Spending time with God is not just attending church on Sunday. In fact, it is far from it. I have my ups and downs when it comes to doing this, because what happens is I start to think of all the other things I could be doing instead. The enemy loves distracting me from time with God. I’ve had great times for weeks at a time, and then weeks or even months of dragging myself through the desert, so parched for lack of time spent with God that it’s ridiculous. But, you know what, God is Good, and He gently steers me back on track, because He knows I have a heart to serve Him and that I want to succeed at doing His Will.
There are many ways of spending time with God. I believe that it’s not always quantity of time, but quality of time. Praising and worshipping God with my favourite music, reading His Word, listening to a good teaching, going for a walk and quietly praying/appreciating His wonderful creation, or just sitting quietly and listening for what God wants to say to me.
I don’t get to know God unless I spend time with Him, just as in any other relationship.
You may have a very demanding job and find it difficult to set aside time every day ~ you may do shift work ~ you may be a busy mum who has trouble finding any time to herself. Whatever your situation, it is very important that you commit to a time each week if not each day to spend time with God. You may want to do just one of the suggestions above each day, or each second day or incorporate them all into one time set aside each week, it doesn’t matter. God knows your heart and your situation and He will work with you. Really, it only takes a moment to be prayerful or thankful. It’s not quantity, but quality. Getting ready for work, putting your make-up on, driving, sitting on the train or bus, anywhere, anytime.
In “The Purpose Driven Life,” Rick Warren says, “God wants to be our best friend. Friendship with God is built by sharing all your life experiences with Him.”
To do this we need to spend time with Him, not only a weekly appointment as suggested above, but in all we do. Thinking of Him, praying to Him, handing over the cares and worries we may have for the day ahead, thanking Him for the days blessings, praising Him. Walking, shopping, driving, washing the dishes, cleaning the house, washing the car, mowing the lawn, on holiday and even at work. Being mindful of Him in every aspect of our lives.
The little things He does for us each and every day. That’s Friendship.
Psalm 27:4 ~
“The one thing I ask of the Lord, the thing I seek most, is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, delighting in the Lord’s perfections and meditating in His temple.”
Psalm 34:1-3 ~
“I will praise the Lord at all times. I will constantly speak His praises.
I will boast only in the Lord; let all who are helpless take heart.
Come, let us tell of the Lord’s greatness; let us exalt His name together.”
Psalm 46:10 ~
“Be still and know that I am God!”
1 Corinthians 1:9 ~
“God will do this, for He is faithful to do what He says, and He has invited you into partnership with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Philippians 3:8 ~
“Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.”
Colossians 3:1-4 ~
“Since you have been raised to new life in Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits at the place of honour at God’s right hand.
Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.
For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God.
And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all His glory.”
If you can, it’s always worth reading the before and after verses surrounding these scriptures, or the whole chapter. That will give you the whole picture instead of just a piece. Shalom.
Sometimes, the only way I know to get me through the day is to make this confession before I get out of bed : “Good morning, Lord. This is the day that You have made, I WILL rejoice and be glad in it. Thankyou for helping me to do what I have to do today.”
Just as deciding to walk with Jesus is a choice, and of course many things in life are a choice, so too is the decision to rejoice.
For those of us who have a melancholy disposition this choice is an absolute. Some mornings I feel so down that the only way I can get out of bed is to make the decision to, and choose to rejoice in the Lord. David obviously had serious bouts of depression, and he came up out of them every time by praising God. He cried, “But Thou, O Lord, art a shield about me, my glory, and the One who lifts my head.” I don’t know if anyone has ever praised God as David did.
I love this, “I will bless the Lord who has counselled me, indeed my mind instructs me in the night.” Every night as I go to bed I drift off to sleep with praise music going and am usually asleep long before it finishes. It ministers to me as I sleep. One night, every time I turned over I heard in my head, “I will lift up my eyes to the hills, from where comes my help.” That was long after my music had stopped. That does not happen to me often, but it blessed me so much I got up in the morning and knew that the Lord was watching over me and helping me each day.
That was a reason to rejoice!
But, as I have said, it is a decision, and if for no other reason than the fact that my name is in the Lamb’s Book of Life, because I have chosen to walk with God and His wonderful Son Jesus.
And finally, Paul tells us in Philippians 4:4-8 to “Rejoice in the Lord always”. He goes on to say to be anxious for nothing, to pray and be thankful, and that the peace of God will guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus.
1 Chronicles 16:10 ~ “Exult in His Holy Name; rejoice, you who worship the Lord.”
Psalm 3:3 ~ “But You, O Lord, are a shield around me; You are my glory, the One Who holds my head high.”
Psalm 5:11 ~ “But let all who take refuge in You rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever. Spread Your protection over them, that all who love Your Name may be filled with joy.”
Psalm 16:7 ~ “I will bless the Lord who guides me; even at night my heart instructs me.”
Psalm 118:24 ~ “This is the day the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.”
Psalm 121:1-2 ~ “I will lift up my eyes to the hills – from where shall my help come?
My help comes from the Lord, Who made Heaven and Earth.”
Proverbs 17:22 ~ “A happy heart is good medicine, and a joyful mind causes healing.”
Philippians 4:4,8 ~ “Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again-rejoice!
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honourable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ~ “Always be joyful. Never stop praying.
Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”