13 Ways to Help You Grow Closer to Christ

13 Different Ways to Help You Grow Closer To Christ.

No doubt you are looking for answers, possibly a step-by-step guide of how to grow closer to Christ.

 

I can’t offer that. No one can.

 

All of these activities are meaningless. I mean it. Not a single one will get you closer to God. Not a single one holds any meaning and will not serve you well if your goal is to close the gap between you and Christ.

 

Let me explain.

 

Jesus is very clear about what He is after. He is not after our time, He is not after our schedule, He doesn’t even want us to change our lives. He does not care about the motions.

 

HE IS AFTER OUR HEARTS!

 

Our heart changes everything as it controls everything.

 

If you were to take the Ten Commandments test you may think you passed if you were to judge yourself based upon your outwardly appearance.


I haven’t killed anyone.
I’ve never cheated on my spouse.

I haven’t stolen anything.

 

 But the Lord judges the heart because it’s the heart that He’s after.

 

You haven’t killed anyone but you’ve been angry.

You haven’t cheated on your spouse but you’ve had lustful thoughts.

You haven’t stolen anything but you’ve taken what doesn’t belong to you.

 

 
13 Ways To Grow Closer To Christ
 

 

It’s the same with our worship, with our time, with our lives. The Lord is not looking for us to "DO THE RIGHT THINGS." 

 

Reading your Bible will do you nothing if you don’t know Jesus.

Going to Church is just a good activity if your heart is hard.


These activities are just activities. Going through the motions will do NOTHING.

 

It’s about your heart.

 

What are you looking to accomplish? Why did you click on this post? Do you want to BE better? Do you want to be a better Christian? Do you want to stop doing bad things?

 

Those are the wrong reasons. We shouldn't try these activities to check something off our list or even try to better ourselves.


As Christians we are called into new life with Him. He doesn’t ask that we do things for Him. He isn’t looking for sacrifices, He has already paid the ultimate sacrifice.

He is looking for us to enjoy Him.

 

As Christians we are called to explore the depths of His love, to enjoy Him as we were meant to do, as we were created to do.

 

WE ARE CALLED TO KNOW HIS HEART.

 

We were created to walk with Him, to be in communion with Him.

 

So this isn’t a step-by-step guide. I offer no magic cure, just a promise that has been given to you THROUGH Him.

 

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” Matthew 7:7-11
 
Jeremiah 29:15
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord” Jeremiah 29-11:14
 

Seek His heart with your heart and you will find abundance.

 

13 Ways To Grow Closer to Christ

 

HIS WORD

1.     Read the Bible: seems simple but it’s a great place to start. Walk through a book of the Bible, read a Psalm a day, flip through and start random.

 

2.     Pray His Words: when I struggle with something I use God’s Words to pray and meditate so that His truth would sink into my soul. {Anxiety}

 

3.     Memorize His Words: pick a verse that addresses an issue you are having and repeat it to yourself, memorize it “for by grace you have been saved through faith and this is not…”

 

4.     Write His Words: write out His words and post them where you will see them {i.e. bathroom mirror, wall, cork board, office}.

 

5.     Listen to His Word: there are plenty of Bible apps that offer readings. When you’re driving, as you’re working out, doing the dishes listen to His Word.

 

6.     Listen to a Sermon: find a podcast to follow and listen on your phone.

 

HIS BODY

7.     Community Groups: join a group from your church, read the Bible together, share a meal together, pray with one another, do life with one another.

 

8.     Life Groups: find two or three other women and try and commit to meeting regularly. Encourage one another. Confess sins to one another. Speak truth to one another. Pray for one another. Be vulnerable and open.

 

9.     Family/Friends: enter Jesus into your conversations with your friends and family, pray for one another, encourage one another.

 

REFLECTION & DIALOGUE

10. Prayer: speak to God, enter Him into your life.

 

11. Prayer Journal: write our your prayers, your dialogue with God and see how He answers them.

 

12. Gratitude List: keep a list of things that you are thankful for, gifts that God has given you to grow your heart in gratitude and thanksgiving. {want more?}

 

13. Sin Journal: keep a list of sins that you’ve committed, allow the depth of your sin spur your affection for what Jesus did on the cross. {curious, click here}

 

Sarah is a daughter of the King, saved by His abundant grace, growing in His love. She is a wife, a teacher of little souls, a worship leader, a writer a recovering perfectionist and a lover of shoes.

