that consumes SO much yet misses the mark when it comes to actually applying these practices to our own lives.
Let’s be women who hear the truth, and then, DO what it says!
“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” – James 1:22 NIV
Let’s be women who SEEK God and HUNGER for Him daily!
“O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” – Psalm 63:1
Sister, what did your day entail? I bet you did a LOT of things today. You were probably on a mission to accomplish something; had people to interrogate and buildings to leap off of… okay, maybe you’re not quite James Bond, BUT… there were things to be done and you were the one to do them!
You might have thought to yourself:
Go. Go. Go.
Do. Do. Do.
And in that, I can imagine you didn’t have a lot of time to just take a breath, let alone sit still.
Does that resonate with you at all? I know it does for me!
Resting, in general, is so important (which we can all probably do better), but more important than that is setting aside time to REST with Jesus and be with Him. I would even say it is crucial to your walk with Jesus.
So the first step to spending time with Jesus is to set a time. And then stick to it!
When you make plans with a friend to grab coffee or lunch, you don’t suddenly decide your phone, friend or some other errand is more important, do you? No, you get ready, get there on time, are excited to see them, and then enjoy their company.
Our prayer for you is that you would know, interact and cherish Jesus like you would a friend; like your BESTEST friend!
Relationships require time and often making the choice to spend time with someone means you’re making the choice (conscious or subconscious) to NOT spend time with someone else, and that ‘someone else’ could very well be Jesus! Yes, Jesus walks with you all-day, every-day, but He wants the joy of having you all to Himself. He is jealous for all of your attention (Exodus 34:14).
Want to know a really cool parallel to this? Just as we are trying to cultivate a hunger to meet with Jesus on a daily basis – Jesus had the same hunger to commune and sit with His Father on daily basis and we see this all over Scripture:
And after He had sent out the apostles and they returned to Him, this was the first thing He told them to do: “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while” (Mark 6:30-32).
He knew that the only way to keep going was to receive strength and power from God.
If Jesus drew away to be with the Father, shouldn’t we be doing the same thing? How much more should we be in constant communication with Him?!
If you are looking for a place in the Bible to start reading during your ‘coffee date’ or time with the Lord we would suggest starting in any of the Gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. They are a great place to learn more about Jesus and the life He lived while on this Earth.
One more thing to keep in mind: It’s pretty hard to want more time with someone if you don’t know them. We promise, the more time you spend getting to know who God really is, the more you are going to hunger for Him!
***If you have ever struggled with structuring your time with Jesus or don’t really know how it looks or how to think about a quiet time with Him, check out our blog “4 Steps to Having an Intentional Quiet Time” which breaks down having a quiet time and includes a graphic for those visual learners! Krista, our founder, also made a ten-minute teaching video on the topic that you can watch here.***
You know what? You don’t hunger for what you don’t eat.
If your life doesn’t involve many vegetables, well, chances are you have neither the hunger nor the desire to eat them. But when you begin to make choices that satisfy and nurture your body, the impact is evident, and your hunger changes.
That being said, the Bible can be pretty intimidating. It can be hard to navigate, it can be a struggle to glean meaning out of it and it’s WAY more complex than a Christian book, or any book for that matter.
But like vegetables, once you get in the habit of including them in part of your diet you will soon find yourself at a loss when they are missing.
The Bible is alive and active and the Lord is waiting to meet you on any and every page of it!
“For the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12
Personally, knowing these realities doesn’t make reading Scripture any easier- it is still really hard for me. It takes a lot of energy to focus, and I can find myself being constantly pulled away by my to-do list or that one Jonas Brothers song I can’t get out of my head. I long to be able to sit down with the Word and have meaningful time spent reading it without the added nuisance of my brain’s short attention span, but it is hard.
Anyone else relate to that?
Quick, check-in with yourself:
2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
The Bible is not just any old book, it is the living and active words of God, and it is a huge part of growing in intimacy with the Lord. There will be seasons when your time in the Word feels full and there will be times when it feels dry. I challenge you to keep at it! God will see your dedication and meet you in that.
For me personally, I am currently working my way through the New Testament with the simple desire to read the stories of Jesus’ life and the early Church. A great tool that I have been using for this is the Read Scripture app. It goes through the entire Bible in a year and includes supplemental videos that help summarize books of the Bible as well as expands on certain themes. I would highly suggest you check that out!
Another great tip is to get a friend to dig into Scripture with you! Hold each other accountable, go through the same book, talk about it with one another. Scripture comes ALIVE when you go through it in community.
What would it look like for you to dig into Scripture TODAY?
You can start with a parable (a story) in the Gospels, or a Psalm or Proverb. We challenge you to make that happen. To put away all distractions and sit with the Word of God in a place where you’re able to focus.
We really believe if you do that, the Lord will meet you in that space. Even more than that… He is already waiting for you there and He is giddy with expectation!
Our final practice for you is memorizing Scripture. When we memorize Scripture we are writing the words of God on our heart. Psalm 119:11 says, “I have stored up Your Word in my heart, that I might not sin against You.”
We are given the Word as a weapon against the enemy and his schemes, and how powerful would it be if we could recite specific verses when certain things come up in life. If you didn’t know already, as we seek to become more like Jesus, a bigger target is placed on our back by the enemy. And when that happens we need to be grounded in Scripture so that we can defend ourselves against the Enemy’s flaming arrows.
Jesus modeled this well for us when He went up against the devil for 40 days and nights in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11). Three times the devil tempted Him, and three times Jesus responded with Scripture. And He was able to respond with Scripture because He knew it by heart.
Our challenge for you in this practice is to pick three verses to memorize over the next three months that are unique to you and what you are going through. Meditate on those verses on a daily basis, store them up in your heart and let that time be separate from your time in the Word.
You are amazing and the fact that you are here reading about how to hunger more after God is incredible! Keep after it and work on being consistent. The Lord desires to DO LIFE with His daughters on a regular basis. He longs to be your best friend – let’s be women who work hard on meeting Him in the middle of that desire and walking with Him daily!
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