Are you excited about Christ? Do you long to spend time with Him – not in church, but alone? Do you have awesome encounters with God only at worship services and not in your personal walk with Him?
When OATS had hit the market initially, everyone knew it was healthy food, but not everyone liked its taste. I personally felt yucky and complained that it was slimy and sticky to my health-freak sister who loved having oats for breakfast, mixed with strawberry or walnuts. I tried making oats upma also, following my friend Rosy’s suggestion, but somehow oats and me never clicked!
Guess Safola understood its customer’s needs and launched a new product – Masala Oats, which tastes just like Maggi, but still contains the “wholesome natural goodness of oats”. Wow! I tried it and I could not believe it was oats I was relishing and enjoying. Same thing, with a different packaging, with a little masala and hola – it works!
As humans, we naturally are not inclined to get excited at “good” things or “healthy” habits. Who loves exercise ? Those who really have developed a taste for healthy and fit living. But for a commoner like me, exercise is really an exercise – I have to exercise my mind up to do it – I crib myself into doing it.
Send the same group of cribbing gymmers to a dance studio for a session of dance they love, and they come out cribbing-less and calorie-less. At least, dance aerobics worked for me!
It is time we present good things in a new package > good news in a new masala pack. Same message, different method. Change our methods, but not our principles.Never compromise on the wholesomeness of the truth, but just add a little flavor and spice.
We have become so “churched” that when we read some of the most basic verses, central to our doctrine – which we almost know byheart – we get bored, and we feel we already know it and worst of all – we have lost the wonder for it.
I think we have to first excited first about our walk with God, before getting others excited about it. We have to live with that zing, that spring in our step, and that thrill in our pursuit of the amazing mystery of an unfathomable Creator – an explorer’s delight – what an adventure – to keep uncovering the mysteries and marvel of an infinite sovereign Lord.
Are you excited about Christ, about knowing Him? Do you long to spend time with Him – not in church, but alone.(Just like how you wait for your date?)
Do you have those awesome experiences with Him only during worship services, or youth worship nights? What about your private experience – when you meet the Lord in the privacy of your home?
Well, if you don’t have that excitement, it’s good to admit that you don’t have it, because that’s the first step, which will obviously take you to the second step.
The second step is – just tell Jesus right now, that your Christ-walk has become dry and tedious and yes, boring sometimes. Ask the Holy Spirit to genuinely help you.
Thirdly, add the zing! Here are few ways to spice up your walk with God.
Change the way you do your devotion:
Location: Are you always sitting to pray in your bedroom? It might help if you pick another place, more brighter and less sleepier. For me, that worked. But that meant I had to wait till people leave the house ,so I can be alone and free to worship and pray, in the next room. When I got married, I used the balcony for weeks, then shifted to the living room. Whichever the place, try to brighten it up – open the curtains, let some fresh air come in. If you’re comfortable in your bedroom, at least fold up the sheets, and empty out your bed to keep your Bible and devotional books, if any.
Jesus loved to pray at the mountainside. He didn’t fly up the hills – he climbed up at times, to get some solitude- a quiet place, where he can commune with the Father , uninterrupted. He made an effort to get into a private place.
Take-Along:Whether balcony or bedroom, here are few things I carry with me – cup of tea, water, notebook, pen, different versions – NLT and Message, and a general NIV Study Bible. Must-carry > notebook and pen. Cultivate the habit of writing – even if in bullet points, what you ‘took away’ from your devotion for that day. Best way to remember is to write.
Change the Method:How do you read the Bible? There are many ways to do it. You can pick one method for each month or two weeks, whatever suits you. I’m just listing three >>
- Finish a book – Pick any one gospel, and read a chapter a day (minimum). Read the same chapter in different versions and get a new perspective on the same thing.
- Finish a topic – I love topical studies. If you want to study about holiness, go to http://www.biblegateway.com and in the keyword search, type ‘holiness’ and you’ll get a list of verses. Copy paste all the verses in a word document. Read at least 10 verses a day, and then study those verses thoroughly.
When I’m focussing on improving my gifts and skills or leadership qualities, I use the John Maxwell’s Leadership Bible, to gain better insight.
- Follow a devotional guide: Pick a guide like Daily Bread, Everyday with Jesus, or surf something from the internet. The latest is Rick Warren’s video devotional tool – 40 days in the word. Here’s the link. I highly recommend it:
- Worship: Play worship songs to start with, and sing along – and then turn it off, and now sing without any music. Remember “when the music fades… ” Ironically we always sing it with music and all is not stripped away and we never give more than just a song. Try it – you might find it weird first – later you’ll love it.
- Ask yourself – what’s the new thing I learnt about Jesus today? And then praise Him for that! Ex:If I learn about how holy God is, then I just burst out in praise saying “God, you’re so holy. You can never lie or commit sin.I praise you, because you’re the only Holy One and there is none like you. No one compares to you…”
Pray: Start praying about others and their needs. Challenge is to pray about everything but your personal shopping list. If anything, pray for strength and will to obey Him. For the rest, start making some selfless prayers, and you’ll be amazed at how God works through intercessory prayers.
Idea: Start with – praying for 5 friends from Facebook each day!
Read and Obey: Always ask yourself – what can I apply from this into my life? What is God asking me to do through this word? And then commit to obeying it. You know what? Obedience unlocks understanding. The more you obey, the more God will reveal new things through the scriptures, and you’ll learn new things about Him.
Don’t depend only on your emotion: Many times we feel bored even before we start, and so we don’t start at all. Don’t follow your emotion. Follow your decision. Just do it, and later your feelings will follow your decision.
While doing the above, on a regular basis, every day, ask God to give you ideas for masaledar ways of presenting the gospel. You cannot give what you do not have. That’s why, start with yourself first – once you discover Christ in a brand new way, it won’t be long till you spread the joy around:)
Key is: Make it REAL .. Really!