I didn’t feel like spending time with God today.
That’s been one of my biggest problems lately: spiritual depth. I want to go deeper, but that desire quickly fades and I do something else instead. My problem is a love problem: I say I want to go deeper, but I don’t want to spend the required time with God. I want to know him more and better, but I don’t want to set aside a time in my day to be with him.
It’s a contradiction in terms! I used to think I was a bad Christian because I wasn’t overflowing with this love for God. I’d see new Christians who were on fire and had a greater depth and passion for Jesus than I did and become morose because I didn’t have that flame.
But then I read Psalm 103:1–“Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name!”
Those are the words of David, arguably the most passionate man for God of all time. He was constantly singing praises to the Lord. And yet, right here we have evidence that this didn’t come naturally. He has to tell himself to bless the Lord!
That’s because David is human and so are we. Our human bodies don’t want to worship God because hey, who has time? I got stuff to do. I want to play this video game. I have to check my email. I’m not in the mood. I’ll do it later. Excuses, excuses.
But David knew the truth: mind over matter. Worshiping the King of Kings is not a matter of you being in the right mood, it’s a matter of giving Him what is due. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 9:27 that he beats his body and brings it into subjection. Why? Because our bodies don’t want to do anything that inconveniences them. We’re selfish creatures by nature because of the Fall, so many times, we have to command ourselves to Worship God.
Please be clear: I’m not saying that being with God should be a drudgery. I’m saying our spirit knows it’s worth it, but our body doesn’t want to make the sacrifice.
So, I started doing that: pumping myself up to pray. I believe every believer should have a daily prayer and Bible life because these two things get us closer to God the more we immerse ourselves in them. But you won’t always say, “Oh, boy, I get to read the Bible some more!” or “Praying, my favorite!” Some of you might, and if so, I want to learn from you! For the rest of us, we need help.
Here are some tips I’ve learned on how to “Pysche yourself up” for Jesus.
Remind Yourself Why.
The very next line of David’s Psalm (103:2) is this: “Bless the Lord, O my Soul, and forget not all his benefits:” Please notice the colon. The verses continue with the benefits of God, all his great wonders.
You can’t just sit down and say “Worship God, darn it!” That makes Christianity a chore, not a relationship. You have to remember why you worship Him. Not to fill some check box in your day, but because God is worth it!
Pull a David: remind yourself why God is worthy of praise. Remember the blessings you’ve received from Him. Do it out loud and make it personal! In our daily lives, we forget the greatness of God, so we must bring it to the front of our minds, and when we do, we will desire to worship Him.
If you’re musically sensitive, like me, songs can have a great impact on you. A great worship song makes me want to dance and shout and cry (and a bad one makes me want to smack my face on the seat in front of me). Pick out one or two of your favorites songs and sing/hum/whistle, whatever you need to do to stir up your feelings for God. You’d be surprised how easily this can turn from pre-written music to spontaneous, personal words of praise and acclamation.
Chat with God.
I call this “Pre-prayer.” Talk with God like you would anybody else. This stirs you into conversation with him because Christianity is, again, a relationship. Invite Jesus into your prayer time, your day, your night, your car, wherever you are. It’s kind of like a warm-up. How do you warm up for an exercise? By using those same muscles. How do you warm up in singing? By singing! In the same mindset, chatting casually with God can remind you how close, personal, and accessible he is. From there, you can move the conversation into actual prayer and time with Jesus.
One of the things I do when I’m not feeling like reading my Bible or talking to God is read through some of the blogs I follow. I follow enough Christian blogs that there’s always at least one new post about God each day, and the stories I hear inspire me to speak to God myself.
Another avenue is Christian books. Think of this as a great movie review: someone talks about the movie in fantastic depth and with great joy, and that makes you want to watch the movie yourself! Reading a good Christian book can remind you why God is so awesome, or even discover new ways that God is so awesome! But remember: a good Christian book will encourage you to drop that book and go straight to the source: God/the Bible.
Confess Your Weakness
How do you love someone more? By trying harder? By forcing yourself to spend more time with them? As if! You can’t change your heart.
But God can.
God is the transformer, the one who takes what no man can fix and mends it. Tell God the truth: that you don’t feel like being with him in your body. That you don’t love him like you should. That often times, you’d rather do anythings else than read that darn old book again.
Confess to God, that’s what he’s always wanted since the dawn of time. And ask the Holy Spirit to move in your life, to stir you towards God. This may sound ridiculous and contradictory, but this is all God. He wants you to be honest, and he wants you to be with Him. It’s another case of “The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” Let God reach into you and fill you with the love that defines him. Invite him to overflow you with so much of his love that you fight to give back what little you possess in gratitude.
Make God your Life
By this, I mean don’t squish God into one facet of your life. You’ll be see Him as just another item to scratch off your to-do list, something that is easily ignored, and again, a drudgery.
God wants to fill your life–your WHOLE life. Allow him to do so. The more and more you experience of God, the more and more you WANT to experience Him!
Philippians 4:8 says to focus on the things that are noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, and praiseworthy. In other words, focus on the good! And what greater good is there than God?
Allow God to permeate your life. This may take time, but God is transforming us each in our own season; this doesn’t happen overnight. When your life revolves around God and not you, making him for him is like making time to visit your own house. You’re already there! Your life will become a life of praise and honor for God, and taking extra time to stop and give pure attention to Him won’t be a chore, but an adventure!
What do you do to get yourself excited for God? Let’s share our ideas and encourage each other and build one-another up as 1 Thessalonians 5:11 says to do.