If you have been living the Christian life for very long, you probably know how easy it is to drift away from a passionate pursuit that you once had. Sin, circumstances, tragedy, and every-day-life can take its’ toll and extinguish the fire in your faith.
I know how difficult it is to wake up one day and ask the question, “Where did my desire and my pursuit go?” The good news is God’s love for you hasn’t went anywhere, regardless of how cold your faith feels at the moment. Here are just a few practical things that have helped me during those times.
1. Read the Bible as if you have never read it before
I know what you’re thinking – “How in the world can I read the Bible like I’ve never read it before?” – What I mean by that, is pick up a Bible and before you crack open the pages spend a moment attempting to remove all pre-conceived notions of what you plan to read.
That may sound strange, but you would be surprised at the freshness that it brings to the scripture. I know that I’m often guilty of skipping over certain portions of scripture, because I already know what it is supposed to mean or I’ve already read it one million times.
Unfortunately, when I make that assumption I completely forfeit something new or fresh that God might want to teach through that very scripture. I’m ashamed to admit that I sometimes reduce His Words to just another part of my to-do list. God’s Word should never become a chore or another line on a to-do list.
God’s Word is alive, active, and powerful. The Word of God doesn’t change, but the way we experience it does.
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
2. Take action on what you read
One of the quickest ways to activate and ignite your faith is to take action on the Word of God. Don’t just read it; do it! Whenever we trust in God’s promises we are forced to draw close and rely on Him.
We have the opportunity to allow the Holy Spirit to work through us in miraculous ways, but we must be ready and willing to act!
“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”
3. Serve others
It isn’t always easy and natural, but serving others should be a priority for any believer. Serving our neighbors moves our eyes from ourselves and onto others. The greatest example we have, Jesus Christ, was characterized by His selflessness and service to all mankind. As He lived to serve others, so should we!
“Even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
4. Do life with other believers
We weren’t designed to do life alone. If you are attempting to navigate through life without the help of Bible believing friends, then you are seriously handicapping your faith. Biblical community is the place that God has given us to be inspired, encouraged, and reminded of the goodness and greatness of Jesus Christ.
“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”
Hebrews 10:24-25 NLT
5. Ask questions
It’s not wrong to ask questions. That’s what you do in any relationship that grows. You shouldn’t feel wrong or un-spiritual by admitting you don’t know everything about God. His ways are far above ours, yet He invites us to know Him intimately.
If you have unanswered questions or if you are having trouble understanding something, then just ask. Ask God. Ask His people. The picture painted in scripture is not a God of distance, but of closeness. We aren’t promised every answer or complete understanding of all circumstances, but we are promised God’s presence during every circumstance.
“You have said, “Seek my face.” My heart says to you, “Your face, LORD, do I seek.”
While these are all practical ways for growing in intimacy with God, ultimately it’s not about what we can do at all; it’s about what Jesus can do. Our focus shouldn’t be on how far we have fallen, but on how far Jesus is willing to reach. Growing closer to Jesus really isn’t about doing anything; it’s about resting in what has already been done.
Matthew 11:28-30 (MSG)
28-30 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”