If you follow me on snapchat- which you should, msalheri is my username, you’ll see that I’ve been out and about. And what does this mean? I haven’t had time to actually sit down and read my bible. I try to keep up with my devotional that comes through my mail every evening, mainly because I don’t like having unread messages, and not really because I want to sit and read what the devotional actually is saying. Shameful, I know. Transition periods throw us off balance so much that getting back into a routine could be even more challenging than necessary. I’m saying this from experience because last summer, I barely felt settled enough for anything and that affected the performance of my blog greatly. This year, I’ve been posting about three to four times a week because I have made the deliberate effort to do so. Even when I did not have the time or the inspiration to write, I sit myself down and get some writing done.
Transition periods take a toll on my personal, and spiritual life. And what have I done about it?
I randomly was reading an article on Pocket (the amazing app) about deliberate practice. The author argued that practice doesn’t necessarily make better, deliberate practice does. He said that someone who has been driving a car for five years actually could be a better driver than one who has been driving for twenty years. When? When the “less experienced” driver actually practices driving with the intent of improving, while the “more experienced” driver doesn’t think actively about driving. His brain is so accustomed to driving that it takes minimal effort.
This makes me think about my spiritual life. If I want to keep improving in my relationship with God, I must be purposeful and deliberate.
Here are a few tips (all inspired by the article)
1. Purposeful practice has well defined, specific goals. If you want to do something well, do it with the intention of improving over time. I care about my writing, a lot. I want to be so good that I can wake up and whip up an award winning essay, story, or short article. No jokes. And to this end, I practice writing very often. Even when I don’t have anything profound to communicate, I just write out the crap. I write out the sometimes useless thoughts that are milling around in my head; until the profound ones come to the surface.
So too, if we want to get closer to God, we must get accustomed to His presence. Even when you have nothing deep or spiritual to say, just sit and read your bible. When you don’t specifically have anything to pray about, challenge yourself to sit and speak in tongues for half an hour, without your mind wandering off. And when that becomes second nature to you, increase your target and deliberately practice to attain the new target.
2. Focus, focus, focus. To get better at something, we need to focus. We need to be so focused on the destination that we literally do not take our eyes to the left or to the right. We need to focus on the voice of God, and on the Holy Spirit to the extent that our communication does not even depend on actually going to a quiet place to pray and study the word. Sure, intimacy requires seclusion, but do you know that God can speak with you in public? In a crowded place? He can give you directions about someone or something, once you’re focused on Him. Our eyes must be fixed on Jesus and not turned to the left or to the right.
3. Feedback is key. As christians, we get our feedback from the Holy Spirit. He sharpens us and He corrects us. He tells us what we’re doing right, and where we can improve. He gives us direction and he gives us everything we need. He aligns us to the purpose of God and He teaches us how to get there. Even when we fall, He holds our hands and lifts us up. But one cannot know how they look unless they look into a mirror. We cannot know what the Spirit is saying until we look into His face, in prayer, and make inquiry. Ask the Lord to break you for Him. Ask Him to show you where you have to make the change, and as always, He will be more than glad to do the rest.
4. Break out of your comfort zone. Don’t try harder, try differently. Sometimes we need to spice up our routine, even with spiritual things. Take a prayer walk, pray with someone, pray for someone. Read a different part of the bible. Try a different style of communicating with God. Shake it up. Shake it up. Shake it up. If you’ve never prayed aloud before, try it. If you’ve never gone evangelizing, try it! Whatever you have done before, find a way to take it up to the higher level. But don’t go astray lol. Just shake it up and the Lord will guide your steps and honor you.
That’s it for today friends. I hope you enjoyed the post, and may God bless and keep you and make His countenance to shine upon you!