This article is written by Shirley Alarie (Finding God Among Us) as part of the Deeply Rooted series. To submit a guest blog, click here.
Seeking God was the one thing King David wanted, if there ever was one thing He could only ask. This may be the reason why he was named the man after God’s very own heart. As Christians, we pursue to seek God deeply; even in seasons when it can be challenging to do so.
I’ve been blessed with amazing faith that probably stems from the drowning of my brother when he was sixteen years old and I was six. Since then, I’ve had several amazing moments in my life when God clearly spoke to me, but there are many more days when He is silent. The most recent direction He gave me was Seek Me and my motto became Jeremiah 29:13:
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.Jeremiah 29:13 NIV
Since then, He’s been silent. So, which way do I turn? What did He really mean? Why is He leaving me stranded without more direction?
His silence beckons me to seek Him with all my heart, drawing me near. I put my spirit in His presence and feel Him in my soul. I keep Him close throughout the days. I read His Word more fervently and thoughtfully. I feel the shift in my thinking. I feel discernment comes more easily. I keep my eyes, ears, and heart open to Him.
I’ve only realized in the last couple of years while truly seeking that ‘seeking with all your heart’ means so much more than just being Christian. Three key shifts in my daily routine have led me to the deepest and most meaningful relationship I’ve had with God in my life and I hope they help you to draw nearer as well.
3 tips in Seeking God deeply as Christians
1. We must choose to get past Rote Christianity
Rote Christianity is the term I use for going through the Christian motions. We go to church, we (maybe) read the Bible, we’re kind to most people, and we love our family.
To an outsider, everything looks good. Except, the problem with Rote Christianity is that it takes place in our head, not our heart. We’re fulfilling obligations. We pray the bare minimum. We love Jesus, but we make excuses that we’re too busy to spend time with Him. We might know a lot about Jesus, but we don’t truly know Him.
How many times have you recited the Lord’s Prayer? Remember this is how Jesus told us to pray in Matthew 6:9-13 (NIV version included):
“This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come,
your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’
How often do you pray the Lord’s Prayer with intention (your heart) versus saying the words by memory while your mind wanders somewhere else (your head)? When you pray to ‘forgive us as we forgive others’, have you really forgiven others – or do you just want to be forgiven? Do you pray with the full understanding that you face temptations and need deliverance from the evil one?
Every powerful word of the Lord’s Prayer is a beautiful way of seeking when prayed with full intention. This prayer constitutes a meaningful conversation with our Father, including acknowledging the majesty of God (hallowed be thy name) as well as striving to live according to God’s will instead of our own. It’s potentially life-changing when we really take it to heart. Conversely, when we pray with Rote Christianity, it doesn’t have much more value than reading a shopping list.
2. Meet Jesus in the Gospels
One of the most impactful pieces of advice in my journey of seeking God came from Matthew Kelly’s book, Rediscover Jesus. In Kelly’s typical, simple, but powerful style, he suggested reading the Gospels regularly to establish and deepen a true relationship with Jesus.
Jesus tends to be the most relatable of the Trinity, and the Gospels allow us to fully reflect on the example He set for us in regards to living according to God’s will. In the Gospels, Jesus deepens our understanding of the Father and Holy Spirit, and ultimately, He sacrifices His life for us. These poignant and prominent books of the New Testament allow for deep reflection of an amazing God who sent His only Son to save us.
3. You have time for God.
“There’s never enough time.” It’s the excuse we use to let ourselves off the hook for not accomplishing something we know we should.
Seeking God is a choice. You have time for it if you make the time. One thing you can change immediately is to transform any Rote Christianity from your head to your heart and it doesn’t take a minute more of your time.
For example, if you zip through your daily Bible reading but don’t absorb any of it, try reading half of what you normally would, but concentrate on the meaning and what God’s trying to tell you instead of rushing through.
Another easy way of bringing more Jesus into your life with no additional time required is to substitute Christian entertainment in place of secular television, books, music, movies, or podcasts.
There are many ways to become and remain deeply rooted in your relationship with God. I pray my tips inspire you to spend more time in the Word and strengthen your relationship no matter how strong it already is. Seek God through your heart and you will find the pathway to Him unfold.
Shirley Alarie writes to inspire anyone seeking a deeper, more meaningful relationship with Jesus. Her blog, devotionals, Christian book reviews, and printable faith-building tools and guides can be found on her site at FindingGodAmongUs.com.