The Most Important Thing in Your Life

The Most Important Thing in Your Life

 

It took me years to really pin it down. At first, I was sure success was the most important thing in life. Later, when that seemed vain, I convinced myself that serving others tirelessly would create the sense of purpose I longed for. It worked. Until burnout hit. And then illness struck, and I found myself stranded on the couch for months, unable to love anyone well at all. My identity was greatly shaken.

So often we must be broken to be changed. The illness was my breaking point, and the change was the realization that the most important thing in life is my relationship with Jesus. I knew this on a cognitive level, but my heart was a few years behind in receiving the truth.

If a relationship with Jesus is the most important element of the human existence, we ought to ask how to go about cultivating a relationship with someone who walked this earth 2,000 years ago. The good news is that Scripture sheds much light on this topic. Let’s look at three ways to cultivate a relationship with Jesus today:

1.)  I cultivate my relationship with Jesus when I make time to meet with him.  In the sermon on the mount, Jesus says, But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you” (Matthew 6:6).

In the complex structure of the Trinity, Jesus, the Father, and the Holy Spirit are One. We are called to go somewhere alone and pray to God in secret. This cultivates the relationship we share.

In the same way that my husband and I need to be alone together to connect and talk, we need to find quiet places in our days to connect and talk with Jesus. He set a good example when he walked the earth, often going to quiet places to pray to his Father. If we want to prioritize the growth of this vital relationship, we are called to follow his example.

But what does this actually look like?

Sometimes my prayer time looks like pouring my heart out and working through an issue that’s bothering me. Other times, I let little cares come to mind and cast them upon the Lord, one by one. Most often, I simply sit in the awareness of his affection and love, letting it wash over me like a warm breeze. When I receive his love in this way, I find myself pouring out words of thanksgiving and praise.

Other times, I need more structure, and I walk through a prayer guide, praying specific prayers of thanksgiving, worship, confession, and petition. There are also days of simply sitting in the silence and letting him love me – knowing that even if I feel nothing, he is pleased I’ve escaped the busyness of the world to be with him.

 

2.)  I cultivate my relationship with Jesus when I let his Word be my guide. Psalm 119:105 reads, “Your word is a lamp to my feet  and a light to my path.”

If I am going to let his Word be my guide, I need to prioritize reading it on a regular basis.  For me, this looks like taking time to read every morning and every evening. His Word is the first thing on my mind when I get up and the last thing on my mind before I sleep.

When we let his Word transform our lives in such a way that it actually starts to guide our steps, we are learning to walk with him in the quiet moments as well as the active daily moments.

 

3.)  I cultivate my relationship with Jesus when I let him guide me throughout my day. Isaiah 30:21 reads, “And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.” When I hide his Word in my heart, I learn to see the way he sees and walk the way he walks. I become aware of his guidance throughout my days. I sense when he is grieved by my attitude, and I quickly change it. I sense when I need to ask a deeper question to the attendant at the gas station or the teller at the bank.

He wants to guide us in our big decisions and our small daily decisions. We cultivate our relationship when we actually listen, instead of hurrying about our business with blind eyes.

 

Your relationship with Jesus is the most important part of your life, whether you know him or not. Will you take some time to cultivate your relationship? Can you share some practical ways you cultivate this relationship in your life?

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About Stacey Pardoe

Stacey Pardoe is a wife, mother of two young children, writer, Bible teacher, and mentor. She is most passionate about walking closely with Christ and sharing his love with a broken world. Find out more about her at her website.

Comments

  1. Thanks for these great reminders of what is really important.

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  2. You’ve let me know I’ve been doing things right…most of the time. Thank you.

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  3. Linda Graf says:

    I love how you described your different types of prayer times. It’s so good to be reminded that there isn’t just one way that’s “correct.”

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  4. Thanks for the encouragement, Linda. It’s always an adventure when it comes to seeking the Lord, and I’m glad this post spoke to you!

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  5. I find that different seasons of my life have called for drastically different forms of a prayer life! I need to keep reminding myself of this truth as well!

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