Thursday, November 29, 2012
BTG Follow-up - Day 12 - Having Your OWN Time with the Lord - Part 3 - "The Ingredients"
How do we spend our time with the Lord so that we truly grow in our relationship with Him?
Listed below are ingredients that I have found to be valuable in my time with the Lord. These guides will help you to have a truly meaningful quiet time.
The most important ingredient of our quiet time is our heart attitude. In order for our time with the Lord to have a transforming effect, we must truly have a heart that is hungering for Him. Seek with all that you are to truly meet with the Lord. Be assured that He is "...a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." – Hebrews 11:6.
A good devotional time starts long before you enter it. I have found amazing results from turning my heart to the Lord in prayer and meditating on Scripture as I fall asleep at night. When I wake up, my spirit is already in fellowship with the Lord! (Also, get to bed at a good time so that you are awake and alert for your time with Him.)
As you wake up, immediately turn your heart to the Lord in prayer. Roll out of bed and land on your knees – keep praying. Tell the Lord good morning, that you love Him, thank Him for the new day, commit yourself and the day to Him. Seek to come into fellowship with the Lord before you see anyone else. It is a perfect start to the day!
Either continue on in your devotions right then, or get ready for the day so that you are awake for quality time with the Lord.
Find a quiet place where you can be with the Lord and hear from Him. My two favorite places for my quiet time are my bedroom, and a bench halfway down to our lake.
Schedule your time with the Lord so that you can make the most of it, and so that you can get everything in. (Otherwise, if you are like me, you may tend to drift, or find that all your time is spent on one thing while other things are missed.) For example, if you have thirty minutes for your quiet time, you could spend ten minutes praying, ten minutes reading your Bible, and ten minutes memorizing and meditating on Scripture, and recording what the Lord has shown you in your devotions.I have chosen to do most of my Scripture memory during the day by carrying the verse(s) I am memorizing with me on a piece of paper. This way I can spend more time in prayer. Find what works best for you with the time that you have! (I just gave the thirty minutes as an example for how to segment your time – if you can spend more time with the Lord, that's great!)
It is so key to start your devotions by coming into the Lord’s presence and fellowshipping with Him through prayer. This way your spirit is in tune with Him as you read His Word. I have found it beneficial, though, to save the majority of my prayer time until after I have read my Bible. This helps me to avoid getting lost in prayer and running out of time to read my Bible. Reading Scripture before the majority of my prayer time also helps me to focus better in prayer and to know how to pray.
Before you read your Bible, ask the Lord to speak to you through His Word – to help you to know Him more, to open your eyes to understand what you read, and to show you how to live. It is amazing the things that God has to show us if we will simply ask Him and search His Word! His Word is so living, and I am constantly learning how personally it applies to every part of my life! (You will find it a priceless treasure to keep a journal of things that the Lord has shown you, so that you can remember them for years to come!)
Once your Bible reading is finished, pray. As you pray, remember that the Lord is right there with you. He listens to every word you say, knows how you are feeling, and always has the perfect solution. Prayer is made up of many parts, including pouring out your heart to the Lord, praising Him, dwelling/abiding in His presence, listening for Him to speak to you, bringing your requests before Him, examining yourself before Him, confessing and repenting of any sin He reveals to you, worshiping Him for who He is, and thanking Him. I have also found great blessing in singing hymns to the Lord and in praying His Word to Him.
A consistent balance of all these things is essential to a well-rounded, vibrant, and stable walk with the Lord. We need so much to be in fellowship with Him, to share our heart with Him, and to have Him speak to us! As we spend time with the Lord and experience the priceless treasure of His presence, we can’t help but long for our time with Him.
"But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him." ~ Hebrews 11:6