It has never been more important to grow deeper in Christ. For too long Christians, particularly in the West, have lived in a laissez-faire manner, without urgency, and lacking serious commitment. The landscape is changing. Society is becoming more hostile towards followers of Jesus every day. The foundations of our culture are being attacked with an unrelenting fervor.
It has come to where Christians are being silenced if they dare to speak Biblical truths. But this is no time for fear. It is time instead for a redoubling of our commitment and devotion to Christ. Toward that end, you must establish rhythms and reminders in your life that will make prayer and Bible study second nature.
I recently wrote about both prayer and Bible study (see “Read the Bible” and “Prayer Life”), because these two disciplines are keys to growth in your walk with Christ. You cannot grow deeper in your commitment to Jesus without regular time in prayer and study of His Word. If we are going to develop these disciplines, we need to develop rhythms and reminders in our life to make certain we are doing these things. A rhythm can be something like establishing specific and consistent times when we will pray and study God’s Word. Reminders are triggers we will use throughout our days that will cause us to remember God’s goodness and to give thanks. They can also remind us of needs in the world for which we need to pray.
One of my rhythms is getting up hours before anyone else, so I can spend quiet and uninterrupted time with God. Once the demands of the day begin, getting alone with Jesus can be all but impossible. After you establish a rhythm, it will amaze you how skipping it will affect your mood. Your mind and body will be out of sorts because of it. I recommend implementing your rhythms every day. Don’t skip weekends either. Establish the rhythm and then protect it.
As I go throughout my day, I look for hurting people. I study faces and body language. When I sense someone is struggling, I pray for them, which reminds me to pray for others in need as well. I have the Open Doors app (https://www.opendoorsusa.org/prayerapp/) on my phone that regularly will alert me to persecution around the world. These remind me to pray for our brothers and sisters in chains. My wife has prayer requests and Bible verses posted all over the mirror which reminds her to pray for people and to thank God for His provision and faithfulness. Reminders can be whatever works for you, they just need to be something that will trigger a prayerful response.
We can no longer coast through this life or continue the laziness we’ve allowed to creep into our personal lives and our churches. If we don’t get intentional in our discipleship, our opportunity to do so will pass us by. As we hurtle towards a post-Christian world, we must grow deep to prepare for what is coming. Unless we fully devote ourselves to Christ and rely on His strength, we will never make it. By establishing rhythms and reminders in our lives, we can reinvigorate our walk with Jesus and be the light our dark world so desperately needs.