Daily Habits for a Closer Walk with God
When we watch the news, there is no denying that the wickedness that we see is increasing. Many blame Covid 19, mental illness, job loss, etc. These are all valid reasons, but let’s be honest, much of it is pure evil. And yet, we continue to bow down to our idols.
All through the Bible, God shows love to His people, and what do they do? They deny Him and bow down to their “Golden Calves.” I don’t know about you, but I do not have a golden calf insight, but I bow down to this little device in the palm of my hand regularly. If I’m not bowing down to it, I will run to it if it dings or rings in second’s flat. Mine even has an apple on it. Isn’t that ironic? Ok, I realize that the first sin was probably not an apple from an apple tree, but hopefully, you see my point.
Fourteen months into the pandemic, we are finally in a room with loved ones, and sadly, every generation is bowing down to their phone. If we are not bowing down to our phones or computers to check social media, we are look up to our TVs. What are we watching on TV? For me, still pretty PG-13, but I find myself checking out mentally while watching. A mindless trance almost, usually accompanied by eating!
It’s next to impossible to find clean, GOOD entertainment. It’s incredible the garbage we allow our eyes to see. (Let alone listen to)
Search for GOOD News
I’ve come full circle back to the news. We must learn to use the word news loosely! Recently, someone I know texted me (yes, I immediately read it). Her friends were talking about the rocket debris that was falling from space to hit the earth. She is young and needed my reassurance. I looked it up. No wonder she was terrified. There were legitimate “news” sources saying it could hit Jersey. They didn’t tell you (and National Geographic did!!) that the scope of this debris falling was possible in New Jersey south to AFRICA. If you were in a tiny little square where it hit, that would be rough, but it was over a 250 trillionth chance that would happen.
Are we only looking to man for answers? If so, we are in serious trouble because if you only listen to one news source, you get mostly opinion and not journalism or truth.
If you are a news junkie, the news could be your golden calf.
People can be golden calves, and so can work. Anything that makes you distant from God until you throw up a “Hail Mary Prayer” in a moment of distress or greed.
Throughout the Bible, God blesses His people, His people forget Him or turn to idols, lose favor with God, and this is the vicious cycle. But guess what? When His people are desperate enough, they realize they’ve gone astray, they repent, and God forgives them. Let’s remember that repentance is not “I’m sorry, forgive me” and then turn back to or toward another idol. Repentance means to TURN away.
Now, don’t worry, I’m not going to suggest that you give up your cell phones. If I did that, I would never have another reader again! Plus, it’s not MY place to tell anyone what to do! I can tell you what helps me. Just like good habits and routines help keep your home organized, get dinner on the table, or help you succeed at work- Good habits keep you closer to God and less likely to stray so far that you forget Him.
Daily Habits to Have a Closer Relationship to God
Put God First
Read, Study God’s Word, and Pray Early
In the morning, read his word and pray for THAT day. Set aside time early in the morning before the chaos earlier in the day starts.
Dedicate the beginning of the day to realizing that YOU are not
the one in control. Ask for forgiveness. Yes, every human being has something to confess! No one is perfect. If you think you are without sin, pride may be your sin. Thank God for your blessings.
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
“Matthew 6:34 ESV
Therefore, do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
Put People Second
(especially when they are in a room with you!) Many are good at “doing for others,” but few know how to devote their full attention or time to another.
For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Listen More. Talk Less.
Being a hair colorist, this certainly is a tough one! It’s an occupational hazard to talk too much! I believe many horrible things happening in the world would not be happening if we would learn to LISTEN to one another and not offer our opinions so much. So, whether it be your spouse, kids, parents, friends, co-workers, etc., try to listen to them. Most people just want to talk, and they can often work it out if you offer a couple of good questions.
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.”
Watch WHAT you Watch and Hear.
For me, it is essential what I see in particular. Ever since I was l little, I had pretty vivid nightmares. I am very sensitive to what I see. If I watch the news, I usually end up crying. (Which I think is a pretty human reaction to human suffering.) We need to be careful that we are not becoming desensitized to injustice and evil acts. I generally prefer to read the news. (If I watch, I like Lester Holt.)
Those who walk righteously and speak what is right, who reject gain from extortion and keep their hands from accepting bribes, who stop their ears against plots of murder and shut their eyes against contemplating evil.”
Drop the phone and Pray more
Seriously. If you are in the room with people, put that thing on the charger! Look people in the eye and give them your best self. Let’s face it; most adults are as addicted to their phones as kids are to Gaming and Tik Tok. I set time limits for myself, and that baby goes to sleep every evening until the morning.
If we all added just a bit more time in prayer and less time in mindless activities, I believe we would live in a very different world. Prayer is meditation for me. It calms my mind, and I have far less anxiety and worry. Replace just a fraction of your screen time and invest in more prayer time each day. Give your worries, cares, and petitions to God.
The truth is if I don’t take some time to pray throughout the day, I lack patience and understanding. I have knee-jerk reactions to things that don’t usually bother me anymore.
Keep the Sabbath
I’m not about to tell you what DAY that is. Different denominations have different ideas. Who cares? Keep A DAY!
Let’s be clear. Jesus was Jewish. If, for whatever reason, you don’t believe that, read your Bible. Heck, if you don’t think the Bible is reliable, read a history book. He kept every Jewish custom; He kept the law. He came to fulfill the law. Jesus kept the Sabbath. He also believed in plenty of time away from people to go and pray. Jesus NEVER told anyone to NOT keep Sabbath.
I don’t want to be legalistic here! Going to church shouldn’t be like punching a clock and heading home to do your own thing that you do every day of the week. One day a week should be special. God says over and over again to keep the Sabbath”!! It is serious. With it comes blessings and not keeping them; blessings are taken away. Look around this world! Sabbath is not 1 hour of church, and “I’m good.” It is about REST. Like real rest. Think vacation on a beach. Not an amusement park vacation!
The Sabbath was created for man. God doesn’t want us cranky, burnt out, and miserable. He wants us to be available to help others not scare them away. That only happens when we have time to refresh and renew our bodies, minds, and souls. So, work six days and save one to refocus for the following week on God’s goodness.
Remember Any Relationship is Only as Good as The Time You Invest
In any relationship, you must invest time and energy. If you don’t, you run the jeopardy of losing that relationship! If you believe in God, the Bible says over and over again that He is a jealous God. Just like your family, He does not want your end-of-the-day worst. He wants your start of the day best. Likewise, he also wants to work THROUGH you to bless and help others. God uses people that are willing.