Welcome to Summer!
You know what that means – warmer weather, shorts and t-shirts, backyard BBQs, pool parties, and vacations!
Summer is also time for enjoying family and friends. Who doesn’t love sun-filled days and warm, lazy evenings? It is a great thing to be able to take a break and refresh yourself. The stress of our daily grind can take a toll on us both physically and mentally. Even our children have the opportunity to take the summer off from school. While there is nothing wrong with taking a break, we can never take the summer off (or even a day off) from our relationship with God.
As Kingdom citizens, we must stay vigilant and on guard. 1 Peter 5:8 (ESV) reminds us: “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”
As we approach the summer months, it is imperative that we do not disconnect from God.
Here are three simple ways I have learned to stay connected:
Wake up early
Make a decision to get up early and put God first in your day (Psalm 63:1)! There have been many times in my life I have said that I am putting God first, only to find that the first thing I did in the morning was look at my phone, check my email, or browse social media. I had to get real with myself and do a self-evaluation.
I recognized that my walk needed to line up with my talk. I had to change my daily routine, put God first, and make Him a priority over everything – over my spouse, over my children, and over my prideful need to ‘stay in the know’ online. I found that waking up early allowed me to establish a quiet time with God. Before the activity of the day, I was able to find peace in God’s presence and direction for my day.
We all know that the basis of any good relationship is communication. Prayer is the way that we talk to God. It is in these times that He can also speak back to us if we can still our hearts and minds long enough to listen. Psalms 46:10 reminds us to be still and know that He is God, and Jeremiah 33:3 says that if we call unto Him, He will answer us. Sometimes I thought that God was far away and that he was inaccessible. It was this wrong thinking that hindered me from trying to pray or connect with God. His desire is to be close to us. He wants to speak to our hearts and minds in the midst of the busy chaos of this world, but we must make the time and allow him the space to do so.
Listen to Scripture on the Go
Technology makes the Word of God available to us in so many ways. We can download an app to our phone and have the scriptures read to us. Getting the Word of God in our hearts is another way that we can stay connected to Him. I can remember a time when I would listen to the scriptures, even when I was not actively tuned in, something would be read that deeply resonated with my spirit. I found myself scrolling back in the recording to listen again. Many times it was something that spoke directly to a situation that I was facing. Romans 10:17 says that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. What better way to ‘hear’ God’s word?
As we enter the summer months, may I encourage you to intentionally find ways to stay connected to God?
Do not allow the summer (or your desire to really Netflix and chill) to steal your connection with HIM!