Time with God Everyday
Most of us would agree that we should spend time with those we love. If we claim to have a relationship with Christ, we should spend time with Him also. Spending time with the Lord daily is as simple as READ, PRAY, and DO.
Read the Bible
The best way to start our time with God is to read the Bible, God’s Word, everyday. His Word is “living and active” (Hebrews 4:12) so when we read it and think about it we draw close to the heart of God. We learn how He wants to relate to us and restore us to himself.
The best way to read the Bible is to have a plan. You can read it by beginning in the Old Testament or beginning in the New Testament. Another plan is to read the gospels or to read the Psalms. Different Bible reading plans are available online (ESVOnline.org or YouVersion.com). Most important is that you read the Bible every day.
Note: There are many different translations of the Bible, ranging from very specific “word for word” translations to more general “thought for thought” translations. The English Standard Version strikes a good balance between these two methods. The ESV Bible is available online at ESVOnline.org, on your iPhone, or in actual book form.
Pray the Bible
The most powerful way to draw near to the Father is to use His word in prayer. As you read the Bible and discover things about God and about yourself turn this into your prayer. Did you learn that God is holy and perfect? Praise Him in your prayer for His holiness. Did you learn that God’s grace and mercy provided your salvation? Thank God for His grace and mercy. Did you learn that you are harboring a bitterness toward another person? Confess this sin to God and ask him to replace it with love.
The actual text of scripture can be your prayer. Passages from the Psalms, for example, were prayers of believers from long ago. These can be your prayers also. You can pray Psalm 23 as if it were your prayer. The prayers recorded in Paul’s letters for believers can be your prayers as you pray for friends. The words of Jesus in the gospels can be your prayer as you seek to incorporate them into your life.
Do the Bible
This third part of spending time with God is probably the most important and the most neglected. The Bible tells us that if we look at God’s word and it does not change the way we live and behave it is the same as looking in a mirror, walking away, and forgetting what we look like. (James 1:22-25)
In order to really benefit in our relationship with God and know the heart of the Father, we must be doers of the word. This means as we learn about God and about ourselves, we put these truths into our lives by being obedient. If God shows us we are greedy with our money, we should look for ways to give. If God shows us we have a bad attitude toward someone else, we should repair that relationship. If God convicts us that we need to make friends with a co-worker who is not a Christian, we need to start talking to them. If God reveals in us an unforgiving spirit toward someone, we should ask forgiveness. As James says, the one who is “a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.”
Journal Your Journey
Whether we are looking at events from 10 years ago or the thoughts running through our mind at this very instant, seeing our thoughts and actions in writing brings a fresh perspective from which we can view them more objectively. We can apply the truths we read in God’s word to our own thoughts, and give God room to work in our hearts.
Journaling isn’t hard, but it does take practice. Fortunately, journaling ‘practice’ is really just journaling. Sit down with a pen and paper, and write down whatever your thinking. Be honest. If the first thing you write is “God, are you there?” or “I don’t know why I’m doing this.” or “God I’m so angry at you right now.” that’s alright, because writing down those thoughts will help you work through them, move past them, or develop them as God leads you.