In retrospect, I should have titled this something along the lines of practical ways or something different. We are here now so that’s all that matters!
Firstly, thank you for reading I’m so grateful to be used by God to help edify and encourage others through this and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I just need to be much more consistent pun intended (keep on reading).
Without further ado let’s dive straight into it, The few years I have known God I have found that in my early stages I would reach a plateau or just a burnt out. Let me explain this, in the sense that my relationship with God felt like a routine. It just wasn’t organic, from the prayer to reading my Bible everything felt fake or rather synthetic. That would frustrate me because I knew God wasn’t an idea I made up, he is real and I know this but my current circumstances didn’t reflect it. Obviously the inner child in me will awaken and the tantrum kicks in so I just stop trying in all. Days will roll into weeks and before you know it I’m back. Something about my heart of flesh reverting into a heart of stone that weighed me down significantly and I knew God would take it away. But, I never really knew how to fix this roadblock that I experienced often in my journey with God.
This temporary fix was an illusion to think I was growing in Christ when in honesty I was on a roundabout which felt like a straight road to me. I wasn’t actually drawing closer to God I was just avoiding it by coming back and starting again.
I can assure you that – well I would like to say that I have passed this running away from problems and I’m now being mature and facing it head on. So you see upon reflection and revelation it dawned on me that these dark days I experienced was simply because I lacked these major things: Intentionality, consistency and discipline. That was the beginning of my bright days of somewhat.
Let’s tackle each factor, even though they all work hand in hand. It’s good we break it down.
Firstly, what does being intentional look like? How do we incorporate this with our walk? How does this help us grow closer to God? It’s imperative we seek God with purpose, we don’t accidentally speak to our friends so why don’t we consciously plan to spend uninterrupted time with God. Jesus would regularly withdraw himself from others and go to the mountain to pray and seek God. When I say plan I don’t mean schedule it to the T, but just have it on your heart I want to read this book in the Bible so I have to either get up earlier or section out sometime during the day.
Throughout scripture we know God is intentional, he doesn’t do anything without purpose so why do we seek him with no desire. A desire to know him not for blessings but a desire to behold him. The sole purpose of simply spending time with him. My issue or how I kept finding myself feeling like it was a routine was I didn’t actually paint the end goal in my head. The end goal being eternity, if I’m going to be with God for eternity why am I not seeking him intentionally, taking time to know him, understand why he made me, why he loves particular things. I wasn’t desiring to actually know God, I simply just did things to get by.
I strongly believe when we are honest about why we are really believers it reveals if we are simply here for the blessings or if we genuinely desire to know the one we call Lord.
So it’s not enough to just set an alarm or to do a million and one Bible plans, now don’t get me wrong these things are not bad but if there isn’t a true intention in the first place. When the stones are thrown that glass house will shatter. Purpose is the brick that is used in building a house, when the winds and stones come we remember why we built the house – our faith in God in the first place. No man sets out on his day without purpose so why do we approach our walk with God without purpose? He who goes with the flow, will be carried by the wind. He who has purpose will be anchored to the very ground.
Let’s have purpose, let’s intentionally seek God.
This brings us to the consistency, I promise you I’m as triggered as you if you are. I must admit if anything is hard in today’s life it’s being consistent,It’s hard doesn’t mean it’s impossible. However, we have decided to follow God we must be consistent.
It’s good to run the race but it’s much better for us to finish the race. The moment we take a break it requires more strength to start again, more fire and more purpose. If God was to show us how many days we have called in sick to work (in terms of seeking him) some of us might be surprised. We must have that zeal and more that we first received in coming to Christ.
I guess is easy to be consistent in a routine and still feel burn out but the trick or for better choice of words the solution in escaping the burn out that comes with routine is our heart posture or behaviour in seeking God. So whatever it may be reading 10 chapters a day or fasting twice a week, with intention of knowing God we must back it up with being consistent. It’s not enough to have a plan, we must execute it. With a healthy purposeful routine . I’m still learning how to balance that and actually putting it into place, I suppose in being zealous we must also know ourselves and be realistic. Therefore, challenging ourselves to reach the goal we desire and inviting Christ to help us reach that. There’s no point in trying to reach your ultimate goal in one day without first being consistent with the current one.
The best way consistency works it’s when it’s upheld with accountability!
Now unto the last, discipline! I found it a tad bit difficult not to mention it in the previous point, if you have realised it’s not easy to be consistent if you are not disciplined. We have to stop being so easy on ourselves, sometimes we have to look ourselves in the mirror and just encourage and also be honest with our approach in knowing God. No point in being hard on ourselves but at end of the day your greatest accountability is yourself. No matter how many people check up on you or how many times you might outline things it all comes down to the decisions you make.
We must learn how to train ourselves into being consistent, train ourselves in reading more chapters, in praying more. Challenging ourselves in going deeper and not settling with the stage we are at. Even in the current season we may be in are we disciplined? Are we doing the things we know we should be doing ?
Good you have purpose, you have zeal but do you have self control? Do you know when it’s time do what you need to do ? Do you know when it’s time to say no and in doing so saying yes to God?
One of my favourite scriptures when I first started knowing God which I believe summarises all the above beautifully, is this: “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run [their very best to win], but only one receives the prize? Run [your race] in such a way that you may seize the prize and make it yours! Now every athlete who [goes into training and] competes in the games is disciplined and exercises self-control in all things. They do it to win a crown that withers, but we [do it to receive] an imperishable [crown that cannot wither]. Therefore I do not run without a definite goal; I do not flail around like one beating the air [just shadow boxing]. But [like a boxer] I strictly discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached [the gospel] to others, I myself will not somehow be disqualified [as unfit for service].”
1 Corinthians 9:24-27 AMP
It highlights the importance of being intentional (definite goal), consistent (running) and disciplined.
Knowing God comes at a cost, yes Christ has paid the price but what are we sacrificing to grow closer to the one who gave it all on the cross. In no way am I exempt from this too, what have we given up to be intentional? Or what are we giving up to be consistent? How are we ensuring we are disciplined?
For God is not mocked whatever we sow we shall reap, so in desiring the fruits of drawing closer to God we must sow, we must sacrifice. God will not ignore those that are faithful in seeking him. On that note I gulp because there’s much more I can improve on too.
I pray that there’s something you take from this, for a time is coming when we will be held accountable for the lives we have lived and in knowing that we can never be comfortable for there’s more of God to know. For it’s not enough to come drink of Him but we must drown in him, it’s not enough to be warmed by his fire but we must burn for him.
Be blessed 💐