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10 Ways to Reconnect with God in the Middle of the Year

10 Ways to Reconnect with God in the Middle of the Year

It’s the middle of the year, and if you’re looking back at your resolutions and wondering where the past 6 months have gone, you’re not alone. According to statistics, 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by February. If you’ve ever doubted change is an uphill battle, just take a good look at that stat.

When I think of the word resolution, I think of redefinition. We make New Year resolutions to resolve what needs redefined. Local news channels will show us segments of packed gyms and new diet programs, but what about those of us who want to focus on our spiritual diet? Many Christians make Bible reading a New Year’s resolution, and sadly, we reside within the 80% of those who fail. Here’s the good news: It’s never too late to restart. Here are 10 ways to restart the year and reconnect with God, even in June.

  • 1. Schedule time.

    I don’t have to tell you we live in a crazed society depending on Smart Phone calendars to make it through the day. We are intentional about scheduling time for just about everything. If we don’t, we’ll never remember where we have to be or what time to be there. Just about every successful business owner I know agrees on one thing: if you want to thrive, organize your time.

    Scheduling time in the Word every day is not a bad thing if it ushers you into the presence of God. And, because the Word is living and powerful, (See Hebrews 4:12) before long you will begin to crave the power that comes from spending time there each day.

  • 2. Have realistic expectations.

    Some of us have huge aspirations. We want to spend hours a day connecting with God through His Word. Realistically, we don’t have that much time to give. God knows that and He understands. That’s where our prayer relationship comes on the scene, but that’s another article for another day. It’s very important that when scheduling time to meet with God each day, we also decide how long we can realistically spend. I recommend giving yourself at least 10-15 minutes every day. Overtime you can adjust this, but it’s important to begin with a reasonable amount of time so that you can set yourself up for success.

  • 3. Choose a place.

    When you intentionally choose the same place to meet with God each day, it will become routine. I realize there’s a stigma amongst Christians who think there needs to be a moving away from “religious spirits.” Many feel that routine leads to rituals and will override relationship. To clarify, that’s not at all what I’m talking about. Learning to restart and redefine time with God means making positive changes to foster the goal of having a deeper relationship with Jesus through His Word. There is nothing wrong with meeting God at the same time and place each day.

    Choose a space where you feel comfortable and at peace. Maybe it’s on your couch, a patio chair, or in your office. Wherever it is, make sure it is a place you are content and at rest. I have a leather chair in my family room. Every morning I sit there with my Bible, notebook, and steaming cup of coffee. It’s a place in my home I feel peace and joy. 

  • 4. Decide on a reading plan.

    This can be tough. Looking at that huge book broken up into 66 pieces of ancient text can seem overwhelming. It doesn’t have to be. You can do this! The key is to choose one of the 66 books and stick to it from beginning to end. I recommend starting with the gospel of John. I love the way his personality shines as the Holy Spirit speaks through Him. 

  • 5. Choose a Bible translation you can understand.

    I’ve had seminary professors say the only Bible worth reading is the King James. There’s a lot of background as to why they say that. However, I don’t think trying to decipher old English leads you any closer to Jesus than the Message version. Personally, I use the New King James Version. It’s easy to understand and doesn’t omit sections that other translations or paraphrased versions tend to do. Regardless, you need to choose a Bible that works well for you. Whether it’s the NASB, ESV, NIV etc.… don’t let it overwhelm you. Think about either doing an online search, or going to a bookstore where you can grab a cup of coffee, a stack of Bibles, and scan text. Make sure you can understand it, and then choose what works best for you. 

  • 6. Pray.

    Every morning when I open my Bible I ask the Lord to grant me wisdom only He can. It’s important to recognize that there have been scholars who devoted their entire lives to understanding everything in the Bible and still died knowing very little. We have to trust that the Holy Spirit will reveal what the Father wants us to know, and be satisfied in taking small steps in our journey of learning His Word. We don’t have to be scholars or influential theologians. We just have to be willing to get to know our God. 

  • 7. Understand the characters lived and breathed.

    We often hear the word character and immediately think Fiction. It’s important to understand that the Bible is the infallible Word of God. Every person in it lived and breathed. We need to choose to believe, even though some of the stories defy human logic, that it is all true and that Our God is God of the impossible. 

  • 8. Be willing to step into the lives of the characters

    I once caught a rerun of a Friends episode when Joey is visiting England and can’t figure out how to read a map meant to take him to tourist attractions. He sets his map on the ground in front of him and steps on top of it. When his feet are on the map, he can instantly see where he needs to go. I think that’s a great analogy for reading the Bible. (And, yes, I know Friends isn’t a moral show, but try to see where I’m going with this. Trust me.) We need to metaphorically take leave of modernity and step into antiquity.

    Whenever I read a book, I make a movie in my mind, and through my imagination I see faces and feel emotion from characters. It’s important to do that same thing when reading the Bible. Think about the history. Leave your modern world and step into the ancient. If you have a study Bible, you can learn the background of the protagonist and understand who they are on a deeper level. When we do these things, we will find commonality with the characters and bring attention to the fact that if God worked through them, then surely He can work through us! 

    Image Credit: Thinkstock.com

  • 9. Don’t be afraid to write in your Bible.

    I use my Bible as a journal of sorts. Someday, I want my children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and down the line to see what God spoke to me and what I believed. I circle passages, underline, highlight, and make notes. I almost always date them. This helps me to look back on what God has done. From answered prayers, to brand new spiritual awakenings I have record of Jesus working powerfully in my life. Do not be afraid to write down what God speaks to you in the margins and date it. When you begin to see His fingerprints in your life through notes you’ve written, it will keep you coming back to His word without fail. 

  • 10. Remind yourself you can always restart.

    James, the half-brother of Jesus, tells us there is more grace. (See James 4:6) God truly wants to spend time with you. He created you intentionally with great purpose, and He longs for you get to know Him. If you miss days and have to restart, there is grace. It doesn’t matter what you’re going through or where you’ve been, God wants to speak to you through His Word, convey you’re not alone, and show you great love that only He can. He is always willing to meet with you, so never feel ashamed or condemned. If you have to continue restarting and reconnecting, so be it. That tells me something incredible about who you are: you long to spend time with God and you’re going to keep working at it.

    None of us are perfect and the struggle of discipline in every area is very real. Just keep on keeping on. There is no condemnation in Christ. (See Romans 8:1)

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    Jennifer Kostick– Jennifer Kostick is an author and speaker who teaches women how to activate their life’s purpose through the study of Scripture. Jennifer knows more about grief and loss than she ever thought she would, but Jesus met her in the middle of fierce storms and held her tightly with an even fiercer love. Jennifer blogs at www.Jenniferkostick.com and is passionate about encouraging women through a godly message of mercy and hope.