10 Tips for Getting Spiritually Unstuck

Combining Bible study with a little cardio at the gym seemed like a terrific plan. Sadly, 10 minutes into the workout my mind was a million miles away. Have you ever let distraction, routine or maybe pride block your relationship with the Lord? I have.

I reached out to friends on social media and at church for help, and turns out, I’m not the only one who sometimes feels spiritually stuck.

10 Tips for Digging Out of a Spiritual Rut

1. Unplug.

Do whatever it takes, short of putting the kids up for adoption, to disconnect from noise and distractions. Waking before anyone else in your home is 99% guaranteed to help you hear from God.

2. Let somebody in.

Confess your situation to a trusted friend and ask for prayer. Give them permission to get in your business and ask you tough questions.

3. Shake things up.

Doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different result is insanity. Maybe it’s time for a change of location or a new study. Maybe it’s time to try hearing God’s Word instead of reading it. YouVersion offers more than 1,000 Bible versions, 700 languages, and an audio version of the Bible.

4. Be real.

Sin can short circuit your close connection with Jesus. Psalm 139:23-24 invites the Lord to search our hearts and reveal anything that separates us from Him. If sin is revealed, immediately confess it and ask for forgiveness. Pray for God’s strength to help you turn the other direction.

5. Step out.

Getting outside to walk, run, or hike is a phenomenal way to focus on the Lord and His creation.

6. Say thanks.

Psalm 100:4 reminds us to enter God’s presence with thanksgiving. Make a list of 10 things you’re grateful for, or post a “gratitude board” in your home for family and guests to write on.

7. Listen up.

Music, for many of us, is the quickest path to meaningful worship. If you’re going through a challenging season, tuning in to a podcast or cranking up some worship music can bring encouragement and direction.

8. Serve.

Serving is an excellent antidote for spiritual stagnation. Ask the Lord, “Please show me who I can bless today. Help me look outside myself!”

9. Go old school.

Are you ever distracted by your tablet or smartphone during your time with Jesus? You may want to go back to the book. Reading an actual Bible — one with pages and no charger — can help.

10. Have a conversation with Jesus.

Sit quietly with a blank journal and wait to hear from the Lord. Then record what you sense He is saying. You might want to ask questions. It is amazing how He will speak to us when we turn down the bass and the noise of life, and listen.

3 Things Every New Christian Needs to Know

Maybe you came to church to pacify a co-worker or friend.

Maybe you came as a gift to your parents or a way to show interest in something that’s captivated your teen’s attention.

One way or another, you showed up to church and something in you changed. For the first time, you understood who Jesus is, what He did for you, and the life He wants for you. And when the pastor invited people to start a relationship with Jesus, you were in.

When you said yes to a relationship with Jesus, you said yes to eternity in heaven and a new life here on earth. It was all so exciting on Sunday, but then you wake up on Monday, and you face the same question new Christians have been wrestling with for decades:

What happens now?

3 Things Every New Christian Needs To Know

1. You are different now.

2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”

When we ask Jesus into our lives, we are made new. You are not the person you used to be.

The addict? That’s the old you. In Jesus, you can overcome.

The cheater? Not who you are anymore. In Jesus, your relationship can be restored.

The liar? Dead. In Jesus, you have the ability to understand God’s truth and share it with others.

Jesus’ death paid the penalty for your past sin as well as all the sin you’ll commit today and in the future. He’s that powerful! And that same power is now in you. It’s called the Holy Spirit. It what guides us and gives us the ability to overcome sin.

You may not feel instantly stripped of all of your imperfections and insecurities. Part of learning to follow Jesus step by step is learning to hear from Jesus and do what He says.

As we follow Jesus’ example, our actions and desires begin to change. Instead of wanting the things our old selves would want and doing the things our old selves would do, we find ourselves wanting what Jesus wants and doing what Jesus would do.

2. You don’t have to figure it all out on your own.

So many of us have believed the lie that seeking others’ help and guidance is a sign of weakness. This is pride. We can only grow so much on our own.

Hebrews 10:24-25 tells us the opposite:

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up on meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another— and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

At Blue Oaks, we believe you can’t do life alone. Jesus believes this, too! Jesus had 12 close friends and followers, called disciples. He spent every day with these guys, teaching them and sharing meals with them. His relationship with the disciples is the perfect example of what community looks like. If we really want to follow Jesus we must begin to build authentic relationships with other Christians.

3. Keep coming to church.

Romans 10:17 says, “faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.”

The best way to know Jesus better is to learn more about who He is. Just as a teacher uses her teacher’s manual to instruct students, a pastor uses the Bible to teach Jesus’ followers about Him. As we grow in our understanding of who Jesus is and apply what we’re learning in everyday life, things start to change. We’ll find we have peace we didn’t know was possible and a more purposeful life than we ever dreamed.

Salvation is a starting point, not a destination. Just as relationships with other people grow over time, your relationship with Jesus grows over time as we follow Him. You don’t have to figure out how to be Christian all at once or all on your own. Keep coming to church, connect with other Christians, and trust that the Jesus who saved you will continue to guide you over time.

How To Spend Time With God

The phrase “quiet time” is tossed around causally in most Christian circles. But if you didn’t grow up in church, you’re probably wondering the same thing we’ve all wondered at some point: What does the phrase “quiet time” actually mean? And what does it practically look like to spend time with God?

Most of us hit the ground running each morning and go to bed exhausted later that night. We spend our days accomplishing tasks, big and small, that keep our families and lives in order. With busy schedules and instant access to the noise of social media, it’s pretty hard to find any type of quiet in our lives.

Spending time with God looks different for every person, but here are:

3 Essential Elements To Help Us Hear God’s Voice

1. The Bible

The Bible is the living, active word of God. It is how God most clearly speaks to people. Regardless of the season of life we are in (student, single, married, working, etc.), everyone can take their relationship with God to a deeper level by reading in the Bible. Think of it like a letter from God to you, explaining who He is, where you came from and who He’s made you to be.

Reading the Bible just 10 minutes a day, every day can change the rest of your days. If you’re not sure where to start, try an online Bible reading plan or study. A journal or notebook is a great way to write down verses in the Bible that speak to your heart so you can remember them later.

2. Prayer

Prayer is our direct connection to Jesus. Philippians 4:6 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” As we pray, we share our worries, doubts and fears with Jesus, and we thank Him for all the good gifts in our lives. Prayer is a time to communicate honestly and sincerely with Jesus and give him honor and praise.

3. A Distraction-Free Environment

Jesus often had to leave town to get a few moments alone with His Heavenly Father (Luke 5:16). Thankfully, most of us don’t have to leave town to get alone.

Whatever it takes for us to have uninterrupted time with Jesus through prayer and Bible time, take the necessary steps to do it every day. Maybe that means going to bed a few minutes early, so we can get up before the rest of the house wakes. Or, maybe that means turning off the cell phones, iPads and TVs so we can focus on what God wants to say to us as we read the Bible.

Reading the Bible just 10 minutes a day, every day can change the rest of your days.

Spending time with God is simple, not mystical. But the impact it can make on your life as you do it consistently is greater and deeper than any other way you can spend your time. As we read the Bible with a sincere desire to understand, and pray in a place where we can focus and listen, we’ll hear God speak to us about what’s next in our lives.

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