I’m spending 31 Days reading Sirach…31 Days saturating myself in the Word of God. Sounds lovely doesn’t it? I would love for you to join me. Leave me a note in the comments letting me know we’re reading Sirach together. Today we’re going to consider Three Ways to Spend More Time with God, all taken from the book of Sirach. In case you’re not familiar with this book of the Bible, here’s more information. And, I’ve written a Bible Study and Journal on the Book of Sirach.
Do you regularly spend time with God? I’m not talking about Sundays or Wednesdays. I’m not talking about being surrounded by your own little tribe of people either next to you in the pew, at your feet at the breakfast table or in your lap in the comfy chair. I’m not talking about your weekly Bible study, time with your prayer group or even praying with your husband. So let me rephrase the question; do you regularly spend time alone with God?
If not, you need to. Please, do not think I am trying to add one more thing to the pile of life you may already be under. But I am telling you…and myself, Oh how I am preaching this to my choir of one right now…we have to spend one on one time with God…each day. And I don’t everyday. Writing about it does not make me an authority on it. Writing about it does show I have a heart for it and I am a continual work in progress.
Not only am I a continual work in progress, so are the people I share my life with which can make a purposed resolution a little tricky. I might go through a season where I can get up early and have some alone time with God, and the very next day, that opportunity may have vanished, run away and hid when it heard the crying two-year-old first thing in the morning…before the sun had even cracked the horizon. Being a work in progress brings me to my first tip.
Three Ways to Spend More Time with God
Realize Spending Time with God is a Work in Progress
Like I mentioned above, just because one thing worked one time or even one year, does not mean it will always work that way. Realizing our quiet time with God is a work in progress allows us to be flexible. So when the two year does wake up in a grumpy mood before we’ve had our time with God, we can adjust without holding a grudge…and nobody wants to hold a grudge be it against a two year old, a husband, best friend or man’s best friend. Life happens.
As a general rule though, morning is one of the best times to spend alone with God. Our Lord Himself even rose early in the morning to spend time in prayer. “In the morning, long before sunrise, Jesus went to a place where he could be alone to pray.” †Mark 1:35 Morning time with God can set the tone for our whole day. It can give us the opportunity to consider the speed bumps we may encounter and seek His guidance and grace to handle them well, before they happen. This morning time can also be a time of laying out our plans for the day and quietly seeking if they match up with His desires for our lives. Looking over our “To-Do” list with God may help us prioritize our time better.
Number two on my list…
So we have this beautiful plan to wake up early and get some quality one-on-one time with God…and the toddler wakes up in a puddle, which, understandably makes him unhappy. Or the dog makes a puddle, which, understandably makes us unhappy. Obviously it’s time for Plan B this morning. But wait! Don’t throw Plan A out with the wet sheets or paper towels. Right then and there, as we are living the flexible life, we make a new plan to get that alone time with God. We cannot say, “Later today…” Because you know, I know, IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN. It just won’t. So we quickly think of pockets of time we may have: naptime? 30 minutes of cartoon time in the late morning or afternoon? sitting in the car for pick up? sitting in the car during soccer practice? during bath time? Deliberately pick a time to get your God date in and then get on with your day.
And number three…
Be Steadfast and Zealous
Be what?! I know, I thought that too. I can handle the term steadfast, but zealous conjures up some negative images. Is it just me? So I looked up synonyms for zealous: dedicated, passionate, devoted and eager were just a couple of them. Those words all describe things I want to be when it comes to spending time with God. So call me zealous!
Remember when we were considering the Three Laws of Emotional Strength? Well, they apply here.
1. Whatever we dwell upon becomes increasingly prominent in our own mind.
2. We can do away with a negative thought only when we replace it with a positive thought.
3. We have the ability to produce feelings as a result of deliberate behavior.
How many times have I planned out, and I mean Pinterest worthy planned out with color-coded this and charted that and printable these, a Bible study, or Bible reading or prayer time or devotional time–I mean I’ve probably called it one or all of those names. I’ll just tell you lots. I’ve made lots of plans, spent money I didn’t need to on cool pens, a pretty binder in various sizes, papers and highlighters to make my “Plan” complete. And how many times, about one week–at best–have I said, “I’m just not good at…This just isn’t a good time…I can’t concentrate…I don’t feel His presence…I can’t hear His voice…”
If a man is not steadfast and zealous in the fear of the Lord, his house will be quickly overthrown.
Well, listen up sister (talking to myself here), I can be steadfast in spending time with God because He is steadfast in spending time with me...AND…God has made me in His image and likeness…He’s steafast…so therefore I am steadfast. Gee, I wonder where that crazy lie came from that I wasn’t?
So those are my suggestions on Three Ways to Spend More Time with God. What are some of your best ideas on ways to spend time with God?