Growing In God Requires Going To God
Polling shows that 75% of the U.S. population believe in God, believe that the Bible is the actual or inspired Word of God, and consider religion to be important to them. Yet only 30% attend church on a weekly basis and only 16% read the Bible daily. It appears to me that there is a huge disconnect between what people say they believe and how they actually live when it comes to the topic of religion.
In Matthew 7:21 (NIV), Jesus said: “Not everyone one says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter in to the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of the Father who is in heaven.” Saying all the correct religious things isn’t what grants us access to God and, eventually, to heaven.
So, what does your life prove that you really believe? Are you building your life on the solid foundation of Jesus’s teachings or on the shifting sands of false beliefs (Matthew 7:24-27)?
You can know what to believe and how to live. I talk a lot about this in my book for graduates, The Graduate Handbook. In this book, I discuss critical foundational principles that are essential in the lives of those desiring to fully honor God. One principal: You can’t know God without spending time with God. Period.
The Bible is absolute truth. It’s how God teaches us what we need to know to live lives that are pleasing to Him. And, when we choose to invest time into the Word, the Word becomes alive in us. Check out these truths:
“Man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.” Deuteronomy 8:3 (NIV)
“As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him.” 2 Samuel 22:31 (NIV)
“The entirety of Your word is truth, and all Your righteous judgements endure forever.” Psalm 19:160 (HCSB)
Everything begins here. If you don’t believe the Bible is the infallible Word of God, then it’s only a matter of times before you lose confidence in who God is and His ability to guard and guide your life. You must know that you know that you know that the Bible is the infallible Word of God. Sure, just by saying this doesn’t mean that you are confident in what you say. But this is the starting point.
The next step is training yourself to get into a rhythm of spending time each day getting to know God more by getting into His Word. It goes without saying that the more you are in the Word, the more you believe in the Word. Additionally, I have seen in my life that the more I am in the Word, the more the Word shapes my life and gives me confidence to defend it.
I hear from people of all ages who find it challenging to get into the Word on a regular basis. I too struggle with this challenge. Life is busy. And, if I don’t take strategic steps throughout the week to get into the Word, I allow another week to pass me by, and tragically I miss out on growing in my walk with Him and allowing His truths to impact my week.
I don’t get this right everyday. But, I do try to get this right – spending time in the Word. Here are a few things I do to help me carve out time each day to spend time with God:
1. A.M. Is Always Better For Me
If you typical day is like mine, then your typical day can get busy fast. Giving quite time to God in morning has proven more beneficial to me than waiting until later in the day. Plus, starting my day God-focused helps me maintain my day God-focused.
2. God Before Google
I don’t surf, catch up on the headlines, respond to emails or login to social media each morning until after I have spent time alone with God. I know that if I do all of these things first, there is a high probability that I will never get into the Word that day. Placing time with God as a top priority is critical to not allowing all of the other nosies in my life to distract me from spending time with Him.
3. Little Hits Make A Big Hit
Spiritual “hits” throughout the day keep me God-focused. Taking a few moments to pray with a friend, reading a blog post from an author I respect, or listening to worship music while I’m at my desk – – such practices motivate and encourage me, and often come and just the right moment when I need to be reminded that God can handle anything my day throws my way.
4. Grow On Helps Me Go On
One tool I use several times a day to keep God’s Word in front of me is an app our ministry recently launched entitled Grow On. Grow On is available for free on both the App and Android stores. Grow On offers users a personalized experience of the bible designed to strengthen their walk with God via scripture. Users customize their spiritual journey by choosing topics of interest. They then begin receiving God’s truths sent right to their device every day! It’s a great resource to keep me growing in my walk!
5. Hit Repeat
There are limitless ways for me to get into the Word. And, I’ve applied some better than others. The goal isn’t necessarily perfection, because there will be days ahead when I miss the mark. My hope is that such days become the less, rather than the norm. I encourage you to strive for the same in your life. Find out what works with your daily schedule, and then work to hit repeat each day!