4 Essential Rhythms of Life With God

Dropping the 'Cookie-Cutter' Approach to Discipleship

Trying to figure out a spiritual growth formula that works is challenging—mostly because one size doesn’t fit all. Some folks love to read for hours, while others fall asleep in 5 minutes. And a peaceful prayer retreat for one person is cruel and unusual punishment for another.

So how do you find your unique spiritual groove?

There are some things that I do well because those things play to my natural strengths. Things like public speaking, research and analysis, and sarcastic comments to my children.

There are also things that I suck at—like sports. Perhaps because I have the coordination of a baby giraffe on ice skates.

I’m guessing there are things you’re good at as well—and things you’re not so good at. Join the club.

It’s obvious from all of this that God loves diversity. We all have different interests, skills, and personalities which is great. That must be the way God wants it.

So why does the church often prescribe a one-size-fits-all approach to the Christian life?

Does everyone need to read the Bible daily? Write in their journal? Pray before each meal? Keep a morning “quiet time?”

The typical Christian lifestyle, as many people understand it, is way too uniform in its prescriptions on how to live as a disciple of Jesus.

We don’t treat our physical health with that kind of uniformity. (Nexium is great for acid reflux, not so much for bipolar disorder.) The take-two-aspirin-and-call-me-in-the-morning approach to medicine is ridiculous.

And it’s just as ridiculous when it comes to your spiritual health.

4 Essential Rhythms

There are a few spiritual practices that are essential for every disciple of Jesus. But that doesn’t mean we all practice them the same way.

Discipleship is finding the rhythms of life that connect you with God and help you grow. Click To Tweet

With that in mind, here are 4 rhythms that are essential to your spiritual well-being.

1. Interaction with the Bible

To experience a life-changing relationship with God, you have to know him. And that’s impossible if you don’t know his story.

But that doesn’t mean you have to read the Bible everyday. There are many ways to interact with the Bible.

Sure, you can read it—or you can listen to someone else read it. You can also spend time studying it, memorizing it, meditating on it and so on.

Some people will interact with a different passage every day and others may spend time reflecting on the same passage for a week. One way is no better than the other.

The point is to engage with the words of Scripture on regular basis. Your way may look a lot different from my way—just find your way!

God's story can fill your life with hope, but only if you learn it! Click To Tweet

If you’d like to learn a simple way of doing this, grab a copy of my free ebook, The Bible Reader’s Cookbook.

2. Spending time with God

The traditional 15-minute “quiet time” typically involves reading something from the Bible or a devotional guide, writing down your thoughts, and talking to God in prayer.

But that seems like a pretty lop-sided interaction.

If I spent 15 minutes of alone time with my wife reading, writing, and doing all the talking it would definitely be alone time. She’d leave the room pretty quick.

What if you pulled up a chair on the back deck and just sat quietly with God? Listening to God? Being still before God?

Who knows, if you quit talking long enough, he might have a few things to say, too.

3. Developing a Grateful Heart

I have a tendency to look at life as a series of things to fix or improve—and that can have a negative effect on my mind. Guys in general tend to think this way.

But if you spend too much time focusing on what’s wrong, you may find it increasingly difficult to see the things that are right.

There are a lot of good things happening in this world. Make sure you take time to focus on them!

The Apostle Paul encourages us to “Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Christians—of all the people on earth—should be full of gratitude.

Don’t neglect the things you’re grateful for. Write them down. Think about them regularly. Thank God and others for them.

Gratitude is the attitude of joy. Click To Tweet

You should think about such things.

4. Being a Blessing to Others

The most central theme of the Bible is love and as a follower of Jesus, you’re encouraged to love others as he loves you.

God told Abraham in the very first book of the Bible, “I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others.” God blesses us so that we can bless others.

Dallas Willard, the late professor of philosophy at USC, put it this way:

Blessing is the projection of good into the life of another. It isn’t just words. It’s the actual putting forth of your will for the good of another person.

Looking for ways to bless the people around you and then acting on it is how you learn to love others the way Jesus loves you. It’s the very heart of what it means to be a Christian.

'Love one another' are 3 words to decorate your life with, not just your car's bumper. Click To Tweet

Finding a rhythm of life that incorporates these 4 things on a regular basis is Christianity 101—the fundamental basics of living your life with God.

You don’t have to be a holy superstar to be a disciple. And you don’t have to follow some dry, boring, cookie-cutter approach to enjoy the good life God offers.

You just have to be intentional about pursuing it.

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Please note: I have no interest in censoring discussions, but I do reserve the right to delete any comments that are offensive, disrespectful or off-topic.