4 Ways to Spend More Time With God
Do you ever play out a crazy disaster scenario in your head and think through how you would handle it? For instance, if a zombie apocalypse is happening, I would suddenly become brave, athletic, gritty, and know karate. I would rise up as the hero in this made-up world, and I save everyone. Then, something very normal happens: I would trip over nothing and remember that, if a zombie apocalypse actually happened, I would most likely be the first one to die.
I feel like the same thing is happening in this pandemic season.
In my head, I’ve thought to myself that it’d be great to have more time at home. Wouldn’t it be awesome if my schedule cleared up and I could focus on what I wanted to do with my life? Think of all that I could accomplish!
But here we are, and it turns out that I’m the same person I was a few weeks ago but with fewer distractions. Funny how that works, right?
Maybe you’re like me, and you’re realizing now that the crutch of busyness has been removed, you aren’t as put together as you’ve led yourself to believe. We have been forced to look at our truest selves in the face.
Here is my point: if we want our life to change for the better, daydreaming isn’t going to accomplish anything! If our circumstances change for the better, then that’s great! But if our character is weak or fragile, it is only a matter of time before we realize that the problem wasn’t the circumstance, but rather, it was us all along.
Times like these can grow our faith or weaken it, and the choice is one hundred percent ours.
So, here is my challenge to you. Go for it! If you want to be closer to God, then spend some time with Him. It doesn’t have to be a 4 AM Bible study. You wouldn’t try to run a marathon without any training, would you? No! But you would have to start training.
Here are four ways to use this season to spend more time with God.
Find Your Sacred Space
Start with finding your sacred space. This is the time in your day or week when you’re most open to what God has for you. Right now, for me, this is my morning run. I’m busy enough that I don’t get distracted but have enough brain space to be honest with God. On the last run, my prayer was something like “God I’m struggling, and I can’t put my finger on why this is so hard for me.” Then, I was quiet for a while before praying again, “God this isn’t that hard; why is it so hard?” Then, I was quiet again. God didn’t part the sky or give me answers right away. He gave me peace for the day, and that was enough. I want to encourage you to find this sacred space in your life and protect it because it is just that—sacred.
Read a Chapter in the Bible
Next, go to Matthew (or your favorite book of the Bible) on your Bible App or in your physical Bible. Pray and ask God to quiet your heart, help you listen to Him, and read the first chapter. That’s it! Even if you get competitive with yourself and want to read more, don’t! Just chapter one. Then, choose one verse that stood out to you and ask yourself this question, “Why is this important? Why did God choose to put this in the Bible?” Find a place to write down your thoughts and then pray about them. My prayers often sound something like this, “I don’t get it, why was this important to You?” or “This is hard, and I don’t like it; help me understand Your character.”
This can be as simple as singing along to worship music while doing the dishes! Worship is just being intentional about remembering who God is and praising Him for it! This can be digging up those old Sunday school stories and remembering what God has done in the past. It can even be writing down the times He has proved to be faithful to you and your family. Worship is not letting the glory and goodness of God go unnoticed in our lives. Sing it, say it, or write it down! The point is to express who you know God to be.
Share With Someone
Last but not least, talk about it with someone. I am going to admit that I hate this one the most and put it off for as long as possible. I like to be the hero, remember? The gritty one who knows karate. Ha! Well, I finally went to my husband yesterday and told him how I was feeling and asked him to pray for me. Our faith was never intended to be a lone cowboy western; we were created for community. So, text, call, or reach out to someone. Tell them you just need to talk and fill them in on your private thoughts.
Will taking time to connect with God feel awkward and unproductive at first? Yes! But remember that you’re growing and you don’t start out being good at anything that is worthwhile. Everything takes practice. Everything feels too hard at the beginning, but spending time with God is worth the effort. Let’s be honest—we all have the time to start something good right now.
For more ideas on how to spend personal time with God, look here. You can also download our Chase Oaks App as a way to grow in faith, hope, and love with others as we share prayer requests, read Scripture in community, and access other helpful resources, sermons, and articles together.