You've probably heard phrases like "spending time with God" or "having a quiet time"... but maybe you have no idea what that means. Or... you know what the words mean, but you have no clue what that looks like for you personally. Relationships require spending time in someone's presence and engaging with them in two-sided conversation. Our relationship with God is no different. Here are three areas to focus on as you step into or strengthen your relationship with God...
THE BIBLE. The Bible is the living, active word of God. It is how God most clearly speaks to people. At 20:20 on Monday night, Johnathan Gardiner reminded us of the value of God's Word and how He has preserved it for us. Think of it like a letter from God to you, explaining who He is, where you came from and who He’s made you to be. Reading the Bible will bring you hope, encouragement, guidance, and practical advice on the everyday issues you’re facing and it’s the best way to discover how to follow Jesus. It is relevant to everyone, everywhere, at any time. Regardless of the season of life you are in, everyone can take their relationship with God to a deeper level by reading the Bible. 1- If you’re not sure where to start, try an online Bible study or reading plan. One of the best resources for reading plans is the YouVersion mobile app. If you are ready to commit to opening God's Word for 10 mins a day, The Gospel of John, Ephesians, or Romans are some great places to start your reading. 2- A journal or notebook is a great way to write down verses in the Bible that speak to your heart so you can remember them later.
PERSONAL PRAYER. Prayer is an opportunity to communicate honestly and sincerely with Jesus and give him honor and praise. Billy Graham said, "One of God’s greatest gifts to us is the privilege of prayer—a privilege that is possible because of what Jesus did for us on the cross. Thank God for the privilege of prayer and learn daily to “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). 1- Don't overthink it! Prayer is just a direct connection to Jesus. As we pray, we share our worries, doubts, and fears with Jesus, and we thank Him for all the good gifts in our lives. 2- Prayers can be silent, but if it helps you connect with God, share your prayers out loud. Sometime praying out loud makes prayer feel more conversational.
SACRED SPACE. Creating sacred space is important as we develop a routine for spending time with God. The word sacred means "connected to God or dedicated for a religious purpose." Sacred spaces are surroundings that helps us disconnect from the rest of the world for the purpose of connecting with God. 1- It is important that sacred space is distraction free. Whatever it takes for us to have uninterrupted time with Jesus through prayer and Bible time, take the necessary steps to do it every day. Maybe that means turning off the cell phones, iPads, and TVs so we can focus on what God wants to say to us as we spend time with Him. If clutter is distracting to you, make sure your sacred space is clean and tidy! If noise bothers you, find a sacred space that is secluded and quiet. 2- If there are specific environments, activities, music, or images that stir your affections toward Jesus, incorporate them into your sacred space! Everyone is different! You may need your sacred space to be/look consistent or you may need to change it up to stay engaged.
What we call a “quiet time” is only a part of our relationship with God. But for a lot of christians, our quiet time is the extent of the relationship. If sitting and reading letters were the only way you spent time with your friend, you would get bored! Your time with God should be unique to who you are, so try spending time with God in a way that captures that! Do something fun and who knows...your “quiet time” may just become your new favorite time of the week.