Her blog --Ark in the Desert-- exists to expose the real and raw of her life and heart to help encourage and build up. You can follow her on Pinterest, Instagram or Facebook.

7 Tips To Help You Better Communicate With Your Spouse

7 Tips To Help You Better Communicate With Your Spouse

My husband’s words cut through me like a knife yet he looked surprised by my pain filled reaction.

 

I turned over in bed not wanting to look at him, hoping he would say the right thing to make this better to make me feel better, loved, more appreciated and cared for.

 

Instead it got worse like it usually does when we are both tired, exhausted by a full days work and not on the same page.

 

In those moments it’s so easy to believe the lies that flood my brain. The lies that say my husband doesn’t love me, that I’m not special to him, that it’s always like this, that it will never get better, that all hope is lost.

 

7 Tips To Help You Better Communicate With Your Spouse

Those moments when we are at our wits end are opportune times for lies to invade and truth to become obscure.

 

Everything gets blurred; small things become big things because we loose the larger picture, we forget the truth.

 

We are called to do life alongside one another, to reveal the Gospel in our marriage by loving through the hard, by persisting when you want to give up, by serving even when you aren’t being served.

 

It’s a hard job we have, two imperfect people living alongside one another, doing life together, seeking to become one.

 

It’s messy. Two sinners who get married are GUARANTEED ONE THING: sin.

 

It’s unavoidable. It creeps in during the worst times, as words erupt from our mouths marring our spouse, or misunderstood sentences get spun out of control or expectations just simply aren’t met.

 

Communication is THE hardest thing in marriage, yet it’s the most important.

 

Misunderstandings are at the root of all problems in marriage, misunderstandings that stem from miscommunication, which is why it’s so important to continue to work on it.

 

It takes consistency, it takes intentionality and perseverance. Perfection is off the table but there is always room to grow closer.

 

Here are 7 tips to help you effectively communicate with your spouse:

 

1.     Keep Pillow Talk Light:

It is never a good idea to start a lengthy or heated conversation before bed. If you are tired, go to bed and work through it tomorrow.

 

2.     Speak Expectations:

Tell your spouse what you want, or expect of him/her. Expectations should be talked through not kept as silent ammunition. Have honest dialogue about what you want and what you expect and know that some expectations are not ok to have.

 

3.     Be honest but Courteous:

Honesty is the best policy but don’t be a jerk about it. Pray it over with God to know when and how to say things. Think before you speak.

 

4.     Keep Your Emotions In Check:

Try not to overreact to something that upsets you. Take a step back, breathe and try and see it for the way it is, not the way you want to see it.

53 Questions for Closer Intimcay

 

5.     Speak Often:

Talk to your spouse, not just about work or the kids but inquire how he/she is doing. Ask them questions to get to know them, to pursue them. {If you don't know where to start click here for some FREE questions to help grow your intimacy and communication}.

 

6.     Examine Your Spouse’s Personality:

Try to understand how they process and react to things. Most likely they work different than you do. Allow them to be different (verbal processors, literal thinkers, logical rationalizers, emotional whirlwinds etc.). Examine your expectations of your spouse reactions and communication style.

 

7.     Choose Your Words Wisely:

It’s better to say a little and have it mean a lot, than to say a lot and have it mean very little.

 

As they say communication is key but no one said it was easy. It’s often very messy.

 

Good thing God isn’t scared of our mess, in fact He works in it.

That’s His thing. He takes messy and inserts himself making it beautiful.

 

So when conversations seem to have taken an unforgivable turn, when fights break out and all hope seems lost, when this thing, marriage seems unbearable just remember that. He takes messy and inserts himself to make it beautiful.

 

NOTHING CAN SURPASS HIS REACH NOT EVEN YOUR SITUATION. 

 

We just need to walk in faith and prayer. It may be messy but it’s GUARANTEED  to be beautiful because He makes beautiful things out our mess.

