Making Faith More Than a Routine
By Drenda Keesee
Did you know Valentine’s Day brought in $18 billion last year?
In the culture, Valentine’s Day is a big deal: women wear red, men make reservations at nice restaurants and buy flowers and chocolates, and babysitters are all booked up.
I love this holiday month as much as the next person, but I can’t help but wish we would celebrate God with this level of enthusiasm.
Maybe you are in a dry season in your walk. You’ve been with the Lord for a long time, and your faith has slowly become more about routine and less about spontaneously making time to be in His presence.
This love month, I want to encourage you to not only celebrate love for your spouse, but also to pause and listen to the Holy Spirit, and take time to spontaneously love Jesus in your everyday life.
Here are some key things I have learned throughout my walk with God.
Avoid “Proving” Your Love to God
I know it is easy to get caught up with the “doingness” of faith: carrying out good works, building each other up in Bible study, getting the crew to church every Sunday: check, check, check.
Those things are all wonderful, but really experiencing God’s love is not necessarily in the doing.
God did not give us an emotional to-do list that we need to check off in order to feel His love.
You don’t need to prove your love to God. He knows your heart.
Let me ask you a question: When you feel disconnected from your spouse, do you set out to prove your love for them with a to-do list?
- Make a reservation at our favorite dinner place.
- Do an act of service for them.
- Sit in silence and stare into each other’s eyes for 10 minutes…
Or do you switch your mindset to notice opportunities to spontaneously love your spouse, like leaving the dinner dishes in the sink and going for a sunset walk together?
God’s presence isn’t about to-do lists, and it isn’t a well-kept secret. He made it simple.
Jeremiah 29:13 tells us, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
Be on the lookout for a spontaneous moment to seek God today. Ask Him to immerse you in His love.
Go HERE for some Bible verses about getting into God’s healing presence.
God’s Love Does Not Ebb and Flow
According to urbandictionary.com, spontaneous love is “when one day you aren’t the least bit attracted to them, and the next, it seems like you can’t live without them.”
Do you ever hear the things being taught in the culture and your stomach does that little flippy thing, like when you drive over a steep hill?
Spontaneous love has nothing to do with human nature’s fleeting physical cravings! That is not love at all!
When we love God spontaneously, we open our hearts to the outpouring of God’s Spirit, which is always there for us.
God’s love is always the same. It’s FREE and constant and not subject to shifting emotions the way that human emotions shift.
Part of experiencing God’s love is understanding the nature of His love and believing that, when you open up your heart to receive it, it will always come.
As James 4:8 tells us, “Come near to God and he will come near to you.”
You Know What Real Love Is
Just like a marriage is far more than romantic, candlelit dinners or extravagant gifts, faith is about more than a routine. It’s remembering that you have a best friend in God—someone who feels your joy knows your fears and celebrates your dreams.
My favorite times with God are those little moments of silence when He speaks to me in a whisper and shows me His love.
The culture doesn’t exactly have a firm grasp on the true meaning of love, but, as a son or daughter of the Most-High God, you know exactly what true love is.
As 1 John 4:16 tells us, “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love.Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.”
In the culture, love comes in heart-shaped boxes and dozens of red roses, but true love and intimacy are so much more.
I want to encourage you, this month, make faith about more than a routine or a religious to-do list. Make time to enjoy God and spontaneously experience His love.
You have access to God’s healing presence anytime, anywhere!!
For encouragement and practical tips on drawing closer to God, check out my book, Happy Life: Notes from God. This book is very near and dear to my heart because each devotional begins with a note that is written from God’s perspective; it is a daily reminder of how much God loves you.
When I was in a challenging season of life, raising and homeschooling five children and serving as co-pastor at our church, I would have used a resource like the Happy Life every day.
Everyone need reminders of God’s true nature, reminders that His amazing love is always available to us whenever and wherever we need it.
A Love Letter to God
As a young child, you might have had a Valentine’s Day party at school. You decorated your shoebox and waited patiently for every one of your classmates to drop in that Valentine, scribbled with simple sentiments that made your day.
Whether you’re an adult or doing a craft with your child, I want to challenge you this month to write a love letter to God.
For example, you can cut a heart shape from a piece of construction paper and write out a prayer, write out things for which you are grateful or things you want.
P.S. – These are a great way to see God’s faithfulness over time and to document your child’s spiritual journey.
ps…You can pre-order Drenda’s new book, “Shark Proof” here!
Listen in Now to Faith Life Church!
Drenda Keesee’s contagious zeal and humorous personal experiences help make her ministry of spiritual, emotional and relational wholeness one that will bless your life and spark a new fire in your spirit.
A wife of over 30 years and a mother of five children, Drenda has ministered at churches, seminars, and conferences, and through the mediums of television and radio, for more than 20 years.
Her books, The New Vintage Family, Better Than You Think, and She Gets It are available wherever books are sold. In these heartfelt books, Drenda shares her personal journey and the life lessons that have brought her to where she is today, as well as practical answers that all people need to live a joyful life.
Drenda and her husband Gary founded Faith Life Now, a ministry designed to spread the message of freedom in the areas of finances, faith, marriage, and family. Tune in for their weekly messages here. Faith Life Now hosts conferences worldwide, and sponsors both Fixing the Money Thing, which Drenda co-hosts with her husband Gary, and Drenda.
Through their own life experiences, the Keesees have found the principles from God’s Word to be powerful and effective. At one point, Drenda was a young, suicidal feminist with no hope of ever being “good enough” for her own standards of perfection. She never wanted the “inconvenience” of a husband or children, and she was on her own path to success. But the stress of trying to achieve perfection and perform for love left her broken and used. She had success, but it was nothing compared to the pain and loneliness it had also brought.
That’s when God got a hold of her heart. It was there—at her lowest point—that she found the One who accepted and loved her, faults and all. Since that transformation, Drenda has had a passion to reach women who find themselves where she once was.
She married Gary after attending college, and there she found herself in a personal boot camp of sorts. She says, “I cried and told God, ‘I can do anything but be a wife and mother.’” She committed to learning how to do it God’s way. Through the many years of raising their children and struggling to make ends meet, Drenda learned from their mistakes. “I didn’t know how to be a wife and mother, but God saved our marriage, taught us how to parent our children for success, showed us how to have financial success, and then irony of all ironies, He called us to ministry.” It’s truly because of these life experiences that Drenda can now share so many insightful principles for people who are now going through the same struggles.