Hi y’all! These last several weeks have been so chaotic for our country and very scary for a lot of people. (Hem hem… CORONA! 🙏🏽) However, I am somewhat ashamed to say, that they have been nothing but relaxing for me! Although at times I feel bored, somewhat trapped, hardly know what to do with myself, and miss all my friends, God has suddenly dropped a multitude of blessings into my lap. I have spent so much quality time with all my siblings (one whom is now home from college), been able to catch up on my schoolwork, have tremendously enjoyed my dad being home from work (finally), and was just able to catch my breath after such a busy season in my life. Still, one of the greatest blessings has been my long, deep, and uninterrupted quiet times everyday.
I love spending time with God in his word, but here recently our time together has been cut short. I get so distracted, and the Devil seems to delight in reminding me of all the other stuff I have to do before a deadline. Why is it that the most important thing in life, seems to get pushed back to the very back of my mind? I will promise myself that I will just read my bible later, and convince myself that I really don’t have time for our daily meeting at the moment… then it just never happens. (This is one reason why I have found that meeting with God in the morning works the best for me. There are far less distractions …and it is also one way that I can ‘put God first’ in my life. 🙂 )
This morning I read Psalm 119, and in verse 103 the psalmist exclaims, “How sweet are Your words to my taste! Sweeter than honey to my mouth!” This psalmist loved and hungered for the word of God. Similarly Ezekiel 3:3 says, “‘Son of man, eat this scroll I am giving you and fill your stomach with it.’ So I ate it, and it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth.” The Bible is what helps and guides us and truly fills all of our empty places.
“How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word.” (Psalm 119:9) “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”(Matthew 4:4) It is so important to be consistent and keep reading your Bible!
Here are nine tips that have always helped me consistently develop that time in God’s word every morning.
- Get a good night’s sleep! I know I blew your socks off with this one 😁, …but it really is so important. You may have to forfeit that late night movie, or turn your phone off, or leave the party a little earlier, or put down that book in order to get to bed at a decent time, but it is so worth it! A rested person is more alert and able to hear God speak through his word more clearly.
- Choose to get up When the alarm goes off in the morning, don’t hit the snooze! Everyday it is a choice to follow God and take those steps toward him. He has offered everything that we could ever need. It is never ‘I can’t’ in Christ …it is ‘I won’t’.
- Pick a regular spot and time Find a comfy, quiet place that preferably is not your bed. (There really is something about your bed that makes you just fall asleep!:) Choose the time of day that is best for you to start your regular habit of reading, studying, and praying (as I said earlier, morning is a nice time for that…). Have a pen, marker, and journal on hand to write down any prayer concerns, questions, thoughts, summary of your time, etc…
- Read the actual Bible Devotional readings are nice and they can really aid your daily reading, but don’t let your devotional replace actually reading through the bible. The whole bible is the spiritual food that God intended for our souls and minds to receive. One person may write a devotional about what God revealed to them through a scripture passage, but what if God wants to reveal something totally different to you through that same passage?
- Just keep reading Please don’t quit just because you don’t understand everything you are reading. Just keep reading! The holy spirit, who is your operating system, knows what to do with the Word of God even if you don’t yet. John 16:13 says, “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.”
Pray for understanding! “Ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7)
- Make your time enjoyable See your quiet time as a date with Jesus. He wants to spend time with us, and he wants us to want to spend time with Him. These things are what I do and would suggest to everyone: wash your face and fix your hair (you are going on a date💓💄), have a cup of warm tea, sit in your favorite comfy chair, grab your favorite soft, fuzzy blanket, light a nice candle, start the fireplace (if you have one), and make sure you have a pretty bible cover and bookmark that you absolutely love! Make it special and something that you look forward to!
- Avoid the ‘urgent things’ that distract I heard a lady, who was doing a Bible study that I attended, say that you should have a separate pad of paper available to write down random thoughts and things-to-do that pop up into your head. Tell Satan thanks for the reminder and that you will be sure to take care of all those things just as soon as you finish on your date.
- Get accountability Meet with someone weekly or bi-weekly to share with each other where you are reading in the Bible, what you are getting out of your quiet times, and to pray for each other. When you have a big family with lots of siblings (or even just one sibling) it is very easy to have sister/brother powwows. I often ask my sisters what they are reading in their Bibles and they like to ask me. I would say that it is a good idea to meet with a friend every-once-in-a-while and talk and pray… (it is just different in some way).
- Pray If I had to say what my greatest spiritual weakness is, it would be prayer. Prayer is so powerful, and I put it off. If God already knows all of my thoughts, why tell him again? However, my dad says this, “Pretend that you are God. You know