Ever feel like something is missing in your relationship with Jesus? For example, you know Him, you love Him, but you feel like that's not enough? Or perhaps you feel like others have a better connection to Him?
I sit down with many people who want to deepen their relationship with Jesus, read their Bible more, or spend more time in prayer. Often they simply don't know how to start (or how to stick it out). I've personally spent years of my life learning about Jesus and "studying" my Bible, without ever actually making progress in my relationship with Him.
Below are 3 elements that completely changed my relationship with Jesus, and also took my Bible reading and prayer life to a whole new level.
Change Your Motives
I used to read my Bible to make myself a better person. The focus was on myself. Then I started reading my Bible to focus on God's character (who He is) and why Jesus matters. This shift in perspective changed everything. The reason your relationship with Jesus is shallow might be that you're spending too much time looking at yourself.
When I stopped making it all about me, and started focusing more on Jesus, my anxiety and concern was gone, replaced with excitement and hope. In God's kingdom, true freedom always comes from living your life according to this statement: "It's not about me. It's all about Jesus."
Change It Up
We've all been told by someone when and where we should read our Bible. "You should start your day by reading it every morning." "You should read it in bed before falling asleep." For years, I tried to make my Bible-reading the very first part of every day. I would give up after 3 days because my focus just wasn't there. I also tried to open my Bible every night before bed. I'd read for 2 minutes before I was too sleepy to focus.
Sound familiar? If so, change it up. Literally. Just change where and when you spend time with God. For me, it took going to the coffee shop or sitting upright at my dining table. It might be different for you. And that's okay! This is not a one-size-fits-all thing.
Were you told you had to read an entire chapter when you sit down with your Bible? Did you know it's okay to start by just reading one verse per day? It's also okay with God if you pray for 10 seconds or 10 minutes. It really is fine. Trust me. He'd rather you spend time with Him every day than get frustrated and quit because you tried to overachieve.
The point isn't how much time you spend. The point is that you spend time with Jesus. Try praying throughout the day, read tiny bits throughout the day, carve out a piece of your morning, afternoon, or evening - it really doesn't matter. Doing it should be a priority, but it doesn't have to happen the same way every day.
Our relationship with Jesus should be our top priority. And like any relationship, it grows over time as the connection increases.