a guest post (4th in this series of 5) by the incomparable Dianna Cash!, with additional thoughts from Lauren Jones Marquez

(from Dianna)  Making your time alone with God meaningful and interactive:

joy of the LordSermon after podcast after blogpost after conversation after book all talk about how God wants a relationship with us.  It’s talked about so often because it’s really true!

Just like in any relationship, it’s important to figure out what works and what doesn’t in our relationship with God.  My relationship with God isn’t necessarily going to look like your relationship with God.  Your relationship with God isn’t going to look like the next person’s.

Regardless of what it “looks” like, relationship – a meaningful, vibrant, growing relationship – requires interaction.  A relationship that is alive is interactive.

Interactive.  What a word.  Some synonyms for interactive: communicating, collaborating, cooperating, shared.  What’s the opposite of interactive? Uninteractive? I’m not even sure…but whatever it is, it’s not what our relationship with God should be!

Ever had a one-sided conversation?  Ever been on the receiving side of someone who is talking talking talking and never lets you get a word in edgewise?  Ever had someone ask you a question and then tell you their own answer before you even have the chance to offer yours?  Apparently they really didn’t want to hear your answer in the first place…

Just like any good father, our God wants to spend time with His children – solid, quality, undistracted, purposeful time.  He wants to listen…and He wants to speak.  He wants to interact with us.

We miss so much when we come and talk and talk and talk and then walk away.  We miss so much when we ask a question and then fail to listen for His response.  We miss out when we make our relationship with God all about us and not about Him.

There are so many great ways to interact and connect with God!  A fellow Crew Member here on the ship named Tracy Swope shared a book entitled Sacred Pathways by Gary Thomas with us a few Sunday nights ago.  This book talks about different paths to connect with God (and it’s the same author who wrote my favorite parenting book, Sacred Parenting).

Bible and coffeeMy dear friend Mary Smith blogged about her coffee dates with God.

I know some people who run with God or have dinner with God.  Some people have a certain candle they burn while spending time with God.  Maybe there’s a particular spot that draws your attention to God – find it and go there!

One of those “spots” for me was sitting on the futon upstairs in our house on 19th Ave.  Anytime I looked out of the windows at the trees, the main thought on my mind was “be still, and know that I am God.”

The bottom line is find what works for you – and do it.  If you find yourself bored or in a rut, change it up!  Move locations, change your routine, try a new “exercise”.

I think it’s safe to say that God does not want us to be bored with Him…  He doesn’t want us to dread spending time with Him…  He doesn’t want us to come, race through a checklist of to-do items and then race away.  He wants to truly interact with us…  may we be willing to truly interact with Him.  –DMC

(from Lauren)  The Bible speaks of meditating and recalling God’s word all throughout the day.

I really like to do this and to set up God’s word around me so that I am able to do this:

  • Zephaniah 3-17Sometimes I carry notecards with me that have Bible verses written on them.  I can read those verses and reflect on them at various times during the day.
  • I really appreciate the accessibility of podcasts of sermons.  I like to listen to these sermons while exercising or driving.
  • I also like to have short devotional books handy in different spots of the house.  It is easy to pick up a devotional book and have my mind ‘renewed’ by God’s truth and God’s word.

It is fun to be in communication with God throughout the day:

  • thanking the Lord
  • praising the Lord
  • asking the Lord for help for myself and others
  • talking with the Lord.

I have focused primarily on deepening intimacy in relationship with God through our individual relationship.  This is certainly not the only means to do so.  Rather it is the one I chose to think about and share.  Try my ideas, or develop your own.  The most important thing is to ENJOY!

God delights in you and enjoys spending time with you… so just enjoy Him right back!  And watch your relationship with Him flourish!  –LLJM


*This post is the fourth installment of a series of five guest posts on the topic of “Deepening Intimacy with God” by Lauren Jones Marquez (and featuring Dianna Cash!).  Here are the links to Lauren’s other four posts in this series:

  1. Deepening our intimacy with God… STEP ONE
  2. Deepening our intimacy with God… TIME & PLACE
  3. What do you actually “DO” during your time alone with God?
  4. Deepening your intimacy with God… MAKE IT INTERACTIVE!
  5. How am I tending the soil of my heart so that God’s Word can take root?