208. That’s the number of consecutive days that I opened and read my Bible using the Bible App. And guess what? I missed a day, and now I’m back at zero. Truth is, I got caught up in my busy schedule and was losing sight on what was important. I learned a very valuable lesson. Check out 8 tips to help you stay close to God when you’re busy.
You see, I’m a recovering perfectionist. I normally say “yes” to many opportunities which results me being pulled in several different directions. I think my turning point was when I didn’t desire to spend time with God because my mind was so busy. Can you relate?
If so, my prayer is that this post will give you encouragement and something practical to help you during this busy season. It’s not fun doing things for Christ when He really just wants you to slow down and spend time with Him.
If you can’t relate to my struggle, well, that’s okay too. But keep this list in your back pocket. Goal-driven people like us could always use the reminder to:
1. Simplify Your Schedule
This. Is. Key. Busyness prevents us from giving anything 100%. Sometimes it feels like your days are smooshed into one long week and eventually leads to burnout. So try this instead:
- Make a list of everything you have on your to-do list
- Prioritize based on what you know is pleasing to God
- Automate what you can and ask for help
- Break down your to-do lists into smaller tasks
- Do what you can without neglecting what’s important
2. Don’t Read your Bible, Study it.
I used to read chapters at a time, and you know what happened at the end of my reading? I forgot it all. Even if I took the best notes ever, I’d somehow forgotten how I wanted to apply it. But now, I focus on one section of the chapter. I underline themes that are reoccurring and I pray about it.
Devotionals are cool too but I must admit…the ones I pick can be a little selfish. Instead of looking for encouragement based on your creative or business pursuits, try a devotional that can help you keep your fire for God fresh.
3. Sit Closer in Church
When you’re busy, it’s so tempting to stop praising, worshiping, tithing, offering or being attentive at church. I felt the urge to give up all of these things. But instead, I sat closer in service. I usually sit in the back and would easily get distracted by any noise or movement. And over time, I would get bored and zone out. When I started siting closer in service, I really started enjoying myself. Even worship became more intestine and joyful. A daunting task turned back into something I always loved.
4. Prayer using A.C.T.S. Method
I started using the A.C.T.S. method when praying, and it has changed my prayer life. (Side note: have you seen the movie, War Room? Don’t worry, I won’t give away any spoilers. But it’s about spiritual warfare and praying in a particular room aka the war room. Watch the trailer to get a better idea of what I’m talking about HERE.
I recently found my war room and I pray using this format:
Need more detail? You can find it HERE . I really love the freedom prayer gives. When I was struggling with my desire to read my Bible, I even prayed about that because I knew God could revive that desire.
5. Focus on the Last Thing God said
This is a quick tip that I just want to throw out there. When we are inconsistent with our time with God, our faith is easily tested. When you’re feeling confused and worry is kicking in, you can find hope in the last thing God said. When I feel weak, I remember that God promised to make me whole and that I need strength. When I want to give up writing, I think about the topics God wants me to write about.
6. Change-up Your Quiet Time
The goal is to become more excited about spending time with God than your to-do list. I used to feel guilty for not waking up every morning to spend an hour with God. My work schedule was no longer permitting it. I do my best to stop what I am doing and spend time with God at night. I’m no longer stressed about being late to work or exhausted.
Another thing is that I add something creative or read my Bible in a different location. During the summer, I would go for a walk or read outdoors. Something that I really enjoyed using is a coloring book instead of my prayer journal. What works for you?
7. Confession Brings Us Closer to God
I mean confession in two different ways: confession of sin and confession of Scripture. Both bring us closer. Let’s start with sin, it separates us from God. If things keep weird and distant, you may have to look at your heart and actions. When I feel a distance, I immediately look for things to confess and repent. But what happens when you don’t even realize that your sinning? What if you don’t know how something you did got in the way of your growing your relationship with God? Ask God to search your heart and grace you with discern me. And look it up in your Bible.
So one of my favorite blog, Transparency Blog, has a weekly newsletter that includes Scriptures to confess over your life. I notice improvements in my mental and spiritual health when I recite prayers or Scripture aloud.
8. Use Your Enneagram Results to Help You Get Closer to God
I was listening to the audio book called The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery
Book by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile. The best lesson I learned from this book is that the more you understand yourself, the better your relationship with God will be. Why? Because you will realize that holds you back from getting closer to God.
How interesting is that? I was only a few chapters in but my mind was completely blown! By getting a better understanding of myself, I’ve learned how to be honest when I confess my sins. My results revealed to me how I don’t like confrontation, that I have a deep need for peace, and I am a perfectionist. I can’t tell you how many times I focused on small things and shied away from instruction or circumstances because I didn’t want to mess up.
I will explain my results in another post. If you are interested in the enneagram test, you can take it HERE.
What tips do you have that help you stay close to God when your schedule is full? Leave a comment below.