Good Morning Beautiful Readers
For todays post I am going to talk about how to have great Quiet Times with God.
After much experimenting, praying, reading, and asking, I have formulated some great tips for a better, consistent, and more intimate time with God. I will be using a lot of "Dating Examples".
1) Check yo' self: If you're going into your quiet time, just doing it because you think you have to, you're not going to benefit as much. Think about it like this, if you were dating someone and you found out that the only reason they take you out every now and again is because they know that it is the norm and they have to, how would you feel? Not very great right? Well think about it like that with God. God wants you to get excited and open when you're going to spend time with Him. If your heart isn't in the right place, pray for it to be and let God work on that.
2) Be Creative: Just like in a marriage, how would you feel if your husband or wife took you to the same restaurant every time you went out (Yawns). Talk about lack of care. You can be creative with God! He loves that. I go sit outside at Starbucks many times and just journal to God, or I'll have lunch with Him in my dorm while watching a Christian movie (YouTube is full of great ones) or listening to a sermon. Sometimes I'll have quiet times with other another sister(s). Classical or soft music playing in the background is always nice. Going on walks with God and just opening up and being vulnerable. Taking God everywhere really.... It will start to feel like a real relationship, which is exactly what He wants from us.
3) Digging Deep: If you want the Word to being to transform your life, you have to know where to start. I get many questions from people asking me where they should start in the Bible. If the Bible is The Book of Life, you need to make it applicable to your life. Study out a character trait that you are struggling with and compare and contrast it. For example: Diligence vs Laziness. See what God says about both. I love using my Bible App. I type in a word in the search box or I go to the devotionals and it helps me find what I am looking for.
4) Keep a Journal: Take notes when you are engaged in God's Word. We must go back and refresh and look at what we wrote down. Just like school, if we don't review, we forgot. How much more important is God's Word? I keep 2 journals: One for quiet times, sermons, and prayers to God and another one for scriptures I'm trying to memorize and people I am praying for.
5) Sharing is Caring: It is true. If you are learning some really great things and God is softening your heart, share that. I can't tell you how many times my faith was encouraged because I called my mom and shared with her all about what I just read and what convicted me. It allows me to share the Good News and spread the Gospel by planting seeds. You never know who's life your going to change, just by sharing about how God is changing yours.
6) Timing is Key: Pick a time that works for you to have the most fruitful time with God. I was really worried this semester, because I like having quiet times in the morning and I knew once school started I was going to have to get up super early to have a good quiet time, but then I realized I was being legalistic, because I was going to get up early so I could get the time with God out of the way and not because I really wanted to get to know His character. So I picked every day right after my classes get out to spend time with God. It is about quality not quantity. If I were to have my quiet times in the morning before class, I would probably fall asleep on my Bible or not remember anything. I would reccomend not having them at night time, for that probably isn't the most value, you wont be able to apply what you learned that day and that is when you are most tired. Get the most out of your time with God to make sure it is fruitful and special. God loves spending time with us.
7) Be Scholarly: There are some moments when I need to just focus in on one thing. Many times I need to research and read he Bible for context and for knowledge of history so I can understand more of what's going on when I am reading for spiritual growth. I recently bought a book about the prophecies in the Bible and how the came to life in each account. It is very interesting and I am learning so much. I also study out for a few weeks or months a certain topic. For example, since school started I have been studying out God's Character because I can doubt His love for me many times. This has helped me so much. I have found so many great online resources and have learned so much about God.
8) Don't be flaky: I have to put away all distractions or turn my cell on silent when I have a quiet time. If my mind starts to scatter, I either write things down or just push it out my mind. I know if a friend I was spending time with kept talking on the phone or paying half attention to me, I would feel hurt. God deserves our full attention, time, and hearts.
9) Date Night: Make a certain day or night extra special with God. Watch a movie with Him or go with Him to your favorite place ever. Pray or talk to Him while all this is going on. You will be surprised how much more intimate your relationship with be. In John 17:3 it says "Eternal life is to know You." Paul writes to the Churches and is always mentioning how he craves to know God more. This didn't come from reading his Bible (plus they didn't even have that), He truly was in love with God and spent so much of his time with Him (of course he was in prison a lot so I mean, you do have time to kill..lol. but you get it)
10) Practice makes perfect: Make practicals to your quiet times. Ask yourself questions before or after your time with God. If you have questions and you're trying to study out a subject (such as What does God say about how to build my faith?) or you could be reading about fruits of the spirit and at the end of the study you can ask yourself, "Which fruits am I modeling?" "Which fruits am I lacking?" "What do I need to take away or start doing in my life to grow in the Vine?"