Developing a Meaningful Time with God
Richard Foster’s opening line in his classic book, Celebration of Discipline said this, “Superficiality is the curse of our age”. It is sad that we are content with shallow, surface relationships with others and also with God.
The well-known passage of scripture in Matthew 7:7-11 talks about prayer. That if we ask, it will be given. If we seek, we will find. If we knock, the door will be opened. The passage does NOT use the word, it MIGHT be given, we will OCCASIONALLY find, or SOMETIMES the door will be opened.
We need to remember that two things happen when you pray:
1) You do business with God
2) You do battle with Satan.
Ronnie Floyd’s book on How to Pray makes this interesting comment:
--Prayer occurs when you depend on God
--Prayerlessness occurs when you depend on yourself.
What are the benefits of spending time with God? There are many, but let me mention four:
1) We get to know God better
2) It keeps our life in focus
3) We become more Christ-like
4) God can use us more effectively
There are three key word to effective time with God.
1) PRIORITY - The number one priority of a Christian is not work-spouse-children-sports or hobbies. As Oswald Chambers has said, “Let other things go--but don’t neglect God”. Until Christ becomes the central priority of our life--we will go nowhere spiritually.
2) DISCIPLINE - It takes discipline to do anything well. It takes discipline to be a good athlete, to play an instrument, to learn a language, to be a good student. In the same way, we have to discipline ourselves spiritually to develop our relationship with God. Here are some guidelines for a meaningful time with God:
--a TIME each day when you meet God
--a PLACE where you will be alone with Him
--a PLAN, what will you do when you have your quiet time. Pray (Jer 33:3), Bible reading
(2 Tim 2:15), Meditation (Joshua 1:8), Listening (Jer 23:18), Scripture memory (Psm 119:11)
Singing (Psm 96:1-2), Spiritual Journaling (Jer 30:2)
--a BOOK, the Bible is the key. You cannot grow spiritually with a closed Bible
--an ENEMY, Satan wants to distract us, keep us busy, anything to keep us away from time
3) PERSISTENCE - stay with it, don’t quit or get discouraged. Persistence says I will pray and spend time in the Bible whether I feel like it or not. We have to be consistent and regular.
Remember: the most important thing we will ever do--is develop an intimacy with God