Spending time with God. You might call it quiet time or devotions. But no matter what you call it, if you are a Christian, you know that spending time with God is crucial to your relationship with Him.
Yet how many of us know that and yet don’t prioritize it? We have the best intentions and plans, yet somehow we rush through it or let it become rote or just plain skip it. You too?
In my case, I have no good excuse. My parents instilled the habit of spending time with God in the morning from the time I was very young. I don’t remember ever not having the expectation that I would have quiet time. True, before I started a personal relationship with God, it was more just a habit and thing to do, but I still did it for the most part. When I yielded my life to God, He gave me a hunger for His word and spending time with Him.
Over the years, though, I’ve found that simply having a “habit” isn’t enough. Especially as an adult, when I can set my own schedule and choose how I want to spend my time, I have to be intentional to prioritize time with God.
Here are 5 things that have helped me prioritize time with God:
Don’t let yourself skip it. You don’t skip eating for a whole day, and you can’t afford to skip spiritual food either. Personally, it helps me to have it first thing in the morning every day. I also like some more time before bed. There’s no hard and fast rule on how much time, but you’ll discover that the more you spend, the more you want to spend. It may work better for you at a different time of day, which is fine, but make it consistent. Build a habit.
Ask a friend or mentor to keep you accountable and/or join a Bible study group. Instead of just “reporting”, also encourage each other and pray for each other in this specific area of your life, and share about what God is teaching you
Put it into your schedule, figure out what time of day it’s going to be and then arrange your schedule around it, rather than hoping it will fit in sometime. It’s wise to aim for a certain amount of time, say 30 minutes, but have some flexibility so that you can go longer too. If you’re not a planner by nature, this may be harder and you may not do it exactly the same way each day. That’s okay. But “not getting around it it” is a bad excuse
Does the thought of spending 30 minutes or more “with God” sound daunting? Not sure where to start? Depending on your personality, you may want to experiment, or you may want a plan. Some suggestions: start your time with prayer, confession, and asking God to open your eyes and your heart to what He wants to show you. Spend time in His word, with or without a Bible reading plan. Focus on who God is, who He’s revealing Himself to be, what His heart is for you, and how He wants to transform you. Prayer journaling or copying Scripture can be helpful. Bible memorization too. More time in prayer. There’s no formula; this is a relationship.
God doesn’t just want 30 minutes of your day, and then you live for yourself the rest of the time. No, let this relationship permeate your entire day. His praise should be on your lips, always. A conversation with Him, ongoing. Giving thanks, at every opportunity. Meditating on His word, continual. It’s not like you stop living, you just change your focus and your thoughts and where your heart turns. He dwells within you, you have a personal relationship with the God of the universe who also loves you passionately, so live like it!