Yesterday I told you that my four basics are God, exercise, water and bedroom. For the rest of the week, I’ll be focusing in on one of those things each day.
My list of basics has four items, but if I only had to pick one item, the fundamental thing on my list would be spending time with God.
In Psalm 27:4-5, God tells us the following:
One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in His temple.
For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion;
In the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me;
He shall set me high upon a rock.
David was the king of Israel when he wrote that. If that much was true for him, how much more so should I desire only to seek the Lord?
That’s why spending time with God is the number one priority on my list. If you’ve been a Christian for any length of time, you know that not spending time with God affects the rest of your day. You can have the highest aspirations for how your day is going to go, but if you trust in yourself instead of in the strength of Christ, you’ll fail miserably.
OK, so we’ve got the principle: spending time with the Lord should be on our list of basics. But how do we apply the principle?
I’ve tried several different Bible-reading plans. Some were successful; some were not. Right now I’m using Dan Edelen’s plan, which so far has been transforming. I’m still in the read-through-a-book seven times part (I started with Matthew), but already I’ve become more familiar with different stories in that particular book.
Regardless of the plan you use, the important thing is not to read through the Bible in a certain amount of time. The important part is to be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:1-2) so that you can live a life that glorifies God.
In addition to reading the Bible, I keep a prayer journal. I have three columns: In the first one, I write the date I started praying; in the second, the specific request; in the third, the date when God answered the prayer. Some requests will never have a “God-answered” date because they’re continual prayers, like victory over sin or a strengthened relationship with Christian. I’ll be praying for those things until I breathe my last breath. But other things, like prayer for peace during a job interview last month, are definitely answered at a certain time. And so the prayer journal allows me to have a record of God’s faithfulness, in case I’m ever tempted to doubt (which you know if you’ve seen my other blog).
Aside from prayer and Bible reading, it’s also encouraging and fulfilling to read books about God. Right now I’m reading a book about the Ten Commandments by a Puritan named Thomas Watson. It’s a hard book to read, but it’s stretching my mind, my heart and my worldview. I read a couple pages each night before bed, and it complements well my prayer and Bible reading time.
Well, now it’s your turn. If you’re a Christian, how do you devote energy to spending time with God?