Spending time with God is not a one-size-fits-all formula. Find out what spending time with God means and learn ways to implement it in your everyday life.
THE HABIT OF SPENDING TIME WITH GOD
We hear it all the time. We know we should do it. But does anyone really explain what in the world it means to “spend time with God”?
You can’t call him up for coffee, or go on vacation together. There is no date night to schedule—so how is it that people are spending time with God?
To me, spending time with God looks different in each season of my life.
As a child, I spent time with God when my family took me to church or prayed at the dinner table.
As a teenager, I wanted to learn more about why we centered our lives around Christianity and whether I ”bought into it” or not. I decided to get baptized and took ownership for my own faith.
When I was a college student, my faith was tested for the first time. I failed at it in many instances, but it was always there, tugging at me to remember the grace of God and the purpose I found through relationship with him.
When I was a young 21-year-old newlywed, I realized that I had distanced myself so far from God that I didn’t know how to get close to him anymore. I began to pray more fervently and journaled to God in the form of prayer. I still felt like I was talking to an empty room at the time, but a pulling on my heart told me that this relationship wasn’t going to come back overnight.
Week by week, I spent a little more time with him by going back to church and joining Bible studies led by older women.
GROWING THROUGH HARDSHIPS
A few years later as a new mom, I was depressed and overwhelmed, and had left all of my working friends behind as I morphed into a stay-at-home-mom. When I plugged into a group of new moms at church, I saw this community of young Christian women as another way to spend time with God.
We prayed for each other, hung out together, and swapped stories and babysitting. These times were an immense boost in my faith—raw, honest conversations about the struggles of motherhood and the dependence on Jesus.
I began learning a new way to pray—as a conversation that lasted all day—like texting with a friend. It began with: “Lord, thank you for this day” and then into “Lord, get these children to listen” to eventually “Lord, give me the motivation to do this again tomorrow”. I wrote to God in journals, modeled praying to him with my children, and talked to him throughout the day.
Overtime, I saw what he was doing in my life–growing me spiritually one hard day at a time–training me to rely on his strength and wisdom and guidance in everything that I did.
And then as a ”seasoned” mother, I was tested once again when my health was taken from me and I had to come face to face with my anger. Spending time with the Lord wasn’t always pleasant. My Bible remained closed. My prayers were angry, but my heart was open to his voice. I had constant insomnia, so I listened to praise music in the middle of the night for months. It gave me the words I needed to speak but wasn’t sure how.
Each time I was faced with hardship, spending time with God was more open, honest, brutal and truthful. I grew more in those hard seasons than in any of the easy times in my life.
WHAT “SPENDING TIME WITH GOD” CAN LOOK LIKE FOR YOU
Years later, I have endless ways to connect to him. I don’t confine myself to one thing. It’s a shifting of the seasons, changing-of-character-type process.
Spending time with God means you are present with God where you are. Whether that’s five in the morning, journaling to him before the family wakes, or belting out praise music in the car on your way to work. Spending time with God may be in a retreat or conference where you refresh your spirit or an afternoon walk listening to the birds in the trees, spending time admiring the Lord’s creation.
We serve a creative God, so get creative in how you spend time with him! I will say that the number one way to learn who he is and to recognize his promptings throughout the day is simple: READ YOUR BIBLE.
For those of you not feeling creative right now, that’s ok! I’ve got a list of 10 ways you can spend time with God today. Which one will you choose?
- Waking early for quiet time to be still in his presence
- Meditating on a single Bible verse (see my Bible Verse Coloring Book)
- Listening to the Bible (here’s a free app I love)
- Learning deeper ways to pray (see my Prayer Walk Workbook)
- Setting spiritual goals (see my Goal Workbook)
- Giving over your fears and anxiety to him (see my Fear & Anxiety Workbook)
- Listening to praise music (here’s a free playlist)
- Getting outside in nature to enjoy creation (see my Prayer Walk Workbook)
- Researching Biblical ways to strengthen your relationships (see my Marriage Growth Workbook)
- Studying the Bible as a historical book to dig deeper into it’s context (see my Bible Timelines)
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Spend time with him anyway you can—and make it an ongoing process. Let it be something you wake up with and close the day to.
Whether you’re in front of a screen or running around town, there’s no reason you can’t spend time with him! At the lowest in my life, many of my prayers were a simple whisper of “Jesus”, as if he was sitting with me all day watching me go through everything. He didn’t need an introduction or an overview of the situation, he was there all day. He is—so talk to him as if you believe it!
For more posts on spiritual growth, check out:
- How to Create a Spiritual Resume
- 10 Spiritual Goals to Have and How to Work Toward Them
- Discovering Your Personal Spiritual Gifts and Practical Ways to Use Them
- What Does the Bible Say about Rest and Relaxation?
- How to Create Your Own Prayer Walk Using the Psalms
You’ve got this!
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