How do you stay on track with Jesus? I had someone ask me this question recently.
As much as I would like to give an a, b, c formula, I personally don't think there is one. Just as it is said in Job, “Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty? (Job chapter 11, verse 7)
Let’s be real here though. These days we enjoy reading quick, short, numbered articles if they are labelled along the lines of “Top 5 ways to get closer to God”.
Instead of a formula, rather the answer I believe is tips to self-navigation on Christianity. Hence, this is my “Top 5” tips for basic Christian living (not necessarily in order of importance):
- Being planted in the Word
See Psalm chapter 1 (verses 1-3) which says:
“Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither —
whatever they do prospers.”
I’ve repeated this to myself daily for two weeks. No edit or addition needed to what it means being planted, in my opinion.
- Attending church
We regularly need the input of God’s word; not just from our own time, but from the house of God. Finding a home church, where you don’t just attend, but where you can be planted.
What does be planted look like? This verse might help – see Psalm chapter 92, verses 12-13 - “The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God.”
In simple terms, I see this as being like a tree. From a seed, be planted in a church, and see yourself grow.
- Surrounding yourself with like-minded people
I am so grateful and thankful I can say I have a group of trusted Christian friends. We not only live our day to day life together, but we share accountability and mentorship. They are my strongest advocate to becoming a better Christian; yet are also the slap to my cheek or two, in the face of going down the wrong path. They are the Christian ‘family’ I never had.
Being part of this group, it means being open to constructive criticism, not just when it hurts, but even when it stings. I have learnt to be in a position to listen, instead of just reacting and refuting.
Thinking of this group reminds me specifically of my-often-quoted Bible verses – Ecclesiastes chapter 4, verses 9-10, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labour: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up” and Proverbs chapter 27, verse 17 “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”
- Be prayerful
No matter how small the prayer is, whether it just be praying for parking or buying a house, I pray. In my praying, I send a prayer up to Heaven. This is how you and I communicate with Jesus.
There have been times where I find the Holy Spirit working in me when I pray. After praying, I find that I worry less, stress less, gain confidence to face the situation, gain hope.
With this, don’t just pray once. “Never stop praying” says 1 Thessalonians chapter 5, verse 17. I will be the first to say I am guilty of not praying daily. But I am also the first to say I am changing this to be a daily routine now.
- Listening to worship music
There have been numerous occasions where God has spoken to me whilst I was worshipping, both in private and in church.
When we worship, we abandoned our inhibitions, allowing us to forget our surroundings and our circumstances. That's when I believe the power of the Holy Spirit takes over. That's why we cry. That's why we become shaken. That's why we fall to the ground.
I love how we can just praise God, whenever and wherever “Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord.” (Ephesians chapter 5, verse 19).
And that, folks, are my top tips!
This is not exclusive, nor exhaustive, but has certainly been my foundations. This has worked for me in my walk as a Christian over the last 10 years. I may revisit this list in 10 years and see if it has changed.
Watch this space.
Cindy Adwong lives and works in Auckland. My aim in life is to live life to the fullest daily. I love being effective and efficient in all I do. My hobbies include spending time with people, baking, cooking, travelling and just being alive, amongst numerous to name.