Can I confess something? I struggle to walk with Jesus. Sometimes I can’t even crawl. I am a pastor to the Bride of Christ and some days I don’t even want to read the words of Christ. Shocker, I know, but it is a true reality for all too many of us. Chances are, if you’re reading this you too struggle to daily walk faithfully with Jesus. Some days I feel as if I am once again an infant in my faith and absolutely nothing like someone who has known Jesus as Savior for nearly 20 years. I used to think, “As I get older, it’ll be easier to walk with Jesus.” Truth is, it has only gotten harder. Social media alone can make it seem as if everyone has it together spiritually, mentally, and emotionally, would you agree? It seems as if everyone has free time in their day to sit down with their colorful pens, Bible, and coffee to dig deep into the Word; what a false testimony because maybe you do not have much time, or you do not desire to do so. If you’re anything like me, there are days when you simply struggle to find your spiritual pulse and the colorful pens are nowhere to be found.
So, what does one do? Do those who are appearing to walk faithfully with Jesus simply pull themselves up by their bootstraps? I am here to tell you no! There is no magical formula for you to faithfully walk with Jesus. The truth is it takes discipline and lots of it. But let me tell you this: amidst the fact that it’s really hard to be disciplined in this, it’s truly possible to walk faithfully with Jesus day in and day out. Considering my confessions to you that have been met with truth, I want to offer some tips and tools that I’ve found to be most beneficial in my walk with Jesus, especially when I struggle to simply crawl.
1. Preach the gospel to yourself. Scripture doesn’t have a “Preach the gospel to yourself” commandment, I know. However, the gospel is good news; news that never grows old! Because of this truth, we need to be reminded of it as we are forgetful sons and daughters. If we were brought to life through the work of Christ in the gospel story then when we feel dead, shouldn’t we remind ourselves that we have been brought to life? I daily remind myself that I was once dead in my sins and trespasses, following the prince of the power of the air, the Spirit that is at work in the sons of disobedience…but God made me alive together in Christ Jesus! The gospel is good news and we would do well to preach it to ourselves daily.
2. Read your Bible. This sounds cliché, but it is needed because it is life-giving. Further, its words are good to equip us for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16). Make a plan to read daily on your own as well as connect with others around a table to study the Word. Your local church should have opportunities outside of the Sunday morning worship gathering to open the Word of God with other believers and if they do then I urge you to participate. Remember, the New Testament is written predominately to groups of people and not individuals. This is because the Lord never intended for our sanctification to be a solo gig, rather, a community project as we all grow in Godliness hand in hand. Do you struggle to find this? Reach out to your pastor as I am confident he can get you plugged in.
3. Pray. Because of Christ we can boldly go to the throne of grace as Hebrews 4 would tell us. Let us not take this for granted! At any moment, we can take upon the easy yoke of Christ as we press into Jesus by calling on his name. Prayer is not us informing God as if he is unaware of our lives, rather, it is us informing ourselves that God hears, knows, listens, and cares; we meet with our Father here. Is there a greater comfort than this?
4. Worship. Where worship is absent the beholding of God is absent. Brother or sister, I encourage you to worship through music whether this is on your own or corporately. Don’t simply sing! Contemplate the truths you are singing, meditate on the words and how they point you to the Truths of the Gospel. When you gather with others, don’t simply be a bystander in the worship gathering. Be a partaker, join in with the singing, let the words nourish your soul; May you be encouraged by the saints and how they are singing right along with you.
Maybe you see nothing earth-shattering here, but when it seems as if I cannot walk or even crawl spiritually, these disciplines stir my affection for Jesus. Be real with yourself when you’re struggling, would you? Would you be so brave to be real with others? Your brothers and sisters in Christ care for you more than you might think. They will be faithful to point you to truth. You were never meant to do this alone so please quit trying. Preach, read, pray, and worship. Don’t do these things simply alone; do these by grace, through the Spirit, and with others.