In the third episode of the Paradigm Shift Podcast, Alex Sanfilippo and Josh Kimball explore the topic of keeping our relationship with God fresh. You can listen to the podcast through the link above or you can click here to listen on iTunes.
“Josh Kimball and I were recently at a small group together and we were talking about our earlier years of walking with God. We both mentioned times when we felt that our relationship with God was stagnant. I thought this would make a great podcast because it’s very relevant.” – Alex Sanfilippo
How to Keep Your Relationship with God Fresh – Show Notes:
Have you been through a season where it felt more like a task to spend time with God than a blessing?
Yes. In my teen years before I realized my desire to love God my connections with him where much more transaction based on getting more information and being more obedient. Information and obedience are essential but devoid of love for God they are empty kind of like a house with no people in it or a highway with no cars. If love isn’t what’s moving us in relationship with God it’s all religious constructs and we’ll never find Jesus there.
During this season of your relationship with God feeling more like a requirement or habit or task, what was your daily life like?
Either complacent (time wasting), busy (time crowded), rebellious (time for self) – Routinely busy and inwardly self focused. I wish if I focused inwardly that would cause me to tune into Jesus. But instead I fill my thoughts and desires with my wants and my plans to get them.
Let’s talk about some ways to keep our relationship with God fresh. What do you have for us?
#1. I recently heard France Chan say that has helped him is to ASK God for new experiences. Not something that you’ve had or felt before. God is bigger than we can comprehend. He always has something new for us.
#2. “Do you enjoy the personality of Jesus?” Engaging with Him personally and in community with others is where we connect with His personality. The Bible was written for us to know God, to uncover his personality. If we read the Bible and only gain information we will have facts without a friendship, like reading a biography or social media profile and never actually connecting with the person. Jesus is not a dead historical figure or distant religious icon. He is very alive, very close and very much yours to connect with, be loved by and love.
#3. We need to get serving and plug into community. There is time for solidarity but God intended life to be lived in community to the extent of calling us to love our neighbors, which means we got to get out and serve and love people.
Do you have any final thoughts that you would like to share?
John Eldredge wrote in Beautiful Outlaw “To love Jesus, is to settle the first question of human existence. Of your existence. Everything else flows from there. Loving Jesus will not be a problem when you know him as he truly is. So that is the place to begin, or to return to after long wandering.”
We can make a relationship with God so complicated. Jesus made it simple, love Him, abide there and from there love others. We can only love Jesus if we know him and only then does loving others introduce them to Jesus.