How I stay close to God and live free in the Spirit.

As believers, we are called to live by faith and stand firm in the truth (eg. God is love, He is faithful, we are His children, made righteous and saved by grace, etc.). This is why the enemy is always trying to steal our joy and shipwreck our faith by whispering lies, influencing our emotions, and getting us to lose sight of the truth.

It is nothing to fear or be worried about. I see it this way: we still have the choice every day to eat from the tree of life, or from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Are we going to believe the lies of the enemy? Are we going to give in to negative emotions? Are we going to let our circumstance speak louder than the truth?

I hope not!

So, what do we do when we are struggling to live free in the Spirit no matter what the enemy tries to do? It doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, there are four really simple things I have found that help me stay close to God and live in joy no matter what is happening in my life.

Time in Nature

Spending time in nature never fails to put me in a better mood and a state of gratitude for God’s beautiful creation. One of my favorite things to do outside is hike or run on a trail in a woodsy area. Not only is it a therapeutic getaway from the hustle of daily life, but getting my body moving gives me endorphins.

I also love going to botanical gardens, sitting and staring at a body of water like an ocean or a lake, or simply taking a walk break outside during my work day. There is a reason God created a Garden for humans to live in–God placed eternity in our hearts, and I believe being in nature awakens that truth within us (Ecclesiastes 3:11).

Quality Time With Fellow Believers

I always feel better after meeting up with a fellow believer for coffee or Facetiming a long-distance friend or family member. If I am going through something difficult, they listen to me process, give me Biblical advice, and we will often pray together.

I am a bit of an introvert, so it takes some effort for me to initiate social interaction–I am much more inclined to stay home and get cozy on the couch. However, I know that God wants us to journey through this life in community with other believers. Never isolate yourself if you are in a bit of a funk. I promise your brothers and sisters in Christ care about you and want to help!

reconnect with God
Photo by Dim Hou / Unsplash

Worship Dance

One of my favorite things to do when I am feeling a little off is to put on an upbeat worship music playlist and just dance! Not only am I getting more of those endorphins, I am focusing on God’s goodness, faithfulness, and beauty. Also, I am not sure if you know this, but it is impossible to not experience joy when you are dancing.

Something that worship dance has taught me over the years is what it really means to submit myself to God, resist the devil, and he will flee (James 4:7). Resisting the devil is not about fighting him, it is about turning my gaze to look upon the face of Jesus and believing the truth about who He is and who I am in Him. So, the next time the enemy is whispering lies and trying to keep you trapped in negative emotions, worship dance!

P.S. Worship was such a huge part of my healing from Crohn's disease. If you are dealing with sickness of any kind, worshiping in the midst of symptoms is so powerful.

Do a Social Media Detox

Social media has had such a huge impact on my mood, ability to focus in quiet time with the Lord, and I realized it was subtly breeding discontent, anxiety, and comparison. I also feel that it dulls my sensitivity to God’s voice and presence.

Because of this, I recently decided to do a social media detox, and I am so glad I did! My mood instantly improved, and I don’t feel as scatter-brained when I am praying or reading the Bible. Regular social media breaks, or quitting it altogether, are very good for the soul.

What do you do to boost your mood and connect with God when you are feeling down or struggling with something difficult in your life?