I used to be that person who signed up for all the Bible reading plans.
I bought all the guided journals, and always wanted a different Bible than the one I had. But recently, I’ve discovered the simplicity of God’s love. I realized God isn’t concerned with my Bible reading plans or guided devotionals. While those things can be helpful, all you truly need is to show up.
God isn’t expecting that you have a plan. He isn’t expecting you to say the perfect prayer, or read ten chapters of the Bible. He simply wants time with you. He wants the real, the ugly, and the beautiful.
“Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 (NIV)
We, as humans, are all beautifully different from one another.
This also means that we all pray a little differently, all worship a little differently, all spend time with God a little differently. So, do what works for you. Do what makes you feel closest to God. Some people might feel more connected to Jesus through song, while others may feel most connected through His Word. Take the pressure off of yourself. You don’t need to copy your friend’s routine. You don’t need that specific Bible, those highlighters, that playlist, that iced latte… you just need to show up.
Have you ever hung out with a friend who is always distracted by their phone? Or someone who is always in a hurry to get on with their day? It’s hard because you can begin to feel like a burden, or an afterthought. It can be frustrating when all you want is quality time, and that isn’t something they are giving you.
I believe that is similar to how God feels. He doesn’t want you to reach for your phone. He doesn’t wish for us to be in a hurry, or be lost in anxious thoughts about the day. He just wants quality time.
If you’re feeling lost, or wondering where to begin, don’t worry, we’ve all been there.
God isn’t impatiently crossing his arms and rolling his eyes at us. Instead, He wants to help us, to guide us toward a deeper relationship with Himself. To do that, He has given us his Word. Scripture guides us and gives us a foundation of truth to live upon.
So, start with opening your Bible. Through His Word, we can observe the life of Jesus and all those who followed Him. By following His perfect example, we find our next step: prayer. When Jesus was here on earth, He would step away from the crowds to pray. Through prayer, we can receive refreshment, peace, purpose, joy. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s as simple as talking to a friend. A friend who listens intently, and cares deeply.
“Come near to God, and he will come near to you.” James 4:8a (NIV)
I challenge you to schedule time with Jesus. And I challenge you further to show up. I promise you, He’s already waiting. So set aside the distractions and pressure, and let His goodness and love meet you there.
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