How can I grow in my relationship with God when life is so crazy busy?

When a person turns from their sin and trusts in Jesus, they're forgiven by God and begin a life with God that starts now and lasts forever!

Romans 10:9-10

...if you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.

John 3:16

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  

 

But it doesn't stop there!  That's just the beginning!  When someone puts their faith in Jesus they start a new life with God.  Imagine if when a new baby was born, the doctor said, "Right, that's that then.  All finished!"  No!  That would be ridiculous!  The life has just begun!  There's lots more to do!  They need nurturing, caring for, feeding, teaching, helping, listening to, in order to grow to be healthy and strong!

And it's the same with every new baby Christian who's just started following Jesus.  God wants us to GROW!

 

He wants us to love him and worship him fully!  In our thinking and planning, in our words and actions, in our emotions and passions.  Fully!

Mark 12:29-30

29 ‘The most important one,’ answered Jesus, ‘is this: “Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”

He doesn't want us just to know him as Saviour but as Lord and Friend.  To keep listening to him, learning from him, trusting him, depending on him and talking to him in everything.

Matthew 4:4

Jesus answered, ‘It is written: “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” ’

And he doesn't just want us to stay as we are either.  He wants us to become more and more like Jesus...

2 Corinthians 3:18

And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

 

The Bible has TONS to say about how we can grow as Christians to be more like JesusBut in our busy lives, how can we get around to it all???  How can we fit it all in?

 

Well first of all, let's get things the right way round:

Should we live our own lives our own way, forgetting about God most of the time and then try and fit in what he wants us to do in the gaps (if there's any left)???

NO.

Or should we give our WHOLE lives to God - all our plans, our money, our time, our relationships, our careers, our families, our eating, our sleeping, our travelling, our health, our worries, our hopes, our holidays, our struggles, our work, our habits, our pets, our disasters, our troubles, our EVERYTHING???  

YES!  

Romans 12:1-2 (Message version)

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

Should we invite God into ALL OF IT and ask him to help us remember him throughout each day?  To do all of it WITH HIM wither than without him?

YES!  I think this is what the Bible means when it tells us to "pray continually"...

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Should we try and find moments each day where we can STOP to read the Bible, pray and worship God in our own way?

YES!

Matthew 4:4

Jesus answered, ‘It is written: “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” ’

Matthew 6:6

But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

James 4:8a

Come near to God and he will come near to you.  


We grow by GOING.  This is the Romans 12 stuff.  Our whole lives for God and praying as we go.  Being busy for God.  All of it!  Not just the gaps.

And we grow by STOPPING.  This is the gaps.  We need them!  Moments we fight for so we can be still by ourselves or with our husbands/wives/families or other Christians to be with God by reading the Bible, praying and worshipping in song or however.

 

It can be hard to find routines that work for us and life doesn't stay the same so we constantly need to tweak and change things and try new ways of stopping to be with God.  Here are just a few ideas that have helped me and my family at various points...

  • A Bible on the table.  Breakfast every day, we grab it, read a page and pray.  This means getting up early so breakfast isn't a rush!  Or try teatime if that works better (it doesn't for us).
  • A prayer box on the table.  We have a little tub with slips of paper in with names of people we want to be praying for as a family.  Every breakfast we pick one out and pray. 
  • A worship playlist on your phone.  Stick it on and take a song or two to be with God.  Sing!  Dance!  Kneel!  Have it on in the background while you do the washing up or drive.
  • A Bible in the loo!  I'm serious.  As a parent, loo time is rare alone time.  Have one in there and you can get a message from God rather than checking messages on your phone!  
  • Involve the family.  Pray with your husband/wife.  Pray with your kids.  Make it a habit!  Make it normal!  I've been way more consistent reading the Bible and praying since we've had kids because they follow us!
  • Redeem dead time.  This is about finding boring mundane moments and making them God spaces where you can meet with him.  Travel time, shaving time, balling socks, whatever.  It can be time with God!

And here's a few resources that might be useful...

A couple of Bible sites...

  • Biblegateway - Bible online.  Search for stuff.  Or just read.  
  • Topical Bible - Search online by topic or phrase.  Really handy for finding what the Bible says about a theme or a question.
A couple of Bibles...
  • The Jesus Storybook Bible - The best kids Bible (in our opinion) and great for adults who are new to it all too.
  • NIV Bible - The Bible!  This is a good translation of it.  You can also get it as an app.  Definitely worth getting NIV (New International Version) rather than the old King James Version (like reading Shakespeare).
Brilliant videos...
  • Mr Phil TV - Brilliant TV clips and shows that teach you and your kids the Bible!
  • PACE - Blowing my own trumpet but the videos we've made for schools are worth a browse.
 

And there's obviously THIS BLOG!  And if you're on the Whatsapp thread you can have it sent right to you to read every Sunday night!

 
 
Remember, it's a RELATIONSHIP, not HOMEWORK!  If it feels like a DUTY, stick with it and try different ideas until it becomes a JOY!  God loves you and he CRAVES your attention and availability!  
 
GO with him.  
 
STOP with him!