Here’s a dozen Ways to Keep Spiritually Fresh
- Daily Bible reading is food for the soul. The Bible is one of the main sources of nourishment for a Christian, which is why God gave it to us. If we want to know God more, if we want to love Him and know His love for us more, then we really need to read and study our Bible regularly and diligently. Not to read it as a tick box exercise, just going through the motions… because then the words just flow through our mind, like water gushing through a pipe – nothing sticks! We need to read it thoughtfully, prayerfully and expectantly. (Tip: The #1 selling Study Bible is the ‘Life Application Bible’ which provides useful commentary and examples of how to apply the Bible’s message to our lives today.)
- Download the ‘YouVersion’ Bible app at www.youverson.com and explore some of the many reading plans covering almost every subject. Or read the Bible in one year (with commentary notes). I recommend a resource provided by Nicky & Pippa Gumbel from Holy Trinity Brompton (HTB, founders of Alpha). Subscribe to ‘Bible in One Year’ at: www.htb.org.uk/bioy
- Prayer. – Jesus said if we remain connected to the vine we will bear much fruit (John 15:5). So remain connected to the Vine; be mindful of God continually and pray throughout the day. Involve Him in all that you do. Keep short accounts with God – be quick to give thanks and praise; be quick to confess and ask forgiveness for any short-fallings. Remember there is absolutely no substitute for a daily quiet time alone with God, to pray and to listen. Go for a prayer walk – even if it’s just round the block – or find a quiet place.
- To help get out of a spiritual slump change what has become routine; change something up, e.g. volunteer at a local homeless shelter or nursing home; starting keeping a gratitude journal; take a personal retreat; pick up a different translation of the Bible or do a ten-day fruit and vegetable fast like Daniel (cf Daniel 1).
- Form or join a prayer partner/triplet and meet together regularly (weekly or fortnightly) to support and pray for each other, for the church and for others you know.
- Keep a journal. – It is a great encouragement to keep a spiritual record of how God has spoken to you or used you, also browsing through past journal entries and remembering afresh how God has answered prayer and brought you through a particular situation.
- Fellowship. – Come to church every week, and try not to miss coming along. We need each other. Hebrews 10:25 (NIV1984 edition) says: “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
- Join a small group (home group) and commit to attending and contributing to the group. Proverbs 27:17 (NIV) says: ‘As iron sharpens iron so one person sharpens another.’
- Communion. – Take communion regularly and remember afresh what Jesus did for you, and how thankful you are. In the Lord’s Supper we share in receiving spiritual nourishment and refreshment for our souls. Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.”
- Read Christian material – books, biographies, lifestyle etc. Ask people you know what they are reading at the moment or what they recommend.
- Christian Music for the soul. – Worship and praise God as you listen to Christian music or compile a collection of your favourite songs. Tune in to Premier Christian Radio on Medium Wave 1305, 1332, 1413 (in London and M25 areas) or nationally on DAB and on TV Freeview channel 725, or Tune in to UCB (United Christian Broadcasters) on DAB or on-line.
- Keep spiritually fresh by constantly seeking to help and encourage others, and looking to witness to others the love of Christ. Remember, when you bend down to help lift another to their feet you can’t help but lift yourself at the same time.
This idea adapted from Mark Batterson, 2014, The Grave Robber, Grand Rapids: Baker Books, p.118