With the world moving at breakneck speed and changes happening every day, finding time to spend with God can be quite a challenge. But as the Scripture tells us, “nothing is impossible with God.”
Spending time with God can look a lot of different ways, and there’s definitely no one, or even perfect way to do it. But to begin with, let’s make it clear that I’m not referring to church attendance. While attending church is important, that’s a topic for another day. For now, we’re only looking at that personal time with the Master. Some call it devotions, some refer to it as a “quiet time”. Whatever it is for you, we’ll touch on how to carve out time for God in your day.
If you find yourself in a quandary not sure where to start or how to get the joy back into your devotions, it might help to see what others are doing. Sure, you can reach out to your pastor or church leader to ask for some tips, but there are also people right in front of you whom you can learn from as well. What about your friend, co-worker or neighbour? And if you’re too shy to ask them, just take a peek at what my devotional time looks like below.
While I’m no expert on spending time with God, I’ve been a Christian for twenty-five years, so I’ve had quite a few years of practise. For me, my time with God is probably my favorite part of each day. I enjoy having a special time when I can just listen and talk to Him. I also love that Jesus showed us the importance of spending time with God by modelling it Himself.
“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” Mark 1:35 NIV
At the core, my quiet time with God will include reading the Bible and praying. I might read a passage of Scripture in my Bible or follow a reading plan on one of my favorite devotional apps (more on that in a minute). The format I choose (physical Bible or Bible app) isn’t that important. I just want to be sure that I’m going straight to the source.
In addition to reading and praying, sometimes my quiet time also involves listening to worship music and journaling. I find that writing out the Scriptures is a great way to hide God’s Word in my heart and prepare me for the rest of the day.
Since we’re taking an honest look at what time with God looks like, it wouldn’t be fair if I gave the impression that it’s always perfect. The truth is, when it comes to having a quiet time with God, many of us have good intentions. But somehow our good intentions often get drowned out by life – social media, busy schedules, household demands – and so many other distractions.
Often, it’s a simple case of good intentions gone “bad”.
I had good intentions to wake up before the kids. But I chose my warm bed instead.
I had good intentions to spend the few quiet minutes reading my Bible. But I answered social media’s call instead.
I had good intentions to focus on the Bible passage before me. But I got called away by the worries of my day.
The reality is, it’s very easy for our time with God to fall low on our list of priorities. But rather than hang our heads in despair, let’s look at 3 simple ways we make good on those good intentions.
1. Talk to God by Praying
I like to think of our relationship with God as a two-way street where we communicate with God and He with us. When we pray that’s the part of the conversation where we talk to God.
For some, prayer can feel overwhelming, but just imagine talking to a friend who wants to hear about your day. Start by sharing with God the things that are on your heart and He will show you the next step.
While I love to set aside time to pray in the mornings, I believe it’s also important to take God with you throughout the day.
To overcome busyness and distractions, have some prayer prompts handy. These are just little cards that have a prayer on one side and Scripture on the other. You can easily make these for yourself or ask me about mine the next time you see me. Take them along with you in your purse, tuck them in your Bible or post them near your computer or some visible spot in your home. These simple tricks will help you keep the conversation with God going.
2. Listen to God by Reading the Bible
In these modern times, we are fortunate to have God’s love letter to us in the form of the Bible. When we read the Bible, we’re continuing the conversation with God by listening to Him.
When I’m short on time, I enjoy reading a devotional app that points me to the Word of God. That takes away the guess work of what to read, saving me time and allowing me to tune-in to God right away. Bible apps such as the YouVersion Bible have some great Bible-reading plans that you can choose from. And because it’s on your phone, it’s easy to take along with you throughout your day.
Bible in a Year
If you have a goal of reading through the Bible in a year, you can find plans online or you might even opt for a One Year Bible which has the daily verses arranged in order and ready for you to read.
Another favorite way to spend time in God’s Word is writing out Scriptures. This is a fantastic way to hide God’s Word in your heart and commit Scriptures to memory. You’ll find this especially handy on busy days.
I use simple Scripture plans focused on a specific theme, so that I can deepen my understanding of a topic without taking a lot of time to do so.
3. Talk about God by Sharing the Good News
Soon you’ll see that spending time with God is like being in love with someone you just can’t stop talking about. As we grow in our relationship with God, our love for Him will naturally spill over into other areas of our lives as well. So, talk about Him with your children, friends, business associates, and even with absolute strangers.
Sharing God with others is another way to spend time with Him as we share what we’re learning about His character and His work in our lives. As we open up about God, we gain more insight from our discussions as well. So, don’t be shy, let God be known.
I hope you’ve been encouraged to spend time with God in spite of the distractions in your day. I also pray that these practical tips and my own example will help you get into God’s Word and enjoy your time with Him even more.
Marva is a work and life strategist with a passion for helping women thrive in all areas of life. She’s the BVI’s first local female architect and former Chief Planner. In 2012, after 26 years in the Public Service, she successfully transitioned careers and founded the management consultancy firm MatrixSpark specializing in strategic management, training and coaching. Seven years later she became certified as a life breakthrough coach to address the growing work-life balance struggles facing women. She continues to welcome reinvention and is always on the lookout for what God is doing next.
You can find her writing about work-life balance and intentional living on her website www.MarvaSmith.com.