A parishioner asked me recently what he had to do to keep his relationship with the Lord going strong. I asked him a few questions about what he meant, and then I gave him the following answer.
First, build into your daily routine a time alone with the Lord. This is a time away from the television, radio, the Internet, and other people. It can last from 7 minutes to over an hour. This time should consist of Bible reading and prayer. I suggested that during the prayer time that he should always have a time of confession asking God to bring to his mind any sin which needed to be forgiven. I John 1:9 tell us: If we confess our sins, God is faithful and will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Immediately after confessing one’s sin, I shared that it is always good to ask God to renew you with His Holy Spirit. Jesus said that if we ask, God will give us the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13).
Second, stay involved in a church. Much has been said and written about the failings of the church and of church people, and in many cases, rightly so. But the church is still the body of Christ, and Christ desires his people to be rightly connected to his Body. Not every church is right for everyone, but everyone can find a place to worship God together with other believers, hear an exhortation from the Word of God, and gather at the Lord’s Table for the Lord’s Supper (Communion). Solo Christianity doesn’t resonate with the teaching of the New Testament. Being in relationship with a local body of believers in important to keeping one’s relationship with Christ strong and alive.
Third, find a way to serve the Lord either in His church or in His world. Nothing enlivens the Spirit within us and deepens our soul more than reaching outside ourselves in the Name of the Lord. The self-centered, self-oriented, and self-absorbed life becomes empty and dry very quick! Frankly, this is the problem with most of modern day Christians – it’s all about us and what can I get out of it. Each of us has a purpose and a part to play in God’s big plan for the world, and we will not be fulfilled and at peace until we are doing what the Lord desires of us.