4 Helps for Your Time with God
Your time alone with God matters. What you do in the secret place is vital to your growth and influence as a Christian. I believe we often become so concerned with the noises of the culture that we fail to see what is truly important.
Your relationship with God is the foundation of everything that you do. What you believe about God and who He is will ultimately drive your behavior. It is through spending time in God’s Word and in prayer that you will be radically changed. Apologetics can’t do that for you.
Staying current on news events can’t do that for you. Even attending church can’t do that for you. Only Jesus can satisfy your soul and change your life. Only Jesus can be your rock in a crumbling world.
In his book Keep the Faith, Paul Chappell says, “Denominations often reflect the concerns of the culture rather than the concerns of God.”
In other words, the church and Christians have let the culture define their basis for living instead of living their lives on the authority of the Word of God. Therefore, the attention has been driven away from the wholesome teachings of the Word and driven to the issues of the culture. We have not abandoned the Word of God, we have just made it secondary. If we are not careful, we will let the “hot button topics” become a flashy distraction to the very thing that will revive our lives and deepen our purpose. We will start to consult the culture instead of the Bible.
As Os Guinness pointed out in Prophetic Untimeliness: A Challenge to the Idol of Relevance, “A great part of evangelical community has transferred authority from Sola Scriptura to Sola Cultura.”
Don’t get me wrong, there is a great need for apologetics and answering tough questions about social trends, but it should never take the place of promoting the Word of God and the gospel.
If you truly wish to influence the culture for Jesus, you must dive deeply into His heart and “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth,” (II Timothy 2:15).
But the questions come:
How do I dive into the Word? Where do I start in my devotions? Am I making the best of my time alone with God?
Here are four helps for your time alone with God:
1. Find A Place
Oftentimes in Scripture, you find Jesus taking leave to a “mountain apart” or a solitary place to spend time alone with His Father (Mark 1:35). It was a special time, away from the “hustle and bustle’ of life to consecrate Himself in prayer.
Psalm 91:1 says, “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”
The secret place is not secret because God wishes to keep it from you. It is secret because very few men find it. Do you have a place: away from your phone, TV, and other distractions?
If you don’t have one, find one. Ask God to help it become a place of Sabbath and rest away from the busyness of everyday life, and consecrate it to God.
2. Have A Plan
Isn’t it amazing how much of our lives that we plan, especially this time of year, and still never seem to find time for Him? Or if we do have time for Him, we don’t deem it necessary to “put Him on the calendar.” It’s just one of those things that we may check off a list, but we never give it priority.
Can I encourage you to have a plan? Ask the Lord which direction He wants you to go in your devotional time. This year I’m reading through the Bible in chronological order, trying to finish in 12 months. I normally am not a fan of Bible reading lists, but I believe this year God is directing me to do so for a purpose that I am excited to find out. Whatever the plan is, make it a priority as if it was a special event every day (because it is).
3. Make It Profitable
The Word of God is the ultimate transformer in a believer‘s life. “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart,” (Hebrews 4:12).
The most profitable thing you can do today is Talking to God and letting Him talk to you. It’s not adjusting your 401k, it’s not demanding a raise, it is getting into the Living Word that will live in and through you. So, you must not waste time when you are alone with God. Put your phone away, turn the TV off, and be still and know that He is God (Psalm 46:10).
4. Be Persistent
If you are going to do anything in life well, you must do it often. The same applies to your time with God. But to be honest, this is probably the thing most people struggle with when it comes to their devotions. They may know where to go in the Bible, but they get so frustrated because they can't do it every day. Listen, we live in an imperfect world with changes happening every day. No two days are the same. So, don’t let the devil beat you up for not being perfect in your time with God.
No, everything will not go according to plan every time. Life will happen. The question is, will you take Jesus with you when it does? See, the objective is not to have elaborate devotions every day, but to develop a devotional life to Jesus!
I hope these four helps will encourage you in your time with God, and I look forward to continuing our study on Back to the Basics in our Reader’s Group and The Navigator Podcast!