Have you ever seen someone who when they talk about spending time with Jesus, the Word is alive in them, prayer is rich, and the Spirit is strong in them? I remember meeting these people and wishing my relationship with Jesus looked that way. Wishing didn’t change anything for me. Here are three things I have done that have helped me grow in relationship with Jesus:
1 Corinthians 9:26 So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. 27 I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should.
Commit to a plan to win
Not all plans help. If you plan is to obey one verse a day by randomly opening your bible and reading you might find “Judas went out and hung himself” or “Joshua circumsized all the men of Israel.” Life goes really bad for you this way. Pick a good time of the day for you to read scripture, pray, and listen to God. I like my kitchen table, other people like outside. I like highlighters, pens, and space to spread out. Also, get a translation that works for you. I like the NLT. It is written at an 8th grade reading level and it is easy to understand. The KJV was written in 1611, and word do not mean the same thing they did then.
Feel free to change it up. I have friends who write songs for Jesus. They sing scripture. Some go on nature walks, listen to the bible through YouVersion, or use art for engagement. What I have learned… Have a consistent time, place, and plan.
Get the right coach
Growing up in sports, I recognized really early that I needed someone who could see what I couldn’t see. Someone with a trained eye. I ran faster, had better technique, and won games more ofter with a coach. Not every coach I had was a good one, I learned some bad habits from them. With the right coach everyone got better.
I have learned that I cannot do life alone. I grow the most when I invited a man who is farther down the road than me and has a perspective that I cannot see. Who is someone that is the same gender as you, that you can invite into your life to confess sin, ask for prayer, get wisdom, and seek guidance?
Beware of comparison
I have been married to my wife for 11 years, by far the majority of her adult life. She has some friends that she has been walking with for 2 years, and they do not know here the way I do. Isn’t that an unfair comparison. Yet isn’t that what we do with other people. Compare our relationship with Jesus to theirs. They may have been following longer or shorter than you and it is not a fair comparison. Your relationship is unique. You have been following Jesus for as long as you have, maybe 3 days maybe 3 decades. You have one focus… Grow. They way you grow is to spend quality time together. There are no short cuts…. just our most valuable non replenish able thing… TIME!!!!
So get a plan, get a coach, and don’t compare. Go be in relationship with Jesus!
Recklessly, obsessively following Jesus