I firmly believe that one of the most important things any follower of Jesus Christ can do is spend time with God. This doesn’t happen automatically. One must be intentional about spending time with the Lord. In other words, if I don’t set aside time and protect that time, I likely won’t spend time dedicated to growing my relationship with God.
I recommend these steps to spending time with the Lord:
- Choose a time that works best for you. That sounds like a no-brainer, but you must choose the time and set it aside. Put it on your calendar, if that helps you. Protect this time. Guard the time.
- Decide how much time to set aside. Be realistic. If you only have ten minutes, set that aside. If you have thirty, set that aside. As you grown in your relationship with God, you will likely struggle with the reality that no matter how much time you set aside, it won’t be enough.
- Prioritize the time you have chosen. If you choose 9:00 p.m. every day, then do not allow anything to alter, change, or disrupt your schedule.
- Be flexible. You might not be able to choose the same time every day. You might not be able to set aside the same amount of time every day.
- Minimize and eliminate any possible distractions. Turn off your cell phone, tablet, TV, radio, or whatever might distract you. Close your office door. Get alone.
- Divide your alone time with God between listening and talking. God speaks through the Bible and through His Spirit. As you read and study your Bible, listen for ways God is teaching you. As you pray, listen in your heart for God’s direction for your day and for your life.
- Finish with determination. Your time alone with God should be life-changing as well as mind-changing. Ask for God’s strength to live out the things you talked with Him about in your time alone.
I like to start every day with solitude, just God and me. I usually spend a fifteen minutes or so reading from the Bible following one of the many Bible-reading plans on Bible.com. Then I spend about another fifteen minutes or so in prayer and meditation, reflecting on the things I read and listening for His leadership and direction. I then remind myself of a truth: “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” – Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV.