One of the biggest areas of my spiritual life that I feel needs constant attention is staying connected to God in the middle of normal life.
Distractions, busyness, bad moods, demands of life all seem to pull me away from God and whilst I would love to remain focused on Him, in the midst of those things I often allow my attention to get diverted elsewhere and end up forgetting about God.
How do we connect with God in the midst of everyday life?
Why is it so hard to connect with God everyday?
I feel very close to God at church on a Sunday and have all intentions to remain in touch with Him, praying throughout the week and including Him in my daily life. But by Monday afternoon I have often lost that connection and have been swept along by the distractions and busyness of my daily life.
Likewise, during my morning quiet time I pray about the day ahead of me and how I would like to relate to God as I go about the things I need to do that day. However, usually by the middle of the day I am back to me-centred living and haven’t talked to God since my quiet time.
Maybe it’s just me, but I find it very hard to get the balance of living a busy 21st century life as a stay-at-home mum, whilst still remaining focused on God and my relationship with Him. I find the discipline of keeping the connection with God going throughout my day really hard. I would like God to be at the centre of everything I do, but that just doesn’t seem to happen and I end up living in my own strength rather than His.
How do we find that deeper connection with God in our day to day lives? John writes about this a lot in both his gospel and his letters. He describes it as abiding in God.
So, what does abiding in God mean?
What is the relationship between God’s love and abiding in Him?
How can we abide in God in our daily lives and connect with God throughout the day?
Here are five things that John wrote about which tell us how to connect with God and keep that connection going –
1. CONNECT WITH GOD BY BELIEVING THAT HE LOVES YOU
We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
1 John 4:14-16
Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in my love.
Anybody who has accepted Jesus into their life must know that God loves them and that Jesus died because of this amazing love. However, knowing things in our heads is not the same as knowing things in our hearts and accepting God’s love can sometimes be more tricky.
For example, I struggle with guilt whenever I feel like I’ve failed and not been the person that I know God wants me to be. As a consequence of this, I tend to withdraw and hide away from God. I see God as a father-figure who will react in a human way when I have disappointed Him rather than as a loving, gracious, forgiving Father God. I know the theology, but in my heart I struggle to accept it and therefore my emotional response creates distance between me and God. This stops me from being able to connect with God freely.
Many of us have these difficulties with accepting God’s love because we struggle to believe fundamental truths. We think we believe but our emotional responses prove otherwise. We have to identify these areas which cause reactions within us that hinder us from abiding in God and cause problems in our connection with Him.
2. CONNECT WITH GOD BY ALLOWING HIS WORDS TO ABIDE IN YOU
If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
One of the best ways to transform the areas where we struggle to accept God’s love is by abiding in God’s Word. The more we read the Bible and study the promises it contains the more we will absorb its truths into our hearts.
We connect with God through the Bible hearing Him speak, receiving His love, transforming us and growing our faith.
We have to read the Bible every day to keep our connection with God alive.
3. CONNECT WITH GOD BY BEING SPIRIT-LED
By this we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.
1 John 4:13
One of the key indicators of someone who is abiding in God is the Holy Spirit in that person. The Holy Spirit is God and the more we allow ourselves to be led by the Spirit the more we will connect with God every day.
This takes a big shift in our daily living as we surrender the me-centred life our flesh seeks, to that deep spiritual connection we have with God from letting His Spirit lead us. We have to be open and say yes to Him every day to keep that connection growing deeper.
4. CONNECT WITH GOD BY KEEPING HIS COMMANDMENTS
If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.
If we allow ourselves to become more and more Spirit-led we will increasingly want to keep God’s commandments and find ourselves led to do so.
If we are led by the Spirit of God to do His will, it becomes more easy to live a life that is pleasing to Him.
We surrender to His Spirit and refuse to be led by our own will, which is often prone to selfishness and sinfulness.
5. CONNECT WITH GOD BY LOVING OTHERS
No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us.
1 John 4:12
God tells us to show love to others and He will abide in us. We connect with God by loving those He loves. If we put others above ourselves as we go about our day to day lives, we will see God through those people and connect with Him in love.
Connecting with God is not easy, but the promises the Bible gives us of how close we can become to God makes trying to incorporate these disciplines into our daily life worth it. These eternal truths help us to connect with God no matter how busy or demanding life is.