The third and final post in this series, our contributor offers three more tips for maintaining consistency in your time alone with God.
Tip #3: Spend time in the Word. Books are great, sermons are great, but the Word of God is eternal. The Word of God is living and active. The Word of God is sharper than a double-edged sword. Make sure you’re getting into His Word.
It’s what is going to convict you and shape you. In God’s Word is where you find Him speaking to your heart. Many times, we don’t hold intimacy with our Savior because we don’t actually spend time WITH HIM! It would be like me wanting to spend time with my husband only by listening to a bunch of other people describe him to me.
Now, while it can be very helpful for my relationship with my husband to get an outsider’s perspective on things (often they can see things that we can’t, because we’re so close to the situation) – and also hearing other people’s opinions on my husband (especially if they are favorable ones that come from people who love and respect him) – will make me swell with a grateful heart.
However, if I only wanted to hear what others said about him and didn’t actually spend time with him myself, there would be a lack of intimacy for sure. Personally, I feel like books and whatnot should be seen as supplements and aides. They can help us grow in our understanding – they can add depth – but they aren’t a substitute for God’s Word.
Tip #4: Seek accountability and share what you are learning from God’s Word with others. God designed us for community. Our relationship with God isn’t private OR public, it’s private AND public. Again, just like my relationship with my husband: I spend alone time with him, but I also spend time with him with other people, and both things are good and healthy for our relationship.
My word of caution would be this: be careful to not let Bible study or small group time become just a time to showcase your knowledge. Allow other people’s journeys with the Lord to increase your desire for Him. Listen to their heart and their struggles and open up with your own. It’s in that place of vulnerability that God uses others to draw us closer to Himself.
Tip #5: Variety, variety, variety. Don’t put God in a box. He is the Creator God, and He created us in His image – He made us to be creative beings. Don’t take what one person says is their “quiet time” and think that’s exactly what yours has to look like.
Do you like to sit on the porch in the mornings? Go for a walk outside while praying? Maybe you have a favorite chair to sit in to study God’s Word and pray. Maybe you like to spend time with God sitting in your bed at night before going to sleep…
There’s is no prescribed method in the Bible for how to have your quiet times. The prescription is that you DO IT, and that you use the creative abilities that God has given you!
So, our time alone with God doesn’t have to look like someone else’s. I think you should just ask yourself – am I communing with God regularly? Also, our time with God doesn’t have to be the same from day to day, or week to week, or month to month.
I could go on and on with ideas, but there’s this awesome article that helps open up the door to creatively spending time with the Lord.
To summarize this post series on maintaining our consistency in our time alone with God, I’d just like to emphasize the fact that God’s love for us is unconditional. He doesn’t love us more or less based on how much time we spend with Him, or even how much we love or desire Him. And that alone stirs my affections for Him and makes me yearn to abide in His loving, everlasting arms. One of the best ways to spell love is T-I-M-E. We go out of our way to spend quality time with those we love most.