One time during a college group Bible study a few weeks ago, I mentioned I felt closer to God when I was learning more about Him and learning more about Jesus. I felt closer to God when reading my Bible, articles from Christian magazines and other books about Christianity. I felt closer to God when I was writing down my thoughts and prayers in my journal. These are all awesome things! I have found that I can really connect my thoughts through writing and that God gave me this gift to use to connect with him and to share his love.
Then someone mentioned in my Bible study group that she was afraid her spiritual life was too academic.
Because this is what we can do sometimes: we can read, we can write, we can learn facts, and we can discuss. Doesn’t that sound a lot like school?
A relationship with Jesus isn’t all academic. It’s so, so much more than that, as we know. But if we diminish our relationship to a way to seek wisdom, we miss out on an adventure with our savior who embraces fun, excitement, play time, service, rest and so much more.
Another reason that our relationship with Christ cannot be too academic is because his love goes beyond reason. We can never know God’s love through human wisdom. But 1 Corinthians 2:16 says,
“For, “Who can know the LORD’s thoughts? Who knows enough to teach him?” But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ.” We have the mind of Christ.
Our culture is telling women today that to be spiritual is to be busy and disciplined. To be spiritual is to do a certain number of things, and to be spiritual is to dutiful. Our culture can tell us that to be spiritual is to check off a to-do list. Read your Bible. Pray. Write. Share. Learn. Study the word.
But that’s not what it means to be spiritual. That’s not what it means to be in a relationship with our creator. While these things are our tools and our practices, they are not our relationship.
While I can learn so much from an more academic approach to hearing what God is teaching me, I also need a balance between learning and truly relishing in who God is. A balance between learning and having fun with God. God seeks to romance us because of his love. He wants us to learn more about him, and he also wants us to enjoy his presence, soak in all his love, gifts, and wisdom he gives us.
I seek to hear God’s voice in a fun way that speaks to me. Let’s maybe take a walk to enjoy the sunshine. Let’s go out and take pictures of God’s creation, zoom in on all the little details he made. Let’s seek some rest as well as some movement. While reading my Bible, listening to sermons and journaling are immensely helpful and are part of the critical things I learn as a Christ follower, if I narrow my relationship with God to just these things, I am getting nowhere. It’s about connecting. It’s a heart thing. It’s a mind thing and it’s a soul thing.
Let’s love our God in all the ways we can: with our heart, our soul, our strength and our mind.