This is a guest post by Janis Cox.
Each year we head back to Canada in early April. Before we leave our winter home in Arizona we have to clean and tidy our house, cover the furniture, shut off the service and get it ready to sit vacant for the summer. It’s already been spring here in AZ but the shut down of our place means I have to throw out my flowers. That always upsets me.
But in change, things are tossed and newness arises.
When I arrive back in Canada we have to open up our home there. That means that hubby has to get all the pipes back together and restart the pump for the water. It means filling the freezer and fridge. And of course, the house will need a major cleaning after being shut for almost 6 months.
Spring cleanup is necessary.
The good thing is that both our houses do get a spring-cleaning. It’s important to cleanse and tidy up so we can begin again – afresh.
I also will plant a garden back home and that is a sure sign of spring.
My spirit also needs refreshing.
I may get into a spiritual routine that is just that – routine and not inspiring. Changing up how I meet God and also how I study helps me to be refreshed throughout the year.
By dusting and changing routines I can help clear my mind for other things. When I do that with my spiritual life I know it starts a clearer link to God.
Here are a few suggestions to refresh your spirit this spring.
As Ron Hughes says in his forward to Refresh, “I have never met anyone who is satisfied with his or her spiritual life.”
There are many ways to pray. Try one of these.
- Say the Lord’s Prayer. By repeating the Lord’s Prayer and mulling over the words you will find special meaning. Try reading it in a different version or writing your own words
- Use an acronym like ACTS – Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication –
- Or PATH – Praise, Admit, Thanksgiving, Help
- Talk to God about what is concerning you. Make your words relational.
- Write your prayers. I use a journal and write out my prayers each day.
- Learn to be quiet.
Yes, I know most Christians pray. We list all the things that we hope God will do for us. And that’s okay. But God really wants to speak to us and we need to learn to be quiet. I’m not saying it will be easy. The first time I sat with God lasted 5 minutes and that was a struggle. The next time it became easier. Practice. Practice.
“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth (Psalm 46:10, NIV).”
- Confess your faults.
Yes, I know you have some. So do I. Search deep and find what it is that God is speaking to you about. Then lay it down in front of Him. Remember God already knows the sin – He is waiting for you to confess it.
- Meditate on God’s Word or on something that has been bothering you.
Let your thoughts come to Jesus. Let them roll around. Be careful this isn’t a psychological/spiritual technique of meditation. Make sure you fill your mind, not empty it. As Ron says, “Our purpose is not to lose touch with reality but to connect with reality.” If you fall asleep you are not focusing. Look up a scripture and say it over and over. Think what it means. Then listen to what God wants you to think.
- Look after your body.
Are you being good to the temple that God gave you – your body? Are you treating it with care? Hubby and I found that eating healthy with lots of fruit, vegetables, and nuts; fish and chicken and a little meat; very little grains or milk products, has led to improved health for both of us. And lots of water. Think of water as the cleansing of your system.
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honour God with your bodies (1 Corinthians 6:19-20), NIV).”
- Look after your mind.
Another way to feed your body is to feed your soul. Are you reading God’s Word? Are you in a group of believers? Do you communicate your thoughts and questions to others and to God?
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will (Romans 12:2, NIV).”
- Read God’s Word
If you haven’t taken your Bible off your shelf for a time, I would encourage you to do so. I found when I first started I couldn’t understand a thing. I tried different versions but the best thing I did was ask Jesus to reveal His Word to me. I do that every time I open my Bible. And He has been faithful to show me what I need to know – for that day.
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart (Hebrews 4:12, NIV).”
- Read a new spiritual book or study.
I have found over the years that rereading old devotionals, from Oswald Chambers, Charles Spurgeon or A.W. Tozer helps me get rid of my spiritual cobwebs. And Ron Hughes’ book Refresh always gives me additional ideas for adding vitality to my spirit. (Pictures)
As we head back to Ontario and spring begins, I will remember that I too need to refresh my spirit. I will be taking a blogging holiday for a week so that I can be present in the return to my “other life”. I will be seeking God’s leading for the next phase of our relationship.
What about you? Do you want to feel refreshed in your spirit? What ways do you use to accomplish this? Please share in the comments.
Janis is a creativity catalyst and spiritual mentor who writes, paints, and podcasts the Word of God. Do you want to creatively go deeper in your relationship with God, sign up for her upcoming Bible Journaling course or join her Facebook Group, Growing Through God’s Word. She writes at http://www.janiscox.com.