Being back in the normal world means the world wants me to live a “normal life.”
Time that used to be spent on our journey talking with God or talking with each other about God has suddenly turned to other things. I find myself filling more and more of time with things like work, sports and TV shows, books (yes, especially comic books), and video games. The sorts of things “normal” 26 year olds are interested in.
The problem isn’t necessarily those things I listed though. The problem is that, slowly but surely, they’re pushing my time with God (and my conversations about God) more and more out of the picture.
God wants to be the most important part of our lives. A verse many people have heard many times, Matthew 6:33, says, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” That’s the NIV version. The New Living Translation says, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.”
The key words in those verses? “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness…” and “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else…” But how often do we seek God’s kingdom (or even just His presence) first? In my own life, nowhere near as much as I should.
But I’m doing my best to change that, even in the simple, everyday things I do in my life. For example, I’m a huge music fan. I listen to TONS of music, and I listen to an incredibly wide variety. I go from Dave Matthews Band to rap music to Elton John to country, with plenty of other stops along the way.
But one type of music I’ve never fully fallen head over heels in love with is praise music. I don’t really have a reason why, but it just seemed like it wouldn’t click with me like I needed it to in order for me to sit and listen to Christian music for hours.
Then I realized something. There are a lot of talented musicians who make Christian music that isn’t just praise music. As a result, I bought tons of Christian rap music and asked Lindsie to share more of her Christian music that fits the same style as my preference of non-Christian music. Now I have entire playlists I can listen to for hours that feature spiritually uplifting and thought-provoking music—and it’s music I thoroughly enjoy.
It seems small, but you’d be surprised at how much it helps to surround yourself in faith. Whether it’s the music you listen to, the shows and movies you choose to watch, the books you read, or the friends you choose to spend time with, being surrounded by an uplifting, faith-encouraging environment can make an amazing difference in your spiritual life.
It won’t solve all of your problems, since it’s ultimately up to you to seek the Lord and spend time in his word. But it’s small steps like those that can strengthen your spirit rather than pulling you away from God.
I know it’s working for me, and I hope you’ll find a way to surround yourself in faith as well.
P.S. – If there’s ever anything Lindsie and I can do to help lift you up in your own walk, please don’t hesitate to ask, either in the comments below or, if you’d prefer to keep it offline, feel free to email us at StormingJericho (at) gmail.com.
Photo by Lindsie Billeter. (She’s awesome.)