Just a few weeks ago, at the beginning of the year, I wrote a post called “The Most Important Goal for the New Year.” In that message, I talked about how we should make Paul’s goal our goal – to know Christ more.
This is still my goal, but can I be honest? It’s been hard.
It’s not that I’ve been lazy, distracted, or focused on other things. Okay, maybe a little! But mostly it’s because I’m recovering from knee replacement surgery.
Before surgery, I thought that I would be back to myself in a couple weeks. It’s now six weeks later and I’m just starting to feel some sort of normalcy again. Hence, I feel distant from the Lord. For weeks, I wanted to commune with Him like I used to. Instead, all I could do was focus on the pain.
Believe me when I say that I’m thankful I’ll be able to walk without pain in my knee, but I’m just being real with you. So, I decided to write this post because something tells me you might be feeling something similar.
You want intimacy with Jesus, but can’t seem to find it.
For many of us, we get stuck. Stuck in the same place. Our time with God is routine and mundane. We want new and exciting, but instead, it’s just ordinary. Therefore, we can’t hear God’s voice. And our joy is fading away.
Allow me to offer 5 ways we can get unstuck…
1) Ask God to give you something new!
Pastor and Author, Francis Chan, tells the story of a girl who was on the worship team at a college he often spoke at. Every time he saw her, he thought she seemed different. When he questioned her about it, she told him that each time she’s called upon to lead worship, she asks God to give her a new experience.
Don’t you love it? She always asks for something new.
If Francis Chan noticed it, I’m sure others did too. This must surely be a prayer that warms God’s heart.
God is the creator of the universe, so He is certainly able to bring new things our way when we ask. So, instead of asking God for the same experience He gave us before, or simply coming to Him in the same way we always have, let’s ask Him to create a new experience for us.
Feast on these words when you enter into His presence: “Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning” (Lamentations 3:23).
2) Stay next to Jesus!
At the beginning of Jesus’ ministry and when Peter was a new follower, we find a beautiful story in Luke 5:1-11. Peter was fishing when Jesus used Peter’s boat as a teaching pulpit for the crowd that had gathered. In regards to this story, here’s an excerpt from our Peter: From Fisherman to Follower Bible study:
Peter had a front row seat. He didn’t have to stand on his toes to see over the crowd, or squint to catch a glimpse of this preacher, or motion to the children to quiet their voices so he could hear. No, Peter sat right next to Jesus. He was positioned in the perfect place for a convincing encounter with the Almighty. He was in the perfect spot to catch a fresh vision of the One who had come “from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).
You may want to read the story for yourself (Luke 5:1-11).
It’s important we stay as close to Jesus as possible, no matter how we feel. Come sit quietly in His presence if that’s all you can do.
3) Read a new passage of Scripture!
It’s easy to focus on Scriptures we are familiar with. I know I have that tendency. So, here’s the challenge: pick a book of the Bible, a chapter, or a passage that you haven’t read in awhile.
Feast on it! Write down what new revelations God gives to you.
Research it. Google the passage and read what others have written about it. Use a Bible dictionary or a commentary to see what biblical scholars tell you.
And then let God speak to you.
4) Let someone’s story inspire you!
One story that has touched me recently is the release of Pastor Saeed Abedini from an Iranian prison. Millions of people have been praying for him. And four years later, he was reunited with his family and loved ones.
As I saw the photos, I thought “We watched the power of prayer right before our eyes.” This truly inspired me to keep on praying for my loved ones and to not give up.
There are many inspirational stories of unyielding faith, finding strength through difficulties, perseverance in the midst of trials, and stories of absolute devotion to Jesus.
Sometimes reading someone’s inspirational story helps us to put everything into perspective. It can be the perfect thing to reignite the passion in our spirit.
5) Let worship take you away!
Sometimes we don’t have the energy to do much of anything. But sitting quietly and listening to worship music doesn’t take any energy.
Worship welcomes God’s presence. And there’s nothing better to bring us into the presence of our God than through praise music. As you worship, let God move your heart for more of Him.
I hope these ideas may just be what you needed to get you unstuck. I plan to utilize them as well.
Oh, how God has spoken to my heart. I want more of Him. I hope you do, too.
Love and Blessings,