"Whenever I get lonely, I know that it's God calling me back to fellowship with Him. So take that lonely feeling & give it to God. Pour out."
So, I've gotten this question a ton! So many people want to know how to have quiet time with God. I totally understand. When I first gave my life to Christ in 2003--I heard from my best friends sister that I was supposed to spend time with God daily. So I got a journal, some gospel music, a bible I could understand & I found a local church that taught the word correctly.
Before we get started into the basics..We must put our relationship with God in perspective. It's a marriage. WE are His church and Jesus is the Christ. The body of believers that make up the Church are collectively called bride of Christ. As Bridegroom, Jesus gave His life for His bride, “to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word” (Ephesians 5:25-26), with it, the eternal union of Christ and His bride will be actualized (Revelation 19:7-9; 21:1-2). (this is Jesus dying for our sins & making us whole. Allah, Buddha, Mary or any other religion didn't save us or die for us. Christ did. Thus, CHRIST is the door--so through CHRIST are your sins forgiven, not anyone or anything else.)
I then read in Isaiah 54:5 that said "The Maker is my Husband" and Jeremiah 3:14: “Turn, O backsliding children, says the LORD; for I am married unto you." I went throughout the scripture because I wanted to understand the relationship between GOD & us through Jesus. I looked up a ton of scriptures on God's love for me and it helped me to understand God's personality & how I can have a relationship with God the Holy Spirit through Jesus Christ. I loved those two above scriptures because it made me realize HOW close I should be to Christ. If He's my husband I need to REALLY act like I'm married to Him & not CHEAT on Him with this world.
Whenever I slip on spending time with God I tend to be more touchy, more "emotional" and people tend to get on my nerves. lol Why? Because I'm empty. HE fulfills me, not working a million hours at work, a man, a job, a marriage, kids or anything else. I can then sense God pulling on my heart.. telling me that HE misses me. Does God miss you? Do you acknowledge Him? Start today.
How To Spend Time With God
1. SET a time & stick with it. Statistics show that if you do something for 21 days it will become a habit. I like to spend time with God FIRST thing in the morning. It sets the tone for the day & it puts life in perspective. When you first get started, you're GOING to get attacked. You'll be sleepy, bored, tired, drained & you'll find a million reasons to sleep in. Just fight through it & TELL your flesh what to do. Remember that you're supposed to be controlling it--it's not supposed to be controlling you.
2. Find a place to have your quiet time everyday. When I lived in a studio in New York years ago with a roommate, I had my quiet time in the bathroom. It didn't matter WHERE I did it.. I just needed HIM. Now, thankfully, I have more room to jump around. I also love worshipping God in different places.. different hotels, beaches, whenever--however. So if you're traveling a ton--don't worry! Just find a place that is NOT distracting you from that time.
3. Set the atmosphere. I like to put worship music on when I first get started. When you're pouring out your heart to God & worshipping Him--it's nice to have beautiful music playing in the background. I look at it like a brush scrubbing off of your "funk" of stresses, worries and cares. It sets your heart to receive your study time & helps de-clutter your mind because you're taking the focus from YOU & your stuff to Jesus. While I'm playing the worship music, I have a blast! I dance, sing, I fall flat on my face before God, cry out to Him, pray in the tongues & pray for others.
My favorite worship singers: Jesus Culture, Kari Jobe, Hillsong, Jeremy Riddle & New Life Worship
4. Get quiet. After I pour out to God.. I grab my journal & I start journaling to God. I just write whatever He puts on my heart.. during these times, He begins to deal with me about what's going on in my life, ministry, work, jobs, family, and in the world in general. I have pages and pages of journals since I first got saved in 2003. It's so amazing to see the things that God said come to pass from when I was 20.
5. Talk to God. Don't go to God all deep. TALK to Him the way you would talk to a very close friend. He's not in the thee's & "thou's"--I can't talk to God all deep. I need to be myself and if He's going to be my Everything, I have to be real with Him. So when I first got saved (and to this day) I go to God... and say .. "Good morning Daddy!!! I'm suuuuuuuuuper excited about today.. I have a brand new day to worship you with my life--I'm so grateful, so thankful for you. You're everything to me. I'm nothing without you.." Sometimes, I cook breakfast for Him & I'll sit & just talk to Him. I may say "Lord, this really bothered me, or this MADE me mad and I know it's wrong but darnit
6. Pull out your bibles! Grab your pen & paper. It's time to LEARN. Usually, God places a certain scripture on my heart but if you're just getting started, I recommend you all to read John first, then Matthew, Mark and Luke. Then go into Acts and read through the New Testament. Most of the New Testament is prophecy that comes to pass from the Old Testament. Be sure to study Romans and Philippians. Grasp an understanding that the law in the Old Testament has been fulfilled when Jesus came to the earth & NOW you're saved by FAITH through Christ Jesus. I also do this.. if I'm struggling in a certain area--I always look up EVERY scripture on that area & meditate on it for awhile. I write out the scriptures in long hand and put them notecards. And I STARE at them, think about them, study them out, look up the definitions on each word. When you cross reference & pull out your bible dictionary.. the Holy Spirit is going to take you ALL over & give you so much "word behind the word." THEN when stupid thoughts come in--I captured the thought & I MADE it obey Christ. (2 Cor. 10:5). I had SOMETHING in my heart that made it obey Christ. You cannot be empty.. fighting with willpower.
Some of my favorite study bibles & resources:
- Life Application Study Bible
- Joyce Meyer Everyday Living Bible
- Dakes Study Bible
- Students Life Application Bible
- NASB Cross Reference Bible
- The Power of Speaking God's Word by Joyce Meyer (a small concordance--perfect for quick studying)
- Beth Moore has some great study resources. I always recommend a book/question study.
7. Then, be quiet. After you study each scripture.. let God speak to you again. Remember he's your FRIEND. (James 2:23)
As I've always said before.. make spending time with God fun!! Sometimes, I go to a Coffee Shop with just me & Him & will read & study. When I was single, I would dress up, make reservations and take my bible & have a date night! I would go to the movies with Jesus! I would cook him dinner, brownies AND we'd watch a movie at home alone. We'd go grocery shopping together. At nighttime, I would talk to Him about what I should wear the next day (sometimes, we would disagree lol) I would ask Him how He wants me to wear my hair. I would go for a jog in the morning to clear my head & just talk to Him about anything and everything. That MAY sound weird to you but if YOU want Jesus to really be your LIFE--you need to start INCLUDING Him into EVERY aspect of your LIFE.
So you take ALL of that.. & then go apply whatever He tells you to do. I started to obey Christ..whenever He told me to do something. You hear God's voice through your inner ear and some would call it your "gut", conscience or "just something told you that you should have done that." I always CHECK my peace. If something comes up--I immediately tune into the Holy Spirit and I can tell if He is tugging my heart one way or another. I LISTEN to that peace. A great checker is if you're in an unhealthy relationship & God is telling you to leave it--you won't have any peace about the person. The more time you spend with God, the more you'll be able to recognize His voice. Join me in committing to spending this time with God everyday.
Last point.. do NOT make the above a law. As I said--salvation is through faith now in Jesus Christ & not according to any law. I used to spend time with God out of fear--thinking that He would hate me if I didn't spend time with Him. Spend time with GOD out of your Love for Him. Just like you would spend time with your spouse because you love them.. same goes for God. Remember grace..grace..grace. If you aren't there "yet"--ask GOD to help you to desire spending time with Him. God will meet you wherever you are.
My hubby, Cornelius taught a message on "How to Study The Bible"--I encourage you to check it out:--->>here.
God loves you like crazy,