Click below for a helpful resource on Making The Most Of Your Time With God
Personal devotion, through spending time alone with God, may be considered one of the most important topics Q4 Impact will address. The practice of personal devotion may also be the greatest game changer for our lives.
Yet isn’t this one of the hardest things for us to do? I honestly think almost all of us struggle in this area – at least at some point in our lives. For many, there has been limited example or guidance on how to spend time alone with God. What should it even look like?! And even if we do have some awareness of such, it’s still a challenge.
The Enemy Of Time
For our days are full of the demands and responsibilities of our families, work, and extracurricular activities, making time our biggest obstacle. We may bristle at the saying that everyone has the same number of hours each day. But it does help draw attention to an awareness of how we spend those hours. The reality is that how we choose to spend our time will always come down to what we prioritize as having the greatest value.
Let me begin by saying that I am no expert on spending time alone with God. I DO, however, have over 50 years of seeking to have an effective habit of doing so every day. Very few find this practice easy. Making time to be alone with God requires discipline, and discipline takes work. What I can say with authority is that BECAUSE God is worthy, the work IS worth it!
Experiencing God’s Worth
It is not worth it because spending time alone with God earns us our salvation. Romans 6:23 makes it clear that life in Jesus is a GIFT. What it DOES do, however, is help us be successful in life. No, we are not promised success as the world defines it, but by how God does.
The psalmist says it best in Psalm 73:28, “But as for me, God’s presence is my good.” So how does spending time alone with God bring success? Consider these verses from Scripture that demonstrate what it means to be “rich toward God” (Luke 12:21, CSB).
- We have assurance that our treasure is in heaven and can’t be destroyed even if our worldly goods are (Matthew 6:20, paraphrase).
- We can be freed from worry and anxiety because we have a heavenly Father who knows our needs and delights to care for his children (Luke 12:22-34, Luke 11:13, paraphrase).
- We need not fear because of His repeated promise to be with us and never leave us or forsake us (Isaiah 41:10, Hebrews 13:5, paraphrase).
Do you see it? It is through spending time alone with God in personal devotion that we experience peace, hope, and joy that are not based on or found in our circumstances. Rather, they are found by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. Doesn’t this make you want to know Him more?!
A Heartfelt Response
And there is no substitution for knowing Him. For experiencing a life lived in the fullness and freedom of our salvation. It can only be found in spending regular time alone with the One who gave HIS life for us. It is our response TO God, a reflection of our gratefulness for His love toward us.
So, it comes down to what we most greatly value and desire, and will therefore prioritize in our daily life. You have heard it said that actions speak louder than words. I hope you are being encouraged to put time alone with God at the top of your priority list.
A Practical Pursuit
Some of you may be thinking, “Ok, Ron, I see the value, but how do I get started?” First, I’m a big believer in the need for structure. Determine the time of day you will be most able to protect and prioritize. David says in Psalm 5:3, “In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I plead my case to you and watch expectantly.” I am personally a proponent of mornings, as we are not as often bombarded with the distractions of life at that time. However, I do know that some life schedules require exceptions to this.
Secondly, identify a location for your time that is quiet and solemn. Our time alone with God should include prayer, the reading of God’s word, some meditation/thought, and heart searching and preparation. There are many available Bible reading plans that can help keep you focused and engaged with God’s Word. There are also many good devotionals that can aid you in your meditation, thought and heart searching. (See downloadable resource for recommendations.)
I want to specifically address prayer further. For it is often an area around which I hear most people struggle or express doubt. Please be sure to download the provided resource, as it also addresses the topics below and many others:
- Where do I start?
- Are their topics requiring daily prayer?
- How can I remember what to pray for?
- How much time should I take to pray?
- Is there a helpful structure for prayer?
Be On Guard
Finally, there may be no greater sinister act of the adversary of our souls than to distract and discourage us from spending time with God. Just ask anyone who has attempted to guard their quiet time. It can seem like the entire universe is trying to interrupt, distract and defeat our every effort. But when you experience this, please don’t blame it all on spiritual warfare. We also battle our human nature, which does not naturally lend itself to obeying God or forming habits that are healthy.
In closing, be encouraged and assured that your efforts to guard your time with God are worth every struggle. Why? Because of the promise of Jeremiah 29:13 that says, “You will seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart” (CSB).