FAITH can be such a powerful part of your life. Here is how to level up in your daily partnership with God.
Most people want a jolt. They want a lot of progress really fast. I know I do. But it seldom works out in the long run. The best way into your best future is consistency.
Several years ago, we bought a van to accommodate our large family. It was a conversion van and even though it was old, it was pretty nice. But, it WAS old. So, It had quirks.
Vans are not known for their fuel economy. But, when we bought this van, I thought we had purchased the worst fuel economy in history. The van had two gas tanks but we were just driving locally. So, I only planned to use one while in town. My plan was to use them both when we took road trips. However, I was putting so much gas in this van, I doubted we were ever going anywhere at the time.
But, the day came that we needed to travel to another city, so I got ready to fill up BOTH tanks. When I took the cap off of the secondary tank, that I had not been using, gas squirted out of the tank. It was so full it was under pressure. I then learned that the switch that controlled which tank you used was not working properly. Gas was leaking from the main tank into the secondary tank.
It was kind of a nice surprise. I had been saving gas unknowingly. Just by regularly adding fuel to my main tank, I was also storing reserves in my secondary tank.
Your life, finances, weight, and relationships are all a product of your consistencies. Your exceptions flame out fast and don’t leave much of a trail. But, your consistencies store reserves for the future.
This 3 level series is meant to work on three miraculously powerful habits. They will increase your faith. And, increasing faith is vital to a peaceful, joy-filled life. They will also store reserves for leaner days.
So, here we go.
3 Ways To LeVEL Up Your Faith! – Level #1
Change Up Your Prayer Life.
James 4:8 (NLT) Come close to God, and God will come close to you…
Prayer. I know you just sighed. You are probably thinking, “Geesh, I learned that in Sunday School.” Yep, you did. I did too.
How much do you actually pray? AND…
What does your prayer time look like? What do you do when you pray?
Most people who attend church don’t actually pray daily. If they do, then they tend to pray only for things they want or need.
Do you like being friends with people who only ask you for stuff? Me, either.
Prayer is a conversation. Say that aloud, “Conversation.”
What is a conversation? A conversation occurs when two parties exchange information and ideas. Otherwise, it’s just a monologue.
As a parent, I’m pretty good at monologues. I talk, no one listens. But, hey, at least I said what needed to be said. Right?
So, change it up. If you want to grow you have to stretch yourself. You have to do something you are uncomfortable doing. Here are a few ideas.
Before you pray, breath. Make yourself stop. Tell your mind and body that it is time for a very important conversation. It is time to focus.
Next, grab a notepad. If you can use your phone’s notepad without falling down a black hole, that’s okay. But, the first time you “fall” into your email or InstaFaceTwitGram, you’re grounded. It’s an actual notepad for you. (And, me)
The notepad is for two things. First, so you can lasso those MANY stray thoughts and tasks and write them down. I know there is a risk that you will get distracted doing this but it’s necessary. If you don’t do something with those strays they will keep pulling you away from your meeting with God.
Second, some of those stray ideas are actually the voice of God. So, you will need to notice them.
Third, if your imagination goes wild with heavenly ideas, run with it. I am a firm believer that God uses our imagination to capture our hearts.
Doesn’t that sound a lot more interesting than just reciting a list to God every morning? Prayer is exciting and you have an enemy that is terrified that you will discover it.
Wake Up Your Quiet Time.
You know, steps one and two are interchangeable. Meaning one could be two and two could be one. BUT, neither can be both. I don’t know. I think I just sprained the logic center of my brain. Oh well, onward!
If you don’t have a quiet time habit, then it’s time to start one. If you do. Level up.
And… Even though devotional books can be very helpful, I HIGHLY recommend the Bible.
We need bigger thoughts than we usually have access to. We need larger ideas than human beings are capable of having. Books about the Bible can be helpful, but the best helper is the Holy Spirit.
Remember, the Bible brings us to Jesus. Jesus corrected a bunch of really smart religious dudes once by saying…
John 5:39-40 (NLT) “You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me! 40 Yet you refuse to come to me to receive this life.
Don’t be those guys. When you open your Bible you are looking for Jesus. He is the Word of God. So your Bible time is a search for Jesus! It’s like “Where’s Waldo.” But, Jesus is way cooler.
Here are some ideas on what this search might look like.
You can, of course, read your Bible. Reading is great for bigger picture comprehension of God’s story recorded in the Bible. But, reading by itself will become a mere task on your daily list. If you only read the Bible, many days you just won’t get anything out of it. And we want INSPIRATION, not mere duty.
Memorizing the Bible is great for keeping it on your mind throughout the day. It is especially powerful to review memorized verses as you go to sleep. The more you memorize the Bible, the more God’s words will find paths out of your life and into the world. So, yea, I’m a big fan of Bible memorization. Even if you forget quickly, as I do, the benefits are exponential.
Another great idea is to s-l-o-w d-o-w-n your Bible intake.
Sometimes I will read it out loud. I noticed again this morning, that the Book of Revelation has a special blessing for those who read it out loud. I don’t want to miss a blessing. Reading the Bible out loud will help you catch many things you will miss in an internal reading.
I have also read the Bible along with an audio Bible. Hearing someone else read the bible helps me catch things I might miss on my own. Plus, I learn how to pronounce some of those weird names.
Now, my wife writes down Bible verses. She has handwritten entire books of the Bible. I am way too lazy for that, but she gleans so much from the practice.
Choose a path, and WAKE UP a quiet time Bible routine. Remember, you are searching for Jesus!
Shake Up Your Generosity.
Stewardship. It’s a word that most don’t understand. It certainly isn’t used very often nowadays. But, it is a word that would serve us well. We need to relearn that we are only here for a short time. The things that we earn, save, and invest in are only ours for a brief season.
The whole point of pouring prayer and Scripture into your mind and heart is to have reserves for others.
So here in LeVEL #1, let’s work on being generous of ourselves with those closest to us.
What are some ways you can give yourself to your wife, children, or parents? What are some things you can share with those closest to you?
Challenge yourself to give first and most those who are close.
Some of the most beloved people are those who have learned the blessing of stewardship. They had come to enjoy the reality that God is the owner of everything they possessed. They were merely stewards of God’s bounty.
Talk about a way to free up your cares. Using God’s stuff as He intended is much less stressful than hoarding your stuff.
Well! There you go! You did it! You finished LeVEL #1.
I’ll see you soon and we’ll LeVEL UP in our Faith.
It’s beautiful what God is doing in you.