#Ask Rylee: My daily routine to grow closer to Christ
5 months ago Triangle 0
“Ask Rylee” is an advice column written by staff writer Rylee Evans. Evans is a sophomore communications major with a digital media option and a biblical studies minor at Bryan College. She is from Pikeville, Tenn. and graduated from Bledsoe County High School. She is on the women’s soccer team, and she enjoys spending time with her friends and family, hunting and fishing.
In this “Ask Rylee” article, Rylee answers the question “What are some practical ways you personally grow closer to God daily?” asked by @annabgrace.
I grew up in a typical Christian home where my family and I attended church every Sunday and prayed before meals, school, bed and ballgames. It seems like an easy Christian life, but for me, it wasn’t.
When I was four years old, my dad came into my room and told me he wanted me to go to heaven with him. He explained the Romans road to salvation, then I accepted the Lord as my Savior. However, I didn’t understand how big of a deal that was. What 4-year-old would?
It wasn’t until I was about 15 that I realized that I was not depending on the Lord. I knew I needed to change my life.
I wasn’t a bad kid. I was a straight-A student who never got in trouble. I was a shy, conservative girl. I chose my influences wisely because I knew right from wrong, but it wasn’t until one day at church camp that I realized I did not have a personal relationship with the Lord.
That didn’t mean that I didn’t believe in Him or that I wasn’t a good person. It meant that I was relying on worldly things rather than heavenly things. And I think that is something almost everyone struggles with.
I rededicated my life at 15. I decided it was time for a change. Little did I know that I was in the midst of a big mission field. I could have helped the people that were struggling rather than hiding in the library.
Coming into college, I was reliant on the Lord, but I wasn’t strong in the Lord. I didn’t understand what exactly that meant until recently. When you are walking with Christ, you grow differently; you have a deeper purpose that’s bigger than yourself alone. You have love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).
Recently, I was battling with myself wondering how in the world could I have all of those qualities. I had it set in my mind that I was the biggest introvert ever. I would go to class, get food, then bring it to my single-dorm room so I didn’t have to awkwardly eat alone or with people I didn’t really know. I never opened up to anyone. I was simply going through the motions of life.
As Christians, we are not called to go through the motions. We are called to disciple with others and help expand the kingdom of God.
I had to realize that I lacked joy and peace. That was a tough one for me. Coming to the realization that I wasn’t walking in the Lord’s direction was hard. From a worldly perspective, I could always make myself feel better by coming up with excuses as to why I didn’t do things or why I did. From the eternal perspective, I was just going against the Lord’s will.
After overcoming the confusion and chaos that was going on in my head, I understood that I had to be 100% dependent on Christ. But what does that mean?
It means obedience, as we see in Matthew 7:21-27.
The product of obedience is continual, abundant, and overflowing joy. But, in order to be obedient, I had to know what I was being called to do.
In order to know the Lord’s voice, you have to be familiar with it. Like any relationship, communication is key. Reading the Bible and praying diligently gives God an open door to communicate with you.
To have a personal relationship with Christ, you must have a daily quiet time with Him. This doesn’t mean quickly going through a Bible App reading plan as you are about to go to sleep. This means to take an allotted time out of your day to sit down and study God’s Word, then give Him time to talk to you. Meditate on God’s Word and take notes. Then, simply sit in silence and pray for His presence and provision.
I have such a busy life, I struggle to make that time for the Lord. So, what I have done since the beginning of the year is yoga, then Bible study. Doing yoga before my Bible study helps my mind relax and dispose of the distractions to prepare my heart.
I personally struggle with my phone addiction, so I had to give in and simply delete social media (Instagram and Snapchat). Once you strip yourself down to just you and God, you will grow tremendously.
In terms of today’s aspect, I’m trying to live with the Kingdom-first mentality. This means to be selfless, obedient, compassionate and genuine. I try my best to only listen to Christian music, so I don’t catch myself singing a song with bad connotations. I try to be a good steward of what’s in front of me, such as class or conversation.
Once you come to the realization that it’s not what God can do for you, it’s what YOU can do for God, your mentality will shift.
A verse that I have prayed over and over again, is Psalm 119:133. “Steady my steps according to your promise, and let no iniquity get dominion over me.”
*Note: this article expresses the ideas and opinions of the author and are not a reflection of the views of the Triangle or Bryan College as a whole.