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Is your faith life feeling stagnant? Are you wishing that you had a more active and vibrant faith? Scripture encourages us toward some healthy spiritual habits: ”Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God” (Colossians 3:16).

How can we carve out time for these practices in our lives? Here are a few thoughts for guiding you deeper into a relationship with God.

Set Spiritual Goals

Most resolutions fail because they are more vague ideas instead of concrete and measurable actions. To say "I want to grow spiritually" without laying down steps for growth is less likely to be helpful than deciding to "sit down each day at 7am to read the next chapter in my Bible." Or, committing to journaling for ten minutes each day at bedtime about how you saw God at work today gives you a concrete goal to work towards. Set yourself up for success by choosing concrete, practical, and achievable steps toward your goal. Feel free to start small with simple steps in the right direction.

Choose Substance over Distance

The year I read through the whole Bible was not the most spiritually productive season. I plowed through a lot, but didn't cultivate a lot of fruit. Trying to digest large amounts of scripture was overwhelming, and it left me without time just to rest in God’s word. I gained more when I took the time to digest smaller parts of scripture and reflected on what God was saying to me through his word. You don't have to run a marathon to be more healthy. 

Find the Delight

Engage God’s word in a way that you enjoy. Reading a brief devotional with your morning cup of coffee can be a great way to begin the day. If you are more of an evening person, consider praying with your spouse through a prayer journal each night. Maybe participating in a Bible study or reading a book with a friend is something you get excited about doing. I personally love taking a walk to delight in God’s creation or singing praise music while I ride in the car. Structure time to delight in the one who takes such great delight in you.

Claim the busy moments

Some seasons of life are full of activity and in these seasons, we need to claim the moments. Evaluate where you can dial back in your life to make room for time with God. Use the moments that you do have to draw closer to him. You can pray for each family member as you fold their clothes or read a prayer book as you wait in line for carpool. Singing to praise music while you make dinner or reading the Bible with your children as you tuck them into bed are all ways to stay close to God. 

Set up accountability

If you connect with a friend each week to discuss what you are learning in God’s word, you will be less likely to skip it. If you write your friend’s prayer requests in a journal you will be more likely to keep them in your prayers. Put a reminder in your calendar or set an alarm on your phone to invite you into God’s presence.

Spiritual growth happens as we invest ourselves in God’s presence. Jesus said,

“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). 

As we get creative with ways to stay connected to God, our lives will bear fruit that will bless others.

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