In our latest series ‘Flourish’, we'll discover what it looks like to thrive in the four domains of life: physical, relational, vocational and spiritual.
We’ve asked people from across City on a Hill to share their top 5 practical tips on what it looks like to flourish in each domain.
Today's tips are 'spiritual'.
We hope these tips will help you to cultivate healthy habits, draw you closer to Jesus, and truly flourish in life.
Alexandra from City on a Hill Brisbane
- Pray, every day. - It doesn't have to be long or fancy. Be honest in your prayers; God has big shoulders. Prayer reminds us of who God is and who we are before Him. Prayer is vital in staying connected to God.
- Read your Bible, everyday. - Even if it is just a verse a day to start with, God teaches us about who he is, his amazing love for us, and his plan for our salvation through his Word.
- When faced with a challenging situation or relationship, ask yourself two questions: What is God teaching me about who he is? & What does God want me to learn/change about myself, through the strength only he can give?
- Have Christian friends who will keep you accountable, friends who aren't afraid to lovingly correct you when necessary and who humbly point you back to Jesus.
- Ask God to help you love everyone the way he does - abundantly and graciously, regardless of how they treat you or what they can do for you. Remember God's abundant love and amazing grace towards you, despite the number of times you fall.
Emma from City on a Hill Melbourne
- Hear from God by reading the Bible. Psalms says God’s word is more precious than rubies, it’s true! But sometimes a fair bit of self-control, effort and habit-building needs to go into staying in the Word. The more you do it, the more it will be the highlight of the day and the more it will change your life. Have you ever said: "I wish God would speak to me?”. Well He has, check out the Bible.
- Speak to God by praying consistently and regularly. This might mean putting sticky notes up around the house, car or desk to remind yourself. Or setting reminders on your phone to prompt you to pray. It’s a way of submitting to God’s will for your life, acknowledging we are dependant on God and deepening our relationship with Him.
- Be still. This ties in to the first two points, but I think it deserves its own because it is so under-rated and it’s hard! It’s about taking moments to stop, reflect, be calm, and to know that the Lord is God. Perhaps this could look like meditating on God’s word, having a Sabbath day, listening to worship music, sitting quietly with God.
- Confess sin. 1 John 1:5 says “God is light and in him there is no darkness at all”. Ephesians encourages us to walk as children of the light. If we are living in habitual and unrepentant sin then we will struggle to flourish spiritually. We will hide from God like Adam and Eve did in the garden of Eden, the the weight of our shame and guilt will make us want to run away from God. But instead run towards Him, confess sin to God and others, repent, preach the gospel of grace to yourself and know that you are forgiven.
- Prioritise community. We need each other if we are going to flourish spiritually. As Christian brothers and sisters, we are called to exhort (strongly encourage, urge) one another every day to love and good deeds. Go to church, join a GC, gather friends together to pray, read the bible one on one. You may not always feel like it, but you will always need it. These are the people that will hold you accountable, point you to Jesus, speak God’s truth into your life, encourage you towards holiness.
Brendan from City on a Hill Geelong
- Feed yourself with spiritual content outside of Church and GC times.
- Make the most of your commuting time: try listening to Christian Audio Books, Christian podcasts, or an audio Bible when in the car or on the train.
- Know WHY you believe, not just WHAT you believe. Expect that you will face challenges in your life, and you may question whether God is real, or the Bible is true. Knowing the 'why' can strengthen your foundation and improve your resilience.
- Understand opposing views. Where do secularists and the various religions differ, and what makes their perspective strong or week.
- Prepare yourself to answer common objections raised by atheists and people from other faith positions, so you can answer them gently in love (1 Pet 3:15 ff.)
Andrew from City on a Hill Melbourne West
- Read the word daily. If possible read for breath and study in depth. Do a bible reading plan to be soaked in scripture but also spend extended periods of time in one book/passage/verse to dig up the deep treasures of the Word. Also consider listening to sermons/podcasts on you’re commute or while doing chores. Immerse yourself in the Bible!
- Prayer should be both structured and spontaneous. If you’re someone who only ever prays when it’s your scheduled time, try to pray to God in the car or just before you face a challenging situation. And if you’re someone who only ever prays spontaneously during the day, try to set aside dedicated time just for being with God in prayer. Both are necessary!
- Be mentored by someone and seek to be a mentor to someone else. Be actively involved in discipleship!
- Don’t neglect to spend time with other Christians! Be accountable to one another and set aside time to confess your sins and encourage each other in your walks. Iron sharpens iron.
- Seek to serve! Find the jobs that need to be done in the church and be committed to doing them well, even if they aren’t glamorous! But even beyond the Sunday service, if you ever see someone else in need, put their interests before your own. Have a servant heart like Jesus did!