Life can throw some storms at us that can beat us down. The results are draining. Frustration. Depression. Confusion. But God has designed us for something more. We can be renewed.
Here are 10 simple ways to enjoy a Fall spiritual renewal. These are a number of ideas like a buffet for you to take and enjoy as you see fit.
1. Bible Binge
Break away from the normal routine and binge. Binge on the Bible. Pick a theme and read. The story of Moses and what God did to bring the people of Israel out of Egypt is an exciting adventure. Read Exodus and include Psalm 90 (the only Psalm by Moses).
A New Testament binge could be the books of Luke and Acts which were both written by Luke. Add in the book of Ephesians. The story of the early days of the church of Ephesus is in the book of Acts so you get a nice tie into the whole.
2. Walk with God
Go on a walk. Release the pressures of life and see what God has done in the trees, animals, and sky. As you move let the fresh air fill you and imagine God’s Spirit invigorating you from head to toe. As you exhale let the worries, the heaviness, even the regrets of your life go. Take the refreshing breath in, and let the polluted air out.
3. Picture Project
There are various seasons. And for us, it is Fall. A time of harvest.
For everything, there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 (NLT)
If you have a camera or one on your phone use it to capture scenes of the season. Remembering God is at work. See what lessons you can learn about God and about life as you capture pictures for an hour or two.
4. Audio Adventure
What are the sounds of the season? What does Fall sound like? Take a listen. Stop the flood of calls and TV or other devices.
Close your eyes and allow your ears the opportunity to take in what God has made. Is the wind blowing? Are the birds moving, singing, or pecking? What signs of life can you identify by listening? Take a few minutes without worry or rushing and let the sounds soothe.
5. Special Voices
God uses people to communicate to others. He has parents, teachers, pastors, prophets, friends and others who will carry a message.
Therefore, we never stop thanking God that when you received his message from us, you didn’t think of our words as mere human ideas. You accepted what we said as the very word of God—which, of course, it is. And this word continues to work in you who believe. 1 Thessalonians 2:13 (NLT)
Listen to a message that points you to God and His truth. Maybe you have one on tape or mp3 that is a favorite. If you don’t have one, then choose one from the many on OnePlace http://www.oneplace.com/
Maybe you haven’t really heard the special voices of those around you. God has placed them in your life to communicate to you. Wrapped in those conversations are love and encouragement and maybe just the guidance you need right now. Listen to those special voices, and be renewed.
6. Prayer Paths
Prayer is communication with God. It is wildly invigorating. The wisest and most powerful person ever is available to listen. He is really a good listener. He will also get involved in our lives in ways we didn’t expect because we probably didn’t take the time to talk to Him. Or if we did it was fairly fast and rushed.
Pick a path to walk and ask God to join you. Pray as you go. Acknowledge Him as God. Confess anything that stands in the way between you and God. Thank Him for being there with you. Talk to Him about what is going on in your life and humbly ask Him for guidance and strength. Listen as He works in you and responds to you. You will notice peace entering deep within.
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)
7. Reflective Refuge
Stop! In the name of love. Yep. Stop. The are lots of things needing to get done. Many things need your attention. You can get to those refreshed and better able to handle them by stopping and taking time for reflection. Have you heard the saying about not seeing the forest for the trees? It is hard to sort out the important from the non-important or the life-giving from the life-diminishing when we are right up against them. Stop. Step away from the crazy. It will be there when you get back.
Find a quiet place perhaps your living room or the front porch. Take a cup of your favorite coffee or tea with you. Bring a Bible, journal and pen. Settle in. Set a timer for 20 to 30 minutes. Take a deep breath. Exhale slowly. Again. And again. Now open the Bible to Isaiah 40 or Psalm 104. Read and take it in. Who God is. What He can take care of. Consider what God is like. In your journal make notes about what you discovered about God. Let God know you appreciate Him.
Go into the day rejuvenated knowing the great God has got this and He cares for you.
8. Touch Therapy
God designed the senses. He has given you the ability to appreciate the world around you in many ways including touch. Let God reach out to you through your fingertips. Touch the bark of a tree. Pick up the leaves and hold them and wonder at the life that has pushed through those veins rather than rush to get them raked and picked up. Make a pile and lie in the middle of them. Feel the handiwork of God in the season of Fall. Rejoice in His creative ways.
9. Intentional Intimacy
God made people for relationships. He wants people to get to know Him. He wants people to come close. He has made provision for that and has invited us to come close to Him.
This Fall take time for intentional intimacy. Go on a retreat. Go away to be with God for a day or two. Escape the routine and purposefully give God your undivided attention. Talk to Him. Get into His book. Walk a trail or two. Listen for Him to speak. Feel His Spirit move in you. Be redirected if need be. Be refreshed. Be close to God.
10. Practical Peace
Peace is not just the absence of warfare. Ask anyone whose guts are in knots and feel the world crushing down on their shoulders. They could be an executive or a mother of three or a teenaged high school student making straight As. Peace is not just getting away from the things or people that cause pressure.
No, peace is a beautiful thing. Available to God’s people no matter what storm is raging in their lives. This practical peace comes from putting God first and letting Him carry the load. Really. Don’t let the skeptic come out. Put God first. Determine not to allow the things or people to be all powerful. Pray asking God to come give a hand. Thank Him for what He is doing. Put your mind on the things that God has made, the wonders and beauty of life. If the worries come back. Stop and turn it back over to Him. Set your mind back to those things that He has made. Focus on what He can do.
Peace will enter in with such alarming power that you can take on the toughest task and your peace not be shaken. Imagine that. No meltdowns. No outbursts of anger. No fear of the future. Peace. Go to God and see what He has for you on this.
Choose on or two of the 10 and see what God does to renew you this Fall. Keep at it for 21 days and you will begin a new habit. By Spring who knows what renewal you will experience.