People are awesome.
And people come up with ingenious ways to make their lives easier. Check out some of these incredible Life Hacks.
Contrary to popular belief, God did not call Christians to a life of comfort. Francis Chan said, “God doesn’t call us to be comfortable. He call us to trust Him so completely that we are unafraid to put ourselves in situations where we will be in trouble if He doesn’t come through.” James 1 say, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[ whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
Recently, I wrote about the many things that distract us from our relationship with Christ. Our comfortable lifestyles can keep us from fully answering God’s call on our lives.
Our biggest fear should be succeeding at things in life that do not bear eternal significance.
The word “hack” means ‘to modify, usually skillfully’. What are things that we can do to stay plugged-in with God? How can we skillfully modify our walk with God?
Join a Small Group
I am so excited to see that many ministries are moving to the small group model. This is exactly the way that Jesus did ministry. He spent the majority of his time with 12 people, investing in them, teaching them, loving them. Yes, he taught large groups as well, but the bulk of his time was spent in a small group setting. Small groups provide a support group, people you can pray with, study with, and do life with. If you are not plugged-in to a small group, I strongly encourage you to!
We are called to be devoted to one another, accept each other, edify one another, confess our sins, pray, serve, and love one another. Small groups provide a great way to fulfill all of these New Testament commands.
Bible Study Book
One thing that Seminary has helped me realize is that there are a lot of people who know a whole lot more than I do. I want to learn from those people.
Oftentimes, I find myself wondering, “where do I start” when I open my Bible. Sometimes I want to wait for the Lord to ‘tell me what book to read’ etc. As Christians, we should have an insatiable appetite for the scriptures. We should desire to read them daily. I still need a lot of work to maintain daily devotions, but I do enjoy going through bible studies as I read my Bible. I have found that it helps me focus, it helps me understand the meaning of the scripture, and keeps me motivated. I encourage you to do your research and find a sound, biblical author, and use that resource to supplement your study of God’s word.
This one is obvious, but so often overlooked. As a friend of mine shared recently, if we do not pray, “either we are not truly concerned with people, or we are not totally convinced that prayer matters.” When we pray, we acknowledge that God is sovereign, and we submit our will to His. I encourage you to make a habit of praying daily.
Have you ever thought about how much Jesus prayed? If the Son of God, fully divine and fully human, savior of world, needed to spend time in prayer, how much more do I?
Think about God All the Time
I have found this to be one of the most helpful ‘hacks’ for my life. When I have time alone, reading, driving, exercising, I try to focus my thoughts on God. I remind myself of the Gospel message and the Lord’s amazing grace. I open my heart and my mind to the things that the Lord is saying to me.
The Lord really touched my heart because of this. The best part about this is that it is totally biblical. Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”
This is one of the coolest things that I’ve been doing. In daily situations, I try to ‘shift my perspective’. I want to see the situations of my life through God’s eyes instead of my own. For example, I had a student come in and talk to me this morning. He had been send home the day before. I said a silent prayer asking the Lord “Why me? Why now?”. I had the opportunity to speak truth to this student, and share about the sinful nature of humanity. It is our job as Christians to constantly sow.
During one of my planning periods last year, I had another student come into my room. She was concerned about a friend of hers (another student of mine) and some of the choices that individual was making. Again, I saw this not as a chance conversation, but as a divine appointment. I was able to share with her a Godly way of dealing with her friend (Matt 18:15-18), and address reservations that she had about Christianity. Again, our job is to know our role in these situations and to constantly sow.
Our youth minister, someone whom I deeply admire, always tells me, “see God in the details.” I distinctly remember the moment when this message hit home. I am a very schedule oriented person. We were enjoying a free afternoon while on a mission trip in Washington D.C. Many of the groups had just finished touring some of the monuments and were about to board a bus from the Lincoln Memorial to Union Station. However, there weren’t enough seats for everyone and the next bus wasn’t scheduled for another 30 minutes. I immediately turned to our youth minister in horror. Before he could say anything, another bus pulled up right behind the 1st, 29 minutes ahead of schedule, and we were all able to arrive together. He looked at me and said, “see God in the details.”
It is moments like these that remind us of that the Lord loves us. The Lord said, “are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”
I hope that you can implement one, or more, of these ‘hacks’ in your life. I pray that your relationship with Christ would become so contagious that you cannot help but share it with others. Build up yourself so that you can build up others.