NORMALIZE SPENDING TIME WITH GOD
It's funny how we use the term 'normalize' with almost everything these days, yet somehow never seem to apply it to the things of God. I've had to learn that if I want the best from my relationship with God, I've got to give Him QUALITY TIME. I strongly believe that this is God's love language.
We enjoy a relationship when we spend time nurturing it because in that time is where we get to understand and learn who we are with. How do you know that your boyfriend's favorite color is green or that your best friend loves exotic animals? By spending time with them. I feel like I'm repeating this sentiment a lot because there is a dangerous new narrative that I have observed which is that "we spend too much time focused on God and less time on ourselves". People are becoming apathetic to faith, prayer and worship of God and are boldly making this known to whoever cares to listen. I find this very unnerving because there are many who are impressionable and could be persuaded to feel the same yet I understand why this is becoming the heart posture of some folks today.
Many of us grew up with distorted teachings of the Christian faith. I for one believed for a long time that I could never be the "perfect Christian" because there were just too many rules and regulations. It was one giant list of dos and donts that just made my Christian walk a frustrating one. I felt this way because I was listening to sermons by preachers and pastors, revering them as the only ones who were and could be the perfect followers of God, concluding that I could never simply measure up. If I had only taken the time to normalize spending time with God for myself, I would have known the truth sooner. The truth being that God wants to be the One to show me who HE is not who people tell me that He is by just spending time with Him.
Perhaps my mind was not yet at the the place to receive this truth back in the day because many things were competing for my attention along with God; my social life, friendships, boys, jobs, the quest for money etc so even if the Father did speak to me, I would not have heard Him because I did not recognize His voice. I guess I finally came to a place where I needed to hear Him for myself. I've never been the type who seeks out "prophets or pastors" to hear from God for me but my thing now is that if God can talk to them, then He can talk to me too. What are they doing that allows them hear from Him? TIME SPENT WITH HIM.
When I started to normalize spending time with God, I began learning very many things and that knowledge informed the decision to start this Transformation Series where I had to unlearn religion so I could start relearning Christianity. Everything I'm learning, I share it here because I know that there are many like me who grew up feeling the same way about their faith. I want to be filled up with the Holy Spirit so much that when He speaks, I hear, when He instructs, I obey and not care about what anyone thinks or feels about it. Ephesians 5:15-18 reinforces this feeling for me to live wisely, making the most of every opportunity to spend time with and hear from God because the days are indeed evil.
I pray that you get the same conviction because if prioritizing things like mental health and normalizing it is important, then how much more our Spiritual health? May God grant us all ears that hear Him when He speaks and hearts that willingly receive Him when He comes knocking in Jesus' Name.