Last year, I kicked off 2016 with 6 Ways to Take Your Relationships Deeper, parts I and II and dug into that a little with six sets of questions help tug your most intimate friendships to the next level.
This year, I’m gonna party like it’s 2107 with a few questions to help us pursue our relationship with the most potential for fulfillment and gut-level happiness, no matter what’s around the corner. I’m raising my glass: to the One who fills every soul-hole this year. Cheers, friends!
- If you could hear what you were wanting to hear from God right now, what would He say?
- Ask God to bring to your life (or bring to mind, whom/that you already know) these, knowing some may overlap:
- One mentor (my intergenerational relationships add so much to my life!)
- One person who you can disciple this year (it might be someone in your home!)
- One additional way to regularly demonstrate compassion for the poor or struggling
- One relationship in which to create additional peace—perhaps through forgiveness, understanding, more quality time, etc.
- One person who needs Him—and how He would like you to be a part of that
- One intimate, authentic friendship with whom you can connect regularly
- One person (gulp) to challenge you in your weaknesses
- One person who can cheer you on in how you’re made
- One area of service that would stretch you
- One area of life to simplify…and several items to get rid of for the sake of freedom from the gravity of “stuff” (check out this great January purge list!)
- From the book Devotional Classics: “What thoughts are you in the habit of thinking? How does your thought life shape who you are?”
- Also from Devotional Classics: “[Frank] Laubach writes, ‘There is…so much more in Him than He can give us.’ Over the past few years, what things has God given you? What keeps God from being able to give you more?”
- Prayerfully, what is one obtainable spiritual goal you believe God would like you to pursue out of love for Him this year? Perhaps it’s a book to read about a “hole” you’re sensing (I’m starting out with Ed Welch’s Shame Interrupted; at the time of this writing, the Kindle edition is $2 on sale, as is his Running Scared: Fear, Worry, and the God of Rest), one spiritual discipline to knead into your schedule or your family’s, or entering further into one aspect of prayer, or creating more space for solitude or contemplation. I’m not suggesting we Americanize our time with God to make it something to achieve!—but this can act as a statement of priority, intent, and self-discipline.
- Create a running list of God’s gifts, starting with those that come to mind of the past year. Spend time in gratitude and worship. How can you incorporate thankfulness as a regular discipline you build upon? I think of it as a way to bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits; to rummage and retrain our eyes for more of those ten thousand reasons to do so.
- A wise friend once said to me, You can’t help but write. As I’ve chewed on this, I’ve found it to be true. Even when I’m relaxing, there’s often writing involved. And there are a handful of things, in the way I’m made, that I can’t help but do. Exploring the idea of worship in our work: What can you not help but do? (Create? Teach? Help others? Explore the world scientifically?) This is a great way to help family worship, too. What can your kids and spouse not help but do? How can you encourage them to develop your/their competencies and enjoyment as an act of worship?
- Along those lines—how do you naturally enjoy God? Is it on a walk, or through art, or advocating for the disadvantaged, or sharing a soul-filling meal with true friends? How can you attach your natural motivations to our fulfillment in God?
- In what areas of your life do you most struggle to believe in God’s character? Put another way: In what ways do you most struggle with fear right now? Take time to explore, pray through, and perhaps record the underlying reasons and concerns threaded through those fears…and truths from God’s Word about those specific fears. Commit—and consistently recommit—those to Him: “I do believe. Help me overcome my unbelief!” This morning, I wrote out statements of belief: “Lord, I believe that if you want __, You can __.”
- Also from Devotional Classics: “In what ways have you tried to manipulate God with ‘magical methods’”? Clearly, there are scriptural examples of reasoning with God; Moses and Abraham did this, and God suggests we “reason together”. He is a God who responds! But at times I find myself attempting to persuade God with, say, my moralism–and become entitled and demanding rather than humble. Are there similar ways you attempt to bargain with God?
Like this post? You might like
- 31 Anything-but-Vanilla Ways to Add Fresh Flavor to Times with God
- Ten Questions to Take Your Relationships Deeper in 2016, Set #1 , Set #2, Set #3, Set #4, and Set #5.
- 6 Ways to Take Your Relationships Deeper in 2016
- Why I need people who are not my fans
- Spiritual Disciplines for Real Families: Simplicity