You made it through another year of school and hallelujah, summer is here! It’s time to finally get away from the books and indoor boringness. It’s time for fun. You’ve put up with the whole “scheduled life” for long enough. Congratulations by the way!
I know that we all make plans for the summer-even when we have no plans, we still are planning to have no plans. Anyway, in all the fun and busyness of summer we can easily put God in the background. Among the swim parties, the BBQ’s, the camping, and everything else that summer break entails, God is not at the forefront of our minds. It’s very easy to get swept up in the tide of “summer break” and skip out on alone time with God.
Sometimes, without mentally confessing this, we don’t really want to think about God during our free time. We don’t want to let conviction set in and spoil the fun that we are so looking forward to having. In a way, we want a vacation from God. Vacation from the constant Christian lifestyle that we have to maintain all the time. We want to have fun and relax, and if we are really honest with ourselves, we wont have as much fun doing that if we bring God along with us this summer.
Check out this quote Francis Chan on this topic:
“The irony is that while God doesn’t need us but still wants us, we desperately need God but don’t really want Him most of the time.”
― Francis Chan
As horrible as that may seem to some of you it did sound like a familiar feeling we’ve all had before. You know it, I know it, and God knows it. But as Christians, we aren’t called to be like the world. Why would we want to spend our summer enjoying and experiencing it apart from God? God has promised to never leave us or forsake us. So why would we shove Him into a corner of our lives while we are on summer break?
I would like to challenge you this summer to take a vacation from the world and use your free time to draw closer to the Lord.
Even while you are on vacation and in the midst of all of your plans you should seriously consider setting aside a large amount of time to spend growing your faith. You will need it for the next chapter of your life. Sharpen your perception of the Word. Dedicate time to deepening your relationship with Jesus. You won’t have a lot of school to do, so why not use some extra time to grow closer to Jesus?
If you do anything to make this summer count may it be that you experienced God’s presence in your life in a way that you never have before! When you look back on the summer of 2015 may you remember what God revealed to you. May you experience God in a whole new light; His life, His love for you, His sacrifice for you, and His unfailing commitment to you.
Don’t leave God out of your summer. He want’s to be a part of your life.
He want’s to reveal Himself to you so that you might be closer to Him. He want’s that. Do you? There are some great ways that you can actually go deeper in your walk with the Lord. You can ask your friends and pastor in what ways you can do so, but below is a challenge for myself and others to grow in their walk with Jesus this summer.
A relationship with Jesus is just so special, so unique and different for everyone. There is no way to explain it. Jesus is just so beautiful. So lovely. I wouldn’t trade my decision to follow Christ for anything. I want to learn everything I can and grow in any way I can with Him.
Here is how I challenge myself to grow closer to Christ this summer:
- Study the Word: I want to dig into 5 books of the Bible and read through them selecting verses that stand out to me. I will take those verses and read them in different translations of the bible and find out their Greek and Hebrew meanings. I will try to memorize my favorites.
- Go deep in my devotional time: When I wake up in the morning I want to set aside at least an hour of prayer, worship and reading. I want to learn how to pray to God, the Father and the Holy Spirit. I also will listen to worship while I read my devotional books and the Bible.
- Share my faith with others: I really want to impact other people’s lives this summer. I want to minister to friends and family who are struggling in life. I want others to know how much God is in love with them. I think I can do this by setting aside time to spend with individuals and praying for and with them.
- Work for God: This summer I would like to volunteer at a non-profit or at the church just to give back of my time and energy to others and to God. I don’t want to be seen as an awesome, godly girl, I just want to serve like Jesus did.
These are challenges for every girl of every age this summer. I think it’s great to have breaks and go on vacation and have fun. But why not pursue a closer relationship with Christ while you have time on your hands? Why not make spending time with the Creator of the universe a priority as well as a trip to the beach this summer?
“O God, You are my God;
Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land
Where there is no water.
So I have looked for You in the sanctuary,
To see Your power and Your glory.
Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips shall praise You.
Thus I will bless You while I live;
I will lift up my hands in Your name.” Psalms 63:1-4
When you really believe that God’s “lovingkindness is better than life” you won’t hesitate to take the summer break challenge to grow closer to the King.
What are your plans for the summer?
Will you put God before your plans?
What part of the summer challenge would you most likely want to try?