Runners are disciplined athletes.
They measure breath, match strides to the uphill, downhill, or flat landscapes, and they know which points of the route to speed up or stay consistent. Runners traverse all sorts of paths to best prepare for each race.
Like runners who set their pace and cadence for each race, we must set a pace for spiritual practices.
Spiritual practices create lasting disciplines that draw us deeper into the heart of God. God is always after deeper relationship, greatly expressed in the life of Jesus.
“Jesus answered, ‘If anyone loves me, he will keep my word. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.’” (John 14:23)
We make space for Jesus in our hearts and make ourselves available to His guidance. Setting the pace for our spiritual lives begins with our daily disciplines.
How do we form these disciplines?
Remain in God’s Word
Speak it out loud. Write God’s Word on pieces of paper and spread them around your house. Type them into your phone and set a particularly helpful verse as your lock screen image. This world and the enemy of our souls play rough, and one of the best ways we can stand firm is to stand on God’s Word. The more we can memorize and repeat Scripture to ourselves, the more the Holy Spirit can use God’s Word to transform us. And the more we see transformation and God’s movement in our lives, the more confidence we have to live out our faith and remind others how powerful it is to stick to God’s Word.
“For the word of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)
Engage in Prayer
As God’s Word is living and active, so is the Holy Spirit within us. God is a living being who longs to communicate with His children. As we are made for relationship with our parents, teammates, classmates, spouses and church family, God has made us for relationship with Him. One way to do this is to talk with Him, which is prayer. It’s nothing fancy, but it’s honest. Tell Him how you’re feeling. Thank Him for what He has given you in your life and for who He is. And take time to be quiet and listen for Him. As you speak, He speaks as well, and it’s important for His voice to come in clear.
“Ask, and it will be given to you. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8)
Seek the Company of Others
We’re not meant to run this race alone. God’s design is for community, and it’s in community where we sharpen and encourage one another, learn more about God, and form deeper connections with brothers and sisters in Christ. Getting together to spend time reading and discussing the Bible nourishes our spirits. Someone may see something in you that you haven’t noticed, and they can call it out, whether it’s for edifying or correcting.
“And let us consider one another in order to provoke love and good works, not neglecting to gather together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:24-25)
If we can plan out space for God’s Word, prayer and the fellowship of community, we’re keeping a steady pace that continuously fills us and makes room to lean in closer to the Lord. As the race of our Christian life keeps going, our endurance maintains, and we can sustain any weariness as we know how to adjust as needed.
God longs for more time with you, and for you to know Him in greater ways. Setting the pace is a great plan as we create rhythms of rest that we can live from and build others up along the way.
Setting the pace with spiritual practices isn’t just smart, it’s life-changing.
Read the rest of the article to learn how to learn the right pace for you.