 

{Praying for your spouse can also help your communication. Husbands click here. &  Wives click here.}

 

Ark in the Desert

Sarah is a daughter of the King, saved by His abundant grace, growing in His love. She is a wife, a teacher of little souls, a worship leader, a writer, a recovering perfectionist and a lover of shoes. Her blog —Ark in the Desert— exists to expose the real and raw of her life and heart to help encourage and build up. You can follow her on Pinterest, Instagram or Facebook.

 

God Is Not Impressed With You

God is not impressed with you which is the good news of the gospel!

 

God IS NOT impressed with you. Hear me when I say this. The resume that you are trying to build will not hold up with Him.

You cannot win His affection, nor can you earn good status.

Maybe you’ve strived your whole life to do your best, to be a good person. You’ve given up your time and talents to give to others. You’ve worked hard and honest to get to where you are today. You’ve faithfully attended Church on Sundays and other events throughout the week.  Maybe you’ve had people telling you how good you are your whole life.

If that’s the case you’re not alone. That’s my story too. I struggle with feeling good, with looking at all the things that I've done and turning to God in expectation of acknowledgement. But God’s not impressed with you, nor is He impressed with me.

 

It seems to be this truth of the Gospel that is so often left out. The truth I fail to believe.

 

The reason Jesus came in the first place is because we COULD not. Jesus came to save because we could not save ourselves.

We were given the Law and yet we could not fulfill it. We were made aware of His expectations and yet we could not meet them.

God’s expectation is Perfect. No flaw, no sin of any kind. We friend are not that.

 

It’s tough to wrestle with because the World tells us one thing while the Bible tells us another. But if we are to call ourselves Christian than it is God’s Word we believe over the words of others.

 

“No one is good except God alone.”

 

And you my friend are not God. No matter how hard you try, no matter how good you may seem, you still fall short of the glory of God. We all do.

The reality is there are only two camps in life, Jesus and everyone else. By calling ourselves Christians we are publicly stating our great need, our understanding of the cross, because it was for that reason Jesus came: to die.

We are in great debt to God. We are not deserving of anything. What we hold to God is mere filth in light of His glory and holiness.

 

If you don’t understand this than you are missing a HUGE aspect of who God is.

 

God is perfect. You are not.
God is good. You are not.
God is holy. You are not.
God is loving. You are not.
God is pure. You are not.
 

OUR ATTEMPTS OF GOOD ARE STILL PLAGUED BY SIN AND FILTH.

 

Even if we have not committed murdered but have been angry we have broken the Law. Even if we have not committed adultery but have wanted someone or looked at someone longingly we have broken the Law.

Even if we have thought ourselves good we have broken the law, because we have put ourselves up as God and as it is written, “You shall have no other Gods.”

 

We are all lawbreakers, deserving of full punishment. But that’s the “good news,” the Gospel. In light of our brokenness, in light of our unlawfulness God rich in mercy sent His Son to take our place, to pay for our sins on the cross.

It was there that Jesus poured out His blood to atone for our sins, all of them, past, present and future.

Christ the perfect, holy son of God humbled himself to human form being broken, bloodied and shamed taking all of our sin, shame and guilt and canceled our debt.

 

We are no longer in debt to God, but freed by God to live a new life in Him.


WHY?

Because He is good. Because He is merciful. Because He is just. Because He is God.

 And we are His children, covered in the blood of the Lamb of God.

 

Now when God sees us He sees His perfect Son who paid for all of our filth. The resume we now carry says one word; Jesus.

 

Thank the Lord, God is not impressed with you or with me. The Lord wants more for us, He wants to give us Himself so that we might enjoy His goodness, His love, His mercy and kindness. And that my friend is Good News!

So in the wake of Easter be reminded of what God has done for you, what you could not do for yourself and instead of focusing on your sin or your perceived goodness focus on the Almighty God who loves you beyond measure.

The Good News is you can't, but He did and now you are His forever. Amen.

 

Ark in the Desert
Sarah is a daughter of the King, saved by His abundant grace, growing in His love. She is a wife, a teacher of little souls, a worship leader, a writer a recovering perfectionist and a lover of shoes. Her blog --Ark in the Desert-- exists to expose the real and raw of her life and heart to help encourage and build up. You can follow her on Pinterest, Instagram or Facebook.