Our lives can become hectic and overwhelmed by expectations we and the world have for us, and it can seem like we have an unending list of things to do. However, sometimes we need to step back and realize what our number one priority should always be: our relationship with the Lord. Instead of coming up with more things to add to our Shamoo-sized list of to-dos, here are 4 ways that we can pursue a deeper relationship with our Lord by crossing things off our lists.
1. Stop putting God in a box.
When we are fall short of our own expectations we frequently project our own limitations onto God. We try to control everything in our lives because we do not trust that God will come through for us. We forget that through him all things are possible.
“He who forms the mountains, who creates the wind, and who reveals his thoughts to mankind, who turns dawn to darkness, and treads on the heights of the earth- the LORD God Almighty is his name.” // Amos 4:13
2. Stop making deals with God.
Sometimes when we really want things, we try to convince God to give them to us, saying; “Lord, if you help me ace my exam or if you make the cute boy chemistry ask me out I will be sooo good. Selfless service out the wazoo, I’ll pray every day and then some.”. Now, believe me, I’ve been that girl and when I got what I asked for I was overjoyed and when I didn’t I felt abandoned. Did God not want me to be happy? He did, and He does! But that’s not how a relationship with God works, it’s not a reward system. His graciousness is not measured by giving us what we want, but providing what we need.
“You shall not test the Lord, your GOD” // Luke 4:12
Lord, provide us with what we need in our lives and help us focus on that rather than the things we want and don’t receive. Help us in recognizing that you already gave us the most wonderful gift of all when you sacrificed your one and only Son to save us.
3. Stop running from God when things don’t work out.
At one point in their lives everyone has pulled a Jonah on God; we knew that the Lord was calling us to do something or working in our lives in some way we did not particularly enjoy. Maybe He took a relationship that was causing you to grow distant from him away or He threw you into a situation that required you to step so far outside your comfort zone that you weren’t even sure where you were anymore. Instead of trusting Him and leaning on His strength through these trails, we feel forsaken and alone. The Lord pursues us no matter where we go. The key to feeling relief from sadness and disappointment is to remember that our God is a loving God. He has a plan for us, and it is such a good plan. We just need to accept that we cannot understand his vast, magnificent existence and that in these times of uncertainty we must trust him.
“GOD has more in store for you than you can even imagine” // Ephesians 3:20
4. Stop holding on to your baggage.
We have all done things over the course of our lives that we are less than proud of, whether it was the way we treated someone or how we went about a situation. Afterwards we might have even felt ashamed and tried to hide these things from others and even God. However, God sees our hearts and hears our thoughts, even the unkind ones, and HE LOVES US ANYWAY! No one is unworthy of God’s love because we are not worthy through our own actions but through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. Instead of letting our pain and regret keep us from diving into a relationship with the Lord, we need to hand it over to Him. “Those who leave everything in God’s hands will eventually see God’s hand in everything:” -Unknown
Kathy // @kathysteinberger
Heyhey! My name is Kathy and I am studying Civil Engineering at Texas A&M University. I love hiking with my sweet dog, doing amateur yoga, and reading my bible in cozy coffee shops. God is hands down my best friend, and even though I can’t see it at times, I know his plan for my life is so so good. I truly believe that the love that Christ had for us is so unending that we are not meant to contain it in ourselves, but pour it out into the world!