Last year, I asked my blogging mentor a question. Something was happening to me in my journey as a blogger and I wanted to know if she was experiencing the same situation as I was. Here’s the question paraphrased.
‘Esther, is blogging addictive or am I the only one feeling restless and starved when I’ve not blogged in a week?’
If I hadn’t scribbled down something in a day for my blog, I was not normal. It was so bad that at night, while trying to get some sleep, I’d be crafting out ideas in my head.
There were times I had jumped from the bed, even though weak and tired from the day’s work, to scribble down an article. On several occasions, when I sat writing for hours, I’d completely forgotten to eat.
I remember making a decision to take a break for a month or more but I couldn’t stay away from my blog for more than a week or two. Even when I was admitted in the hospital, my mind was drawn to my wordpress dashboard.
Please stay with me, I’m going somewhere.
Why was I concerned about my addiction to blogging? It’s because I haven’t always been like this.
Before ifegrace.com was birthed, I had a free wordpress blog which I ran for about two years and I was the most inconsistent blogger ever. I could blog in January and then in March and later at the end of the year. The blog wasn’t a big deal to me at all. There were times I almost forgot I had a blog.
So what changed?
I have found that the same principle that took me from being an inconsistent blogger to an addictive one has also worked in my personal devotional time with God.
What exactly am I talking about?
Becoming addicted to the secret place- a life of continual fellowship with God- does not happen by chance. True, It requires the instrumentality of the Holy Spirit but there is a part we must play to continually see the life of the spirit birthed in our daily walk.
There must be this craving for the secret place such that God’s presence becomes to you the most pleasurable and joyful moments of your life.
The secret place must leave you transformed. It is the reason you want to keep going back there, because you have found something that gives true satisfaction.
If you are not refreshed, enlightened and bubbling with joy after time spent in prayers and the Word, then you might just have marked attendance. From scriptures, contact with the Spirit of God is always contact with life. You cannot be the same.
The secret place is where we touch life. Where you discover that entertainment, social media and all the attempts to make the natural man relax cannot satisfy the joy that comes from communing with God.
Thou will show me the path of life: In thy presence is fullness of joy, at thy right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11
How do we get to the point where communion with God becomes an integral part of our lives, where God becomes the life that we breathe and the strength we possess.
1. Be intentional about spending time with God.
Have you met believers who complain about dryness in their walk with God and yet you can tell that they are not serious about that desire. They just want to kill two birds with one stone. Enjoy the world system and at the same time be spiritual giants.
Nothing will change until there is a deliberateness in your desire to see transformation in your devotional life. We can tell when your heart constantly cries to God as the deer pants for living water.
We see how in your heart as you sit frustrated before the TV or social media, you appear before the throne seeking grace to spend more time with God.
We see you, checking your schedules and creating time for fellowship. Right there we find a willingness and longing for deeper intimacy with the Lord.
We don’t just hear you say words like this:
‘I remember those days, I was so hot for God. I was a firebrand prayer warrior and if you see the hours I spent with the Word. I don’t know what happened to me.’
..and then you do nothing about it. It doesn’t really bother you. We are not finding you pressing into what will restore that fellowship. Deep down, the world system is still very much attractive to you.
Complaints solves nothing. Wishes do not bring results. You may fool any of us that you really want to grow in the things of the Spirit, but you can’t fool God.
In a recent post, What to do when your prayer life is a mess, I explained that the Holy Spirit produces the strength we need to get into constant fellowship. But once those nudges comes, our part is to respond.
Whether you agree with me or not, every believer has a responsibility where spiritual matters are concerned. We must come to a point in our lives that our time with God takes priority over any other activity we get involved in.
A time when nursing our babies become opportunities to speak with the father, where our kitchen becomes spots where our hearts are in fellowship, where rather than spend the lunch break chatting endlessly, we are sitting down somewhere and allowing the word find expression in our thoughts, where driving to work becomes a time to slot in that sermon and fill our minds with the Word, where in the middle of watching movies for hours, we just get bored and hungry to worship and share our hearts with God, where on days when we can’t even utter a sentence in prayer, we are content staying quietly on our bed, listening as the lyrics of those songs stirs our faith.
Consistency is how you sustain passion and hunger for the secret place. Remember my blogging story? How did I move from being an inconsistent blogger to an addictive one? Consistency.
When I opened this blog, I was not just intentional about taking blogging seriously. I showed up on the blog week after week after week.
Even when I didn’t want to write, when my page views were in trickles, I was here, churning out articles and learning how to blog better and within a couple of months, I couldn’t tear myself away from the blog.
That you stayed in the presence of God and had communion with Him on a certain day should not be the height of your experiences. It must not be such that you build your Christian walk around that experience and refuse to make progress.
This fellowship takes us deeper. You think you have seen depth but there is much more to tap into. When you become consistent with your time with God, like the effect of dopamine, you find yourself always restless, running back into the secret place and finding it increasingly difficult to tear away from your devotion.
Again, attending programs where the minister stirs hunger in you or drives you to your knees is not just enough. It’s very important but that’s not the end.
You must return home and engage in the Word and in prayers. That hunger must be sustained. We must not be believers who are only fired up during power-packed meetings and impartation services.
Pray without ceasing. 1 Thess 5:17.
Create time for communion today, do it tomorrow, and next and continuously and you’ll be shocked at how a time will come when you’ll become a drunk addict to the life of the Spirit. Each day as you come out of fellowship, something new breaks inside of you and drives in a fresh passion for your personal altar.
And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess, but be filled with the spirit. Ephesians 5:18
Please note again, the Holy Spirit is the primary instrument in sustaining a man’s fellowship with God. So don’t think I’m asking you to become a prayer warrior and bible study expert outside the wings of the Spirit. I’m saying it is our responsibility to respond to the Holy Spirit as He calls us into deeper dimension with God.
3. Maintain connection with the right atmosphere.
You may not fully understand the power of godly associations until you come to a point when you are faced with situations that seek to pull you away from communing with God.
There are days when I am overwhelmed by life and tempted to walk in the flesh, I just need to interact with some of my friends and I’m fine.
Many times we don’t even plan to say spiritual things. It just comes as we discuss and then fresh fire is produced and as they share their experiences and dealings with God, my heart quietly craves to dig deeper into intimacy.
You can’t have people in your close niche who are nonchalant about the things of God and not be drawn away from your secret place.
Again, I remember Apostle Joshua Selman’s words:
‘The internet is God’s symbol of mercy to the limitation of our territory. There are things we may never have seen or known but for the power of the internet.’
Even when you can’t immediately reach people who will stir the fire in you, God can lead you to ministers on the internet- via websites or Youtube- men who carry words that’ll drive you continually to the secret place.
All of the preachers God has used in recent times to drive in me an unquenchable hunger for God, I have never directly sat under their ministrations.
It is also from the internet too that I have downloaded certain songs that charged my heart. One line like this and my soul just opens up to receive a dimension of the deep mysteries of God.
I’ll say this as I conclude.
We are spirit beings and the Lord calls us to walk in the Spirit.
Whether it is in the place of worship, in staying silent in his presence, in meditating on his word, in a consistent prayer life, it is God’s desire that we continually remain connected to His life and draw from it. Only through this will we be able to stand victorious in this present world.
How have you been able to maintain your fellowship with God despite distractions that call for your attention?