When I was younger, my family would heat our house with a wood stove heater. And this was great for our budget because it saved us a ton of money in the long run. But it wasn’t fun when my brother and I had to chop wood for hours every summer. Those were the days when we began to ask about “normal” ways to heat our house. We didn’t like chopping wood…especially hard woods like Cherry or Maple. It was back-breaking work.
     But the reason why we would get harder woods to chop was its sustainability when burning. Yes, it would take a long time to catch on fire, but once it did, it would burn steady all night long, keeping our house warm. If we had used a softer wood, instead, like Cedar, it would light easily and burn hot right away. The downside, however, was that it would burn up just as quickly. And then we might have to go out in the middle of the night and stoke the stove again.
     I remember talking to my dad after camp one year, when I had felt like I was on fire for Jesus. And he told me something that I will never forget. He said that our faith is a lot like the wood we used to burn to heat our house. It’s actually better to have a faith that doesn’t necessarily burn as hot all the time, but one that is steady and never burns out. It’s all well and good to catch a fire for Jesus, but we must be careful not to burn out too quickly because all we did was feel close to God based on high emotions. Instead, we must put little habits into our lives that enable us to maintain a fire for God that doesn’t burn us out or burn us up. These consistent habits help us to burn steady – over time – for God, like the wood stove that heated our house when I was younger.
     So here are 5 little things I do to fall more in love with God in my life:
  1. Looking for just one thing each day from the Word. I think we often get overwhelmed with everything there is to learn in the Bible and everything we have to do to be a “good Christian” that we just forget everything. But one of the most powerful pieces of advice I have ever been given was when I went off to camp one summer. This sweet lady in our church wrote me a card that week and told me to just try to pick out one thing that God was teaching me that week. So I did and my life was totally changed that week. So now I try to do that whenever I read the Bible. Just pick out one thing that God is showing me that day.
  2. Looking forward to small blessings every single day. My dad always used to say to my family, “Anticipation is in and of itself a sensory delight.” In other words, it feels good to look forward to something. And the more you look forward to something, the more you enjoy it. And the more you enjoy something, the more grateful you are for it. Bottom line: When I anticipate the little things that God is going to do for me every day, I will notice them, enjoy them, and be grateful for them. And believe it or not, I feel like God is blessing me more just because I choose to look forward to and notice his blessings more often.
  3. Chatting with other who are following Jesus. Almost nothing encourages me to follow Jesus more than hanging out with someone else who is following Jesus. Some of my best friends in this entire world are those who love Jesus with all of their hearts and are serving him passionately wherever their lives take them. Just a simple chat or just a little time spent with some of my closest friends who love Jesus makes me want to love Jesus even more, just like them. It’s amazing the power of choosing good friends.
  4. Talking to God in the middle of normal things. Obviously it is good to plan specific times to pray every day, like in the morning, at meals, and before bed. You have probably heard all that before. So I am not going to dive into that. But I think that we often forget to relate to God as the real person that he is. He has feelings too. He cares about the things in your life. He likes to do stuff with you. And he wants to talk to you like a friend (cf. John 15:15). So when I talk to God in the middle of every day, normal things, I am living out the reality that he loves me, cares about me, and wants to be with me. And that just makes me want to love him and follow him more.
  5. Quitting good things. There are many good things that are hard to say no to in life. But if I say yes to all of them, it is very quick that I realize I have no more room in my life for great things. And if I truly want a great relationship with Jesus, then chances are that there are some good things that are rivaling Jesus for my time, attention, and affection. Therefore, every so often, I will get quit a good commitment, unfollow a good person on social media, or get rid of a good pleasure that merely serve to distract me from a great affection for Jesus in my life. No, they aren’t bad things. They are truly good things. But, as Paul David Tripp often says, “When a good thing becomes a God thing, that is a bad thing.”
     What about you? Would you consider having an honest conversation with Jesus about one of the following questions?
  • What is one thing God is saying to you in his Word?
  • What is one small blessing you have received today?
  • Who are some other friends in your life who can encourage your walk with Jesus?
  • What are the normal routines in your life where you can chat with God?
  • What is a good thing that is distracting you from drawing closer to Jesus?

And if you would like to go further in your study of walking with God every single day, check out my new book, Walking With God! For the new – and the renewed – believer, Walking With God is a 30-day devotional for Christian living. Covering some of the most foundational basics of the Christian life, the believer is encouraged in a new lifestyle that facilitates a deeper communion with our awesome Creator.

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