We often over-spiritualize following Jesus. We think walking with Jesus and growing in our relationship with Him is unattainable. We are not spiritual enough, don’t feel like we know enough about the Bible, and struggle to build a relationship with Someone we cannot see. But what if following Jesus and walking with Him came through simply growing a relationship through intentional discipline?
Throughout our lives, we have all had multiple deep relationships, whether with our parents, spouses, children, or friends. We have connected with another person in a deeply personal way where we could know them, and they begin to know us. These relationships developed through some intention on the part of both people to spend quality time and journey into deep conversation. Through this disciplined process, we were able to gain a deeper connection.
What if pursuing Jesus and walking with him was a similar invitation? We can spend quality time with Him, dive into deep conversations, and experience a deeper connection with Him. In church language, we would call the practices to help foster a deeper connection with Jesus “spiritual disciplines.” Spiritual disciplines are meant to be tools to help us spend quality time with Jesus, foster deep conversations with Him, and grow deeper in our relationship together.
Quality time with Jesus begins by being intentional to break away from the distractions of the world to spend time growing your relationship with Him. Some spiritual disciplines to help you separate from distraction to connect with Jesus include silence, solitude, fasting, and Sabbath rest. By intentionally removing yourself from noise, busyness, food, and work, you can better posture your mind and heart to spend time connecting with Jesus.
Once the distractions have been minimized, it is time for the conversation to begin. Through prayer, we speak to Jesus, sharing our hearts, desires, and concerns. Though Jesus is not physically in front of us, He still speaks to us through the Scriptures and when we listen for His voice. Though we are unlikely to hear a physical voice, Jesus speaks through others, our times of prayer, reflection, meditation, worship, and a feeling of peace and direction deep inside of us.
By disconnecting from our distracted worlds and having deep conversations with Jesus, we will see a deeper connection with Him begin to grow. We will begin to desire to set aside more time to spend with Him. We will begin to learn to listen more clearly to His voice. And we will begin to learn to walk daily with Jesus as the friend who will never leave or forsake us.
Spiritual disciplines are less about performance and more about pursuit. They put is in the posture and position to experience a deeper relationship with Jesus so we can begin to watch Him work in our lives in ways that only He can. Let us be people who follow Jesus’ daily invitation to grow deeper with Him a disciplined pursuit.