So. You’ve got home from Ripon and you’ve had a great time(hopefully), learnt new things about God and you might have even experienced His presence. That’s amazing … but now what?
You have to go back to real life, which is busy and hard, and God gets pushed aside or at least until next Ripon. But it doesn’t have to be like that. Really, anything that happened at Ripon is just the start of what God’s got in store for you this year. He’s got plans, BIG plans.
So if you want to move forwards with God after Ripon, here are my top tips:
1. Make a plan. If you aim to do something you’re more likely to do it. Whether that’s reading your Bible, praying more or finding a church that you like. Whatever it is, make it achievable. If you’ve never picked up a Bible reading a chapter everyday might be a bit daunting to start off with.
2. Talk to others. Whether they’re at church, at home, at school or from Ripon the more people who are involved in your walk with God the easier it'll be. Remember it's 'us' not just 'me'. Tell them about what you’ve learnt; ask them questions. They might even have words of advice or wisdom for you.
3. Start now! Don't wait for a week, remember it's DAILY bread.
4. Don't let guilt get in the way. If you ignore God for a month and then decide you want to go back to Him, just do it! If you forget to do your Bible reading for a couple of days, just get on with the next one! Making you feel guilty is not how God works.
5. Finally this is my TOP top tip (I could have started with this but hey I wanted the big finish): Ask God for help. Do any or all of the above WITH God. If you can donothing else just say 'God please help, your will be done'. If you say this often you are constantly open to God working in and through you. These ‘top tips’ are limited, they’re human, they’re just advice. But God is an all knowing ever present well of awesomeness just waiting to be called upon.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.”
- Proverbs 3:5-6