By Keshia Smith
May 11, 2012
Would your best friend be satisfied with a few minutes of your time every so often? Would your mother feel loved if the only time she heard from you was when you were in trouble, or needed something? What about God? Have we reduced our interactions with the Maker of time and space to 15 minutes in the morning or falling asleep mid-conversation, just before we go to bed? What does it really mean to spend time with God or, as some like to call it, have “quiet time?” These are some of the questions I have asked myself lately. Every once in a while, we should take a look at the way we do things, and how we use one of our most precious resources: time. Are You taking God for granted? Along with planning Summer vacations and fun, let’s take a closer look at why, how and when to spend time with God.
Why spend time with God?
Most people want to feel more at peace, to have joy in their heart, and to increases in patience. How ever, most people don’t know that these things come straight from God. In addition to learning more about God, spending time with the Lord is how we grow spiritually. John 15:5 says “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” When Christians abide in Christ we bear “fruit.” This verse is not talking about apples and oranges, but rather the fruit of the spirit. Galations 5:22 say’s that the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Sometimes, our day-to-day lives can have us nervous and impatient. Joy can seem like a distant dream or a faint reminisce of the past. But God said that all of these things are freely offered to us if we simply abide in Him. The bible also teaches us what may happen if we, as christens, fail to abide in Christ. Matthew 13:21 say’s that “But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away.” Life has a way of throwing surprises at us that can be difficult at times. Spending time with God is a way to gain spiritual strength to tackle the troubles and tribulations that life will throw at us with grace.
How do you spend time with God?
Spending time with the maker of heaven and earth does not have to be boring. Many Christians are at a loss about how to practically spend time with God. If your quiet time involves reading a bible verse or two in the morning, and promptly forgetting about it ten minutes later, it may be time to rethink how you spend time with God. There is no magic formula that explains how to have a proper quiet time, but here are some tips to get you started.
- God’s word is important. Reading the bible should be a part of how you spend time with God. It is how we learn about the character of God. It is also how we lean about how people and God interact. You do not need to read the bible every time you have quiet time, but do not disregard the bible completely. Sometimes reading the stories of other women can encourage you in your walk with the lord. If you are at a loss of what to read in the bible, here are some suggestions. If you are struggling with anxiety regarding trusting the lord, try reading the story of Hanna in 1st Samuel. If you are doubting your worth, try reading the story of the woman at the well in John 4. There are lots of wonderful women in the bible such as Ruth and Mary with stories that can inspire and encourage you.
- Keep a journal. Write your reflections regarding the things you have read in your quiet time down. This can help you remember what you learned. You will be able to look back on it later and be encouraged. Keeping a journal also gives you a place to write down your prayers and praises. If writing isn’t your thing, other forms of art such as playing music or painting can be done during your quiet time.
- Listen to worship music. Music is a powerful tool. It has the power to convey emotions such as happiness, sadness, sorrow and joy. No matter what type of music you enjoy, you will be able to find someone using that genre as a tool to glorify Christ. Here are some suggestions to get you started. If you like R&B and gospel music, try Mali Music or Israel Houghton. If you listen to rap, try listening to Lecrae or Group 1 Crew. If you like pop music, try The Rocket Summer or pop in Brooke Flashers Albertine CD. If you want to listen to soft rock, try Jimmy Needham and Phil Wickham. And, if you like hard rock, try The Almost or Flyleaf.
- Fellowship with other believers. Yes, spending time with people is a part of spending time with God. Hanging out with other christens and talking about life and God is a way to grow in your faith and be there as a friends to others. Go out for coffee or go bowling with a friends and try to be international about investing into the lives of other people.
- Serve others. I feel as if, sadly, this is the way to glorify Christ that it most often overlooked by Christens. Serving others is not limited to a few weeks on a mission’s trip. It can include paying for lunch for a friend or family member, volunteering your time just because you can and speaking kind words to friends and strangers. Ask God to give you opportunities to serve others in your daily life and look out for them. Remember that serving Gods people is a part of serving God.
When do I spend time with God?
The idea of making time for the maker of time is a bit of a silly one. God is always spending time with us, but we often ignore this truth. Christens often try to separate their spiritual lives from the rest of there lives when actually they are one in the same. It’s okay to schedule a lunch date with a friend or time to read your bible into your schedule, but remember that in actually you are always spending time with God. However, having a set quiet time can make you more international about the time you spend with the Lord.
Hopefully, these tips and tricks can help you incorporate Christ into your everyday lives!
B.L.O.G. Magazine Contributing Writer
Keshia Smith is a student at Ball State University studying journalism and creative writing. In her free time she enjoys hanging out with friends, being artsy, and attempting to recreate recipes she found online. Keshia strives to glorify Christ in all that she does.