Thursday, October 30, 2014

"Intentionally Building Your Life Around Deepening Your Relationship with Christ" ~ by Rachel

There is a thought that is easy to forget about in the busyness of everyday life. But it’s one that, by the grace of God, will change your everyday life if you think about it. It changed mine.

“At the end of my life, when I stand before the throne of God… what will really matter?”

I often think about what it will be like to be in my Savior’s presence, worshipping before His throne, enjoying the glory of sinless perfection. And I wonder; what I will think of that short, vapor of a life that I lived?

Christ’s love for me will be unconditionally perfect. But I want to have lived a life that was pleasing and fruitful for Him. I want to have been walking in the good works He prepared for me to do (Eph 2:10).

1 Corinthians tells us that our works as Christians will be tested by fire on that final day:

Each one's work will become manifest... and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved...”
- 1 Corinthians 3:13-15

Will my life’s work survive the fire, or will it be burned up? This is an important question for us to ponder. I want to hear my Savior say, “well done, thou good and faithful servant” (Matt. 25:23).

So as young ladies, we must ask ourselves, are we living deliberate lives for the glory of God, or are our lives slipping away, day by day, lost in the busyness? Are we living in light of eternity?

Some ideas for building our lives around deepening our relationship with Christ:

~ Daily Bible Reading and Prayer
We cannot overestimate the importance of spending time in God’s Word. Sometimes I get so busy that I decide to skip on my devotions. How wrong! Someone once said, “I have so much to do today, that I will spend the first three hours in prayer.” This is the attitude we must have. I so easily forget that unless the Lord is empowering me to do His work for His glory, all of my “busyness” is worthless (Ps 127:1). Jesus was our example in this, in that even though He was busy about the work of His Father, he rose early to pray (Mark 1:35).

~ Feeding Ourselves Spiritually

People who are in love spend all their energy figuring out what the other person likes. It’s amazing how much energy they will put into it! Everything from the other person’s favorite color to their favorite movie is of utmost interest. They want to know their entire history, and what makes them the person that they are. Why is this? Because people in love want to please the other person... because they really care.

Do we want to please Jesus? If we truly care, we will study Him. We will have a passion to know who He is, and what will please Him. We cannot love a person we don’t know, and we can’t please them if we don’t know what they like. In the same way, we cannot love a Savior we don’t know, and we can’t please Him if we don’t know what He desires. Learning to love Christ is a lifelong adventure!

One of the things we can do to grow in our spiritual understanding is to read good books. Read books that teach you more about Christ. Read about the lives of saints who have gone before and whose lives inspire you to follow in their godly footsteps. Supplement your Bible reading with books that encourage you spiritually and books that help you to understand the Bible.

“Visit many good books, but live in the Bible.”
~ C.H. Spurgeon

~ Seeking Wise Counsel

Seek wise counsel from godly older people in your life, who know you well, and ask them what they think you should prioritize in your life. Especially heed the advice of your parents. Ask them how you can intentionally build your life around strengthening your relationship with Christ, and what they wish they had done when they were your age. I have gleaned so much wisdom from hearing what other ladies wished they would have done at my age, and how they could have grown more spiritually, when they were in my stage of life. They have that hind-sight that is 20-20 (Prov 15:22).

One other thing you can do is ask them ways that they think you should grow, personally. These can be character weaknesses, or practical things to learn and grow in (like writing or cooking). This one can be hard, and it takes a lot of humility. It’s easy to gloss over our “rough spots” in our own minds, but other people tend to be more honest. Pray that the Lord would give you the grace to be humble, and ask your parents and siblings where they think you could grow. Take notes. You may not agree with them, but don’t argue, just thank them for sharing, and pray over those things. Oftentimes, our parents, siblings, and friends can see the blind spots in our lives, or help us define our priorities.

This has been such an important part of my spiritual growth over the years. There have been so many areas that I would have never thought I needed to work on, had I not asked others who know my weaknesses better than I do. I was quite surprised at some of the things they said at first, but as time has gone on, I’ve seen how right they were (Prov. 12:15).

My Story:
I remember the moment vividly. I was woefully pondering my lack of spiritual growth in the past few years, and how I wished I could be spending more time reading. I desperately wanted to be learning more about the God I served, and how He wanted me to live. Why didn't I have the time? I was actually feeling quite sorry for myself, pitying the fact that I had to be so busy. Racking my brain, I tried to think of time that I might not realize I had... some spare moments I could use for reading.

Suddenly, conviction swept over me as I realized that I did have the time, I just wasn't utilizing it properly. With a blush, I thought about how much time I was spending every day listening to music. I quickly thought back through the weeks, adding up the hours I was spending on a regular basis - about 2 hours a day which made for a whopping 14 hours a week, or 60+ hours a month. Ouch. (I've realized since then that because it takes me about 30 minutes to read 25 pages, I could have read about 75 books in a year's time had I been using that time wisely.)

It was easy for me to listen to music because I did that whenever I had busy work: while driving, doing housework, or getting ready for the day. “What if…” I thought to myself. “What if I could take those hours and listen to sermons or audio books instead of music?” I soon filled my iPod with sermons Bible teachers, and audiobooks from deep, Biblical authors. Not to be cliché or anything, but my life has never been the same again.

Since then, I have incorporated more ideas into those hours- prayer, scripture memorization, and listening to the Bible - but that initial choice was what started the whole thing. Within only a few weeks my spiritual growth skyrocketed and my interests grew exponentially. It wasn't surprising really. How could I expect to be growing when I wasn't feeding myself spiritually?

So I challenge you... What time can you redeem? The days are evil, and we cannot afford to waste time on things that will not help us become better soldiers for our Lord (Eph 5:16).

I hope you will pray about where you can redeem the time, and perhaps, today is the day you will look back on, as the day you made a small choice with no small consequences.


  1. Thank you so much Rachel. Amen. May we pour our lives into knowing the Lord more deeply, that He can pour HIMSELF out through us.

  2. This was a blessing to read. Thank you for sharing your heart. I plan to pass this on to my 13 year old daughter. Our young girls need to hear this.

  3. Thank you for this beautiful and encouraging post, Miss Rachel! Wow. What great food for thought. Yes! I can evaluate my life and see things I could shorten - such as computer time. Do I spend more time writing girls or reading their blogs and emails then I do praying, talking with my Father and reading His word?? Or day dreaming - even though a small thing in a way, day dreaming can lead to much discontentment. Thusly, when I find myself dreaming, I need to turn my thoughts toward Him. Philippians 4:8 has helped me lately - I can ask myself, is what I'm thinking true, honest, just, pure, lovely and so on?
    Again, thank you! May the Father bless you as you seek to know Him more, and may you grow more and more in His likeness each new day!
    ~Martha Joy
    Psalm 51:10-12