One of the most important aspects of true discipleship involves spending time every day with God. When we carve out some time in our hectic schedules to truly focus on Him, His Word, His goodness, and more, we enter into a more intimate relationship with Him and become better disciples. It’s easy to assume that we don’t have time to slow down and spend time with God, but the fact is that we don’t have time not to.
Psalm 63:1-2 (TPT)
O God of my life, I’m lovesick for you in this weary wilderness. I thirst with the deepest longings to love you more, with cravings in my heart that can’t be described. Such yearning grips my soul for you, my God. I’m energized every time I enter your heavenly sanctuary to seek more of your power and drink in more of your glory.
All of us have responsibilities in life. Obviously, some of us have more than others, but if there’s one thing we all have in common, it is the fact that none of us think we have enough time to do everything that needs to get done each day. All of us are dealt the same 24 hours. Nothing we can do will ever extend that time. Whether you are juggling 10 things that need to be done every day, or you’re looking at only two or three, the fact remains that most of us wish we had more time.
Unfortunately, one of the things that usually gets cut out of our busy schedules is daily time with God. While we recognize in our hearts that He is the Source of our salvation and worthy of our unlimited dedication, we often view things like Bible reading, prayer, and daily devotional time as something that we will get to if we have time. When we get to the end of a demanding day, we usually tell ourselves, “I’ll just do better tomorrow.” Unfortunately, tomorrow is just as busy as today, which leads to a never-ending cycle of procrastination when it comes to spiritual disciplines.
If you are reading this, you’ve already taken the first step in improving the way that you commune with God every day. Recognizing that you need time with God every day is the first step in making that desire a reality.
If you know that you need the kind of desire that David wrote about in Psalm 63, consider some of these tips for spending time with God every day. Doing so will lead to a more intimate knowledge of who He is and will help you take your commitment to discipleship to the next level.
Read a Proverb Every Day
One of the hardest things for many people who want to start spending time with God every day is knowing where to start. The Bible, which is God’s preserved Word for His people, is a huge book written by dozens of authors over thousands of years. It’s easy to look at the size of the Bible and feel intimidated by its vastness. One of the most effective ways to read the Bible is to start small. Remember, God isn’t timing you on how long it takes you to read His Word. Instead, He is simply asking that you commit to doing so.
The Book of Proverbs, which is considered a “book of wisdom” only contains 31 chapters, most of which are very short. This makes Proverbs an ideal choice for a monthly reading plan. Consider starting with Proverbs 1 on the first day of the month and read the chapter that corresponds with each day of the month.
Once you’ve established a daily reading habit through the Book of Proverbs, it becomes much easier to move onto other books. Remember, you can chip away at the Bible one chapter at a time. It’s a marathon, not a spring.
Journaling Your Thoughts
When we read the Bible, we often become overwhelmed by the amount of information that we’re processing. In those overwhelming moments, it’s easy to lose track of what God is revealing to you through the study of His Word.
The Bible is a multifaceted piece of literature. Obviously, there are practical applications, but it is also the ultimate guide to Christian living. Obviously, there is nothing wrong with using other Christian living literature (a topic we will discuss in a moment), but the Bible is the ultimate guide to pleasing God.
As you’re reading, spend some time writing down the spiritual principles that God reveals to you through His Word. Not only does this help you keep your thoughts organized, but it also gives you something to go back and look at when you’re facing struggles in your life.
Consulting Other Pieces of Literature
Obviously, there is no substitute for Bible study. Scripture has been supernaturally preserved over the millennia so God could ensure that His people always had access to His written will for His people. However, God has also blessed countless men and women with the gift of written communication, and the books that they publish can be a wonderful resource.
Spend some time researching Christian authors and find out more about them and their theology. Once you’ve chosen someone who you can trust to provide Scriptural truths, find a book that they wrote about a topic that intrigues you.
In the same way that you listen to your pastor provide Scriptural truths on Sundays, reading other sources of Christian literature can give you a greater insight into God’s nature.
Choose a Specific Time Each Day
Everything we do revolves around a schedule. You probably have a certain time that you wake up, a time that you get your kids to school (if you have children), a time that you go to work, and a time that you go home. Throughout those scheduled days, there are plenty of other things that you do at the same time each day.
One of the best ways to consistently spend time with God is to designate a certain period of time each day in which you will spend time with Him. Instead of saying, “I will get to it when I have time,” find a block of time in your day when you would usually be watching TV, scrolling through social media, or doing something else and commit that time to God.
Humans are creatures of habit. When you establish a daily time where you’re going to spend time with God, it will become a habit. Unlike some of our other habits, there are no downsides to this one!
Find an Accountability Partner
The Bible consistently talks about the importance of accountability. As Christians, we were not designed to go through our spiritual journey from Earth to Heaven alone. Instead, God wants us to connect with likeminded individuals who are in the same pursuit that we are.
At the onset of His public ministry, Jesus called together around 70 disciples. While we read about the 12 disciples who were closest to Him, the Bible is clear about the fact that there were dozens more. Once He commissioned those individuals to go out and spread the Gospel, He sent them out in groups of two. Why? Because He knew that they would need someone to keep them on the right track.
Take a careful inventory of the people in your life that you are the closest to. Once you have found someone who is equally as committed to discipleship as you, talk to them about being accountability partners. When you have someone in your life who can text you each day and ask if you’ve read your Bible, or who can call you and talk about what they have been reading, it will be much easier for you to stay on the right track.
A Closing Prayer:
Heavenly Father, help me to have a greater hunger for Your Word. I know that life is busy, but I don’t have time to not pursue You. Help me to create a habit of spending time with You every day. I know that Your Word is perfect and applicable to my life. In Christ’s name, Amen.