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7 Ways to Stay Spiritually Strong this Summer

Summer is the season of rest and unplugging from normal commitments. It’s a time to slow down and rest, to read a good book in the shade of that old maple tree, to sip iced tea on the front porch, and to watch fireworks over the lake. But in the lazy, hazy days of summer, it's easy to become passive about our spiritual lives.


But what if this summer we decided together to invest in our relationship with Jesus? What if we used the extra time we’ve gained in our schedules to pursue Christ in a deeper way? I think this is quite possible even while the pace of life slows a little.


I want to come to the end of the summer having grown in my intimacy with Jesus, and feeling re-energized spiritually to move forward into all that God has for me in the fall. I trust you want the same. Let's look at 7 ways to stay spiritually strong this summer.

1. Read the New Testament in 90 Days

Spending time in God’s word is always one of the best ways to stay spiritually strong. Scripture is God’s voice to us. The words are literally Him speaking to us. As believers, we value the word of God and give it priority place in our lives. What if you set aside your regular Bible reading habits this summer and read through the entire New Testament in 90 days? The New Testament has 260 chapters, so if you read an average of three chapters of it a day, you can easily finish it within three months, even if you miss a few days. You could even challenge yourself to see how many times you could read through the New Testament this summer. Immersing yourself in this portion of Scripture will help you focus on the life and ministry of Jesus and the declaration of the gospel, and it will encourage you to walk in holiness. So to stay spiritually strong this summer, be intentional about your Bible reading.


2. Study One Book of the Bible

Perhaps you want to pick one book of the Bible to study this summer. We read the Bible for breadth, but study it for depth. So what if you picked one book of the Bible to really dive deep into? I suggest picking a smaller book from the New Testament like Ephesians or Philippians or Colossians. You could read through this book every day this summer. Even if you didn’t study it using commentaries and extra helps, the simple practice of re-reading is a form of studying in itself. As you read it over and over, let your curiosity guide you. Ask questions, journal your insights, and ask the Lord to reveal deeper truth to you. You will find you have greater understanding, start to make connections, and may even begin to memorize parts of it.

3. Take a Spiritual Retreat

This is something I like to do once or twice a year, and it’s nice to do it outdoors in the summer. Set aside a half day or a whole day to spend time with God. I’ve done this before where I’ve taken a lawn chair, my Bible and a journal, packed a small lunch and went and sat by the lake for hours. In my experience, it took about an hour for the whirling of my mind to stop and for me to get quiet before the Lord. There is something amazing that happens when we set aside all the distractions and just be with God. Read His word, journal, pray, listen for the voice of the Spirit. Sit in His presence without having to do anything. These times of spiritual retreat are times of renewal and refreshement. So I encourage you, set aside a few hours this summer to take a mini spiritual retreat.


4. Read Biographies

There is something about reading the stories of faithful men and women who have gone before us that’s so encouraging. We read of their faith and how God worked in and through their lives and we are inspired and motivated to keep walking forward with Jesus. There are many great biographies to choose from. Here are a few that come highly recommended:

Grab one of these great biographies and curl up on a lounge chair on the deck and be encouraged.


5. Take an Entertainment Fast

Consider taking an entertainment fast. So often when we have more time in our schedules, we fill it with more entertainment and distraction. What if you took a day or a week or a even month this summer and went on an entertainment fast? During that time you could avoid movies, or the news, or video games or watch Netflix or go on social media or YouTube or on certain apps on your phone. It is so refreshing to your soul when you turn down the noise of the culture and give time and space to listen to the voice of the Spirit. It would be amazing to free ourselves of the media clutter that we are bombarded with each day and have space to listen to God. Turn all this off so you could be intentional about fixing your eyes on Jesus.


6. Backyard Bible Study

Last summer I hosted a backyard Bible study on my deck. It was nothing fancy. A few women joined and we wrote the psalms together through the week, and then met once a week to talk about the five psalms we had handwritten that week. We drank lemonade and ate ice cream and chatted about life. It was a really informal and really encouraging time to be together. So what if you hosted a backyard Bible study this summer? Don’t get caught up in all the details about hosting or even let the leading of the study trip you up. All you have to do is open your home and lead the discussion. In the season were most churches stop their Bible studies and other programming, there are women who want to continue in the Word and in community. So invite a bunch of women and see who shows up.


7. Spend Time with a Godly Older Woman  

Summers are for leisurely evening walks with a friend and porch visits. What if you approached an older woman who you admire and ask her if she wants to walk once a week with you? Or sit on your porch once a week for an hour and sip iced tea? There are women I know who I look up to – women I admire their passion for Jesus, their commitment to their families and their joy and wisdom. I would love to soak up time with them this summer. I imagine you can think of women in your life who would be an encouragement to you. This doesn’t have to be a formal discipleship relationship. It’s just conversation. So ask an older godly woman if she would like to spend time with you this summer.


Here's another great idea for the summer: Consider handwriting the Psalms! Summer in the Psalms is a great resource to guide your time through handwriting Scripture this summer.


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