Many people are in this spot. We know we should, but we don’t. Does it matter? Does it change anything? Can I help maybe get us out of the slump of being apathetic about your life and soul? I want to communicate these principles without more guilt, but positive truths. Please know how much Jesus loves you. His presence is with you and in you and his life-transforming power, and special friendship is available to you, no matter what you think, what your past is, or what you are currently up to in life. He loves you. Here are some principles.
- Define what grows you closer to Christ. There are many creative ways then just “read your Bible and pray.” Investigate contemplative spirituality, journaling, solitude. Maybe a new book to help guide you? Can I suggest reading “Celebration of Discipline” “Emotionally Healthy Spirituality” and reat it with the devotional book. Maybe a fresh Bible Study guide, exciting new podcast, read a classic from an anointed author that has gone to heaven.
- Make your relationship real. Don’t relegate your relationship with Christ to that few moments a week when you read and pray. He is in you. He is everywhere. Even during the mundane things of life, have an awareness that Jesus is with you. Talk to Him, Listen with a cup of coffee. Take a walk and talk to the Lord. Engage Him as you enjoy a hobby or work.
- Be honest about distractions. Do you get up and grab your phone, or device and immediately start scrolling through posts? Do you always have to have a TV on? Does your news blare all the time? Our senses become consumed and distracted away from Christ too much. Maybe we just have too many social media accounts? Maybe we need to repent that we will put hours into social media and not much time into seeking the Lord. We are too distracted. Apple set out to do this to a culture, and it has been done. We can’t put our devices down. We are an addicted and enslaved society and our hearts, souls, and families are beginning to show the suffering this is bringing.
- Get some encouragement to grow. You might not have it at home, from your parents or your spouse, but relationships are the way to do it. Get in a small group, join a class, follow a spiritual leader’s blog. I love silence, but also love worship music. I love to preach, but also need the encouragement from other preachers. Get some encouragement to grow. You may have relationships that do the opposite of encouraging to be close to Christ. Have the courage to be honest about those.
- Ask Jesus for a hunger for Him. Begin to read the Psalms, and the Gospels. Confess you are not putting much effort and ask the Lord to assist you. He will.
- It’s hard to pursue the Lord, if you know you are violating the Lord’s ways. You might need to get rid of a sin you have allowed, and be honest with repentance, confession, and receive the freedom of forgiveness. Sin is so deceiving.
- Realize growing in Christ is enjoyable, fun, secure, moving, touching, energizing, filling, and purposeful. It is not a chore. Listening, talking, and pursing Christ is not a root canal. It is a vacation. It is a way of life. It bring purpose, clarity, aligns our heart, and sets our priorities for a Christ-honoring life.
- This life of loving Christ and seeking Him will bring wonderful changes on the inside. Want to stop getting angry? Don’t focus on your behavior, allow Christ to take it out of you. Need to forgive someone? Don’t fake it, allow the love of Christ to truly change your heart. Are you discontent and ungrateful? Grow in your thankfulness. You see, Jesus changes our hearts and souls, which change behavior. We try to change behavior without letting Jesus, and being honest, about the brokenness in our hearts that contribute to our behavior.
- As you begin to ignite your relationship, begin to grow, your desires will change. This will change your life. We begin to pull away from the things of this world, and only Jesus matters. He is enough. The revelation and authentic belief will transform you as a person, parent, spouse, and child of God.
- Just do it. Start today. Don’t let dishes, devices, laundry, sleep, netflix, or people stop you from your destiny, to know and love the Lord, to allow him to be your Abba, closest friend, and only hope for contentment and inner peace.
Knowing Christ, glorifying and enjoying Him, is our primary purpose.
— Pastor Nate Elarton
Encouraging Scriptures about our Relationship with Christ
“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all — how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” Romans 8:31-32
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
“But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.” Psalm 86:15
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39