In Monday’s post, I asked the hard question “Is Your Faith as Important to You as You Say it is?“ (Go read that post first if you haven’t already).
It’s a tough question and a tough read. Mostly because, for most of us, it exposes a lot of areas where we could use some improvement. At least, it did for me.
But the good news is, even if your faith isn’t the priority you’d like it to be right now, there’s no reason it can’t be.
Sure, Putting God First may not be easy. Christianity isn’t easy. But, with God’s help, it is possible, and it’s definitely worth it.
So, are you ready to start making your faith more of a priority in your life? Here are the five most important steps I’d recommend to start:
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1. Decide that You Want Your Faith to Be Your Top Priority
Making God your #1 priority isn’t easy, and it doesn’t happen automatically. Instead, you really have to decide that you’re going to make Him #1.
Ask yourself right now: Do you really want to put God first in your life? (Be honest!) What would you have to give up if you truly put God first? What would you have to do that you maybe don’t want to? What would you have to change? Are these changes that you’re willing to make?
If not, what’s standing in your way?
2. Get the Resources You Need
Once you decide “Yes, I am in! I know the costs, but they don’t matter. I’m IN,” it’s time to start gathering the resources you need.
This could be any number of things.
You’ll want to start with prayer, obviously, and a Bible is a must. But what else do you need? What resources would help you overcome your obstacles to truly grow in faith?
- Do you have a problem with setting spiritual goals and then not following through? (Things like reading your Bible or overcoming certain tins and temptations) Then maybe you need something like Grace Goals, a Bible-based guide to helping you set and actually follow through on the spiritual growth you want to see.
- Are past hurts or current hardships making it difficult to trust God? Maybe you need to grab Trusting God’s Plan, a book I wrote to help you understand God’s plan for your life, recognize God at work in your life, and learn how to live out God’s plan for your life, practically speaking.
- Or maybe there isn’t one specific thing that’s holding you back, you just don’t know how or where to start. If so, my first book, Putting God First, might be a good fit for you. Practical and encouraging, it’s full of tons of great, real-life suggestions for how you can put God first in every area of your busy life.
Ask yourself – what struggles are you dealing with right now? What hurts or hang-ups from the past are still affecting you today? What is holding you back from really committing to this whole Christianity thing? What areas do you feel like you don’t know enough about that you should? Start there.
There are TONS of great resources out there – you just have to find them. (Need help finding one? Shoot me an email. I’ll help)
3. Surround Yourself With Others Who Will Motivate You
Honestly, one of the best motivators for me personally is being around other people who I want to be like. When I see them do awesome things, it makes me want to do awesome things too.
Like the time a friend used to post about her 8-mile runs on Facebook… which led to me running a half-marathon. Or the friend who started a blog… which led to me eventually starting this site. (You never know what an impact even the littlest actions can have on those around you.)
What kind of influences are you surrounding yourself with right now?
Think about your 5 (or so) best friends, or the people you spend the most time with. Are they strong, committed, mature Christians with a passion for God? Or are they involved in things you know you shouldn’t be involved in? When you all get together, which direction do things naturally turn – towards God or away from God?
If you told these people you really wanted to get more intentional about your walk with the Lord, how would they respond? Would they be encouraging and supportive and ask how they could help? Or would they tease you, not take you seriously, or look for ways to sabotage you?
I would say you need at LEAST 1-2 good, Godly friends at the BARE minimum. Three or four good friends would be even better. (And I don’t mean acquaintances, but good friends who will love you, influence you and challenge you when needed).
And if you can find a good group of acquaintances (like in church or in Christian Facebook groups), that’s great too.
4. Establish Good Habits and Routines
While Christianity is primarily based on faith and belief – you do have to actually take action too. You can’t just wake up one morning and decide to call yourself a Christian, you have to actually act like one.
For most Christians, this means Spiritual disciplines such as praying, reading the Bible, going to church and tithing.
None of these practices are particularly difficult, but they can take some getting used to. You may have to force yourself to do them the first few times until they become habit.
Which, by the way, if you need help developing the habit of regular quiet times, the Quiet Time Planning Guide is the best resource to help you do just that — and it’s free! You can get your Quiet Time Planning Guide here.
Now, don’t feel bad if you don’t have these habits already or if developing them is difficult at first. It’s like exercising.
Most people don’t really like exercising the first few times they try it. But once you get in the habit of exercising regularly, it becomes much more enjoyable and beneficial, especially as you actually start seeing those benefits you’ve worked so hard for.
Praying, reading the Bible, going to church and tithing are similar in that they are exercises that help us build our “spiritual muscles.”
And they are MUCH easier to do when you make them a part of your daily routine.
For example, you could:
- Wake up 15 minutes early to read the Bible before you start your day.
- Join a women’s Bible study for regular fellowship and encouragement
- Get in the habit of setting a few dollars aside every time you cash your paycheck. (If you do it first instead of waiting til last, it’s a lot easier to do)
- Set an alarm on your phone to remind you to pray every day at a certain time.
- Download an app (like the First5 app) to remind you to be in the Bible every day.
Now, do you HAVE to do any of these things? No, you don’t have to. But habits like these making growing your spiritual muscles that much easier.
5. Remember Your “Why”
Of course, no matter how many tricks and tips you use to make your Christian walk easier, there’s no guarantee that it’s ever going to be “easy.” (And if it is, something’s probably wrong).
No, Christian or not, we will still always encounter trials and heartbreak in this life. It’s an inescapable part of the sinful world we live in and a good reason to look forward to Heaven.
And it’s in times like these — times when we struggle with Trusting God’s Plan for our lives — that we have to stop and remember why we are Christians in the first place.
It’s not so our lives will be easier.
It’s not because it’s “cool” or “convenient.”
It’s not because it’s simply a “good idea” or a “good way to live.”
If that’s all your faith is based on, it probably isn’t going to last very long.
No, we are Christians because God’s Word is true, because He deserves our whole lives because of what He did for us on the cross, and because it really is in our best interest – even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time.
No, making God your #1 priority isn’t always easy. But these five tips will help.
Do you strive to make God your #1 priority? What actions do you take in your life to help make that happen?
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