Sometimes learning to walk out our personal relationships with the Lord is confusing, difficult, and downright boring. Yes, I know, it even makes me cringe to say that it can be boring, but if I’m being honest here, it can be, and I can promise you it happens to even the most upstanding, righteous people you know.
The truth is though, God is actually not boring at all. We are the ones who are boring.
We, as humans, need to switch things up a little sometimes. We need to change up our routines because changing our way of spending time with Him keeps life with Him interesting, and it also keeps us from slipping into religious habits rather than real, revelatory times of depth with Him.
I’ve been learning recently that just like how our lives have seasons and chapters, ups and downs, lefts and rights, our relationship with God does as well.
God doesn’t change, but our ability to relate with Him on different levels certainly does. Also, what God is doing in our hearts at any given moment can really change our perception and ability to relate with Him. I’m not saying that it necessarily changes negatively, but it just changes.
When life is rough, sometimes our perception of God can change to questioning His goodness, but He IS good, and sometimes He uses the times in our lives that are really difficult to prove just how good He really is.
On the other hand though, when life is smooth and going well, it can be easy to neglect our time with Him because, when things are great, we think we don’t need Him. He uses those moments of prosperity to teach us diligence and intentionality with Him, and to build our relationship to the point where we want Him, even when life is good.
Listen for Strategy
I’ve had quite a few people who have come to me saying that they feel like their relationship with God is falling apart or that they feel unmotivated because they don’t feel Him, hear Him, see their prayers being answered, or even something as simple as they’re just having a hard time sitting down and just being with Him.
A lot of times, when I’ve been told this, the first question I ask in return is if they’ve asked the Lord how He wants them to spend time with Him. Most of the time, with shock and amazement on people’s faces, they realize that, in fact, they had not asked Him that question.
Another thing is, if you’re feeling this way, RELAX. Sometimes the voice of concern in our heads can become so loud that it actually drowns out His voice. Sometimes He is speaking, but we can’t hear Him over our own voices.
I heard something from someone a long time ago that has stuck with me and challenged me ever since. They said that just like we can’t expect our earthly relationships or life in general to be the same all the time, the same thing also goes for our relationship with God. If we always do the same things habitually, e.g. pray, read the bible, pray, repeat, we would get so complacent about our time with God. God is so immense and multi-faceted, it would be a shame to look at only one part of Him or to only get to know or worship Him one way.
Imagine you’re holding a diamond. It has so many different parts and it can be observed from multiple angles; you wouldn’t want to just look at the top of it! When looking at a diamond, you want to see the top, the sides, and the bottom because light shines through it differently from whatever way you look at it. It’s beautiful!
This is what God is like, but infinitely more intricate than even the most precious diamond. He’s exceptionally fascinating, but if we’re only looking at Him through one lens, we’ll only see one part of Him.
I see God differently when I worship Him with music or songs, when I read the New Testament and the Old Testament, when I talk to Him in prayer. I see God differently when I’m telling someone about Him and when I’m being creative with Him. It seems simple, but this has been profound for me in my relationship with Him.
Let God Speak (Prayer)
One of the most beautiful things about being in a relationship with the Creator of the universe is that He LOVES to speak to us. He loves to share His heart, to bring us into partnership with what He’s doing on the earth, and He loves to tell us how He feels about us and about the world we live in. This is a key element that I think sometimes we forget.
I know for me, when I approach prayer in my times with God, sometimes I try to work up all these things to pray for, things to ask, words to say, etc. I forget to just let God speak. He wants to talk to us, but sometimes we just fill so much of the time with our own words that we don’t leave time for His. Just sitting and waiting on the Lord to speak is a learned thing. I find that silence is hard. Silence is a little bit scary, even. I challenge you to sit in silence for 30 minutes. No Bible, no praying out loud, no running thoughts. Just be. It’s hard, but so good!
I did this one time for 3 hours, and trust me, not falling asleep, not getting distracted by that piece of lint on the couch, not going into an in depth study of the Word, even in my head, was extremely difficult. The beautiful thing, though, was that in this 3-hour period, in between the moments of being absolutely bored out of my mind and seriously aware of my human frailty, I heard God in some really powerful ways. He is eager to speak, if only we would give Him space to.
Don’t Perform for Your Dad
The other thing I’ve had to remember when it comes to spending time with God is that He’s my Father. There are so many loud opinions about how we should approach spending time with Him, but the basic truth is that He’s an individual God, He’s our Dad, and we are all going to have different personal relationships with Him. He is a perfect Father and He knows us so, so well. Don’t perform for Him. He knows when you’re not being you. Let Him tell you how He wants to interact with you, and ask Him about it often.
When we’re not being authentic with Him and following a pattern that someone else set for us that He hasn’t necessarily asked us to do, we can slip into a performance mentality that actually can do more harm than good. Be real with Him. One of my favorite ways to spend time with Him in my current season is through art. I love to play my guitar and sing and to draw nature and just sit in awe of how creative He is. It’s a joy to be allowed to partner with Him in His creativity.
Another way that I’ve been really connecting with Him is through highlighting His attributes (action words, descriptive words, names of God, etc) throughout the book of John. A lot of times I go to the Bible for wisdom or comfort, but it’s been really refreshing to go to it solely for the purpose of getting to know better who Jesus is.
Every Season is Different
Remember that every season of your life is different and different ways of doing things come with that new season. Give yourself grace for the season you’re in, and ask God about that season.
We need to be aware of and okay with the different seasons that God has us in and the way that He wants to spend time with us in those seasons. Ask Him for strategy, give Him room to speak, and be yourself. He is kind, gracious, and loving and has more than enough wisdom and patience to go around. Be encouraged.
~ By Rachelle Butow
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