*hums* “Read your Bible, pray every day and you’ll grow, grow, grow. But if you don’t read your Bible forget to pray, then you’ll shrink, shrink, shrink.”
Working in Children’s Ministry the past few years and being introduced to all these kid’s songs has made me realize how great they really are. They hold simple truths that are relevant even to grown ups.
The song I mentioned above, for example is saying that reading your Bible, praying, staying connected to God will grow your relationship with Him. However, if we aren’t doing these things, we tend to shrink or remain stagnant. We’re not meant to be stagnant in our relationship with God, we’re meant to grow.
”For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” Hebrews 5:12-14
I don’t know about you, but despite how much I long to grow my relationship with God, I find myself constantly making excuses to get out of spending time with Him. Because of this, I often will still be like “a babe needing milk” – or another term for it would be “lukewarm.”
I’m too tired.
I’m too busy.
I got up too late.
It’s family time.
While these can be valid reasons in the right scenario, these are flat out excuses for me to avoid my Father.
I have the time to sit on my phone for how many total hours in a day? Yet I say I’m too busy for God?
I have enough energy to go hang out with a friend, but I’m too tired for Jesus?
This really has much more to do with my priorities than anything. I am choosing other things instead of time spent with God.
Why do I do this?
Sometimes it’s because I think I’m “okay enough” with God to skip a day.
Sometimes it’s because I feel guilty for placing Him lower in my life for the hundredth time, and I feel ashamed to face Him again and ask His forgiveness.
Sometimes it’s because I’m just plain lazy and selfish. I’d rather spend time on other things or with other people than put in the effort to read my Bible and pray.
Is it really much effort at all, though? How hard is it to sit and read?
The thing is, reading the Bible has to become a habit that is built before it is a part of your life that you enjoy and gladly invest in.
You don’t have to grab your Bible Study bag, a cup of peppermint tea, a fluffy blanket, and sit in an aesthetically pleasing spot and journal and pray for two hours.
Start off by simply sitting down in a quiet place and reading a chapter. When I commit to doing this in the morning, I’ll often find myself reading extra because I want more. Sometimes I’ll even find myself journaling about a single passage.
The more you do it out of duty, the more you will desire to do it.
God is never too busy for you – don’t make the mistake of becoming too busy for Him. He never makes excuses to avoid you, He wants you more than anything. He wants you more than you want Him.
”And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one; I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.” John 17:22-23
Inside I know I want a deeper relationship with my Father, but that isn’t going to happen if I keep neglecting it.
If I really, truly desire to know God and have a relationship with Him, I have to put in the effort – regardless of how I feel.
It’s much the same concept as with a significant other. If you really want them and love them, you have to put in the effort and choose to love them even if you don’t always feel like it.
Love isn’t a mere feeling, it’s a choice. A conscious effort put in minute by minute to help the relationship grow.
If I truly love God, I have to put the effort into my relationship with Him every minute of every day – especially if I don’t feel like it.
”You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.” Deuteronomy 6:5
So, to myself I say, “Stop making excuses and choose Jesus.” Because my relationship with Him is more important than anything.
God is waiting for me – and He is waiting for you.
Will we meet Him there?