Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Quality Time With God, Part 4

It cannot be stressed enough how important it is that you learn to get alone with God. Many have confused activity and religion with intimacy. It is not! Scripture clearly teaches that God desires obedience rather than sacrifice; relationship rather than ritual (1 Sam 15:22; Hosea 6:6; Micah 6:8).

Tozer explains, “There are some things that you and I will never learn when others are present. I believe in church and I love the fellowship of the assembly. There is much we can learn when we come together on Sundays and sit among the saints. But there are certain things that you and I will never learn in the presence of other people. Unquestionably, part of our failure today is religious activity that is not preceded by aloneness, by inactivity. I mean getting alone with God and waiting in silence and quietness until we are charged with God's Spirit. Then, when we act, our activity really amounts to something because we have been prepared by God for it.... "

Steps to develop a quality time with God:
1. Separation. Carve out a specific time everyday to get alone with God. Remove yourself from anything that will distract you (e.g. phone, tv, computer, etc.)
2. Preparation. Pray and ask God to speak to you as you listen to him. Open your Bible and begin reading His Word. Use your mind. Ask questions: “God, what can I learn about You in this passage? God, what can I learn about myself in this passage? God, what do I need to change in my life, at my job, in my relationships with others, as a witness for You?”
3. Reception. Do it! Carry it out and look for ways to live out what you learned and ask God to give you the opportunity to learn and carry out what He showed you in your time with Him.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Quality Time With God, Part 3

“Solitude is good for us. Our natural tendency is to always have people around, always have stuff going on, but let me be candid: I've never learned anything all that significant in a crowd. I love to be with people, but solitude helps filter out the essentials and sift away the nonessentials. Life kind of makes up its mind in solitude” Charles R. Swindoll, "Solitude: A Vital Factor in Growing Closer to God," Insights (January 2000): 1-2.

We have truly lost the art of silence and solitude in our lives. We have grown accustomed to noise, distractions, and activities that we have forgotten the true meaning of being still in the presence of God. In addition to the clamor of our culture, we have fallen prey to immediate gratification. Remote controls, microwaves, and computers have made life easy for us where everything is accessible at the touch of a finger.

Believe me; the spiritual life will not come that easy. In order to have an intimate relationship with God, it will only come through spending quality time in His presence. Throughout the day, you will need to stop and remain quiet before the Lord. Remind yourself that God’s presence is with you and converse with Him. Intimacy with God will only come when sacrifice your time and invest your life knowing more about God.

Start recording a journal when you meet with God. Listen to Him and record your thoughts as He speaks to you.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Quality Time With God, Part 2

Where is God when you really need Him? Does He ever feel far away? Does it ever feel that He is not with you at the moment that you desperately need Him? Many of us feel that way at times. He seems a million miles away.

The Bible tells us that God is never far away. There is never a minute in your life that He is not with you. Theologians have given us a term to describe God’s presence in every place and every situation: omnipresence. There is not a single place that you go that God is not there. There is never a situation that you face that God is not there facing it with you. There is not a decision that you make or a direction that you take that God does not see.

He knows and sees all things because He is everywhere. Nothing will ever be able to separate you from God. No problem, no trial, no pain, not even death will ever keep God from your side. He is in the midst of everything you face. It may feel dark and lonely, but darkness is nothing to our God. 1 John 1:5 says, “…God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all.”

That is why we should spend time with Him in solitude. There are so many benefits to spending time with God. He tells you that you receive power being in His presence. Listen to the words of the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 4:8, “We are hard-pressed on every side, but not crushed, perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” How can we receive this strength? We receive this power through knowing more of God. Look back to 2 Corinthians 4:6 “the knowledge of the glory of God.”

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Quality Time With God, Part 1

Christianity is often confused as a list of do’s and dont’s. Though Christianity has its list of regulations, Christianity is a love relationship. No matter what you do or do not do, it will not fashion you any closer to the image of the Lord. You are only transformed and changed into the image of Christ when you spend time with Him. It is a loving, intimate relationship where you give your undivided attention to Him. How do you have a quiet time with the Lord?

You need to set a specific time to spend with God. You need to set a goal where you get alone with God each day. Begin with a 15 to 30 minute segment of your day where you are not distracted by a television or a telephone. It is mandatory that this part of your day is when you are mentally and physically alert. Don’t give God your leftovers at the end of the day when you are exhausted. Give Him your best. If you don’t set apart this specific time, your day can quickly be filled with activities and responsibilities that will push God out of your life. Begin now by setting a time to speak and listen to the Lord.

“In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation” Psalm 5:3.