“He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he restores my soul.”
—Psalm 23:2 – 3a
With six kids, a husband, and a fulltime career, I don’t need another to-do. I’m guessing you don’t either. We have plenty of time takers and time wasters, most of which drain us dry. That’s why, at least in part, we cling to our faith. It quenches our thirst, fills us up. Still, let’s be honest — sometimes the discipline of a quiet time starts to feel like one more chore.
Been there? Me, too.
Somehow I don’t think that’s what God has in mind.
We know time in the Bible and prayer are important to the life of faith. We know it’s about relationship and understand that any relationship requires an investment of time. No different than the relationships we nurture with friends, spouses, and children every day. But how do we keep our relationship with God from feeling like a to-do? How do we keep it fresh, something we look forward to, in spite of our overwhelming, over-busy days?
Get Rid of the Guilt
My parents started going to church when I was less than a year old. That means I grew up ingesting Bible teaching as much as my Cheerios. But somewhere along the way, guilt moved in and started polluting my God relationship. I had to read my Bible every day, or God would be disappointed in me. I needed to pray for fifteen minutes (at least!) or God would shake his head, ashamed. I could quote the “saved by grace, through faith” verse, but I feared losing favor if I didn’t perform. John said, “Perfect love drives out fear” (1 Jn. 4:18). Refuse to let guilt and fear sap the sweetness of relationship. God adores you. Period. Whether you show up or not.
Get Rid of the Rules
If my child came to me, eyes downcast and said, “I put my clothes away, because I knew you’d stop loving me if I didn’t,” I’d be appalled. As much as I want them to learn responsibility, my love has absolutely nothing to do with their obedience. One is separate from the other, and if there’s one thing I want to get right as a mom, this is it. Relationship isn’t about rules. If it is, it’s no longer relationship — it’s slavery. “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him” (Jn 3:17). Jesus is about saving, not condemning. When it comes to Bible reading and prayer time, both are valuable and good. But don’t let a list of rules deceive you in to thinking His love is measured according to methods or minutes.
Get Rid of the Lies
The chief battle for my relationship with God takes place in my head — not my schedule. Yes, life is busy. Yes, at times I allow the urgent to trump the important in my day. But the most powerful force in my faith walk is what I think and ultimately believe about how God feels about me. Does God really see me? How can my every-day struggles matter to Him? Does He want to hear from me, even though I blew it yesterday? Instead of buying into doubts and lies, you and I must build our beliefs on what God says is true:
- “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deut. 31:8)
- “I will fulfill my purpose for you.” (Ps. 138:8)
- “I have made you and I will carry you.” (Is. 46:4)
- “You are worth more than many sparrows.” (Matt. 10:30)
Now that’s Someone I want be with.
Leave a comment!
Does your daily walk with God ever feel like a to-do? How do you keep it full of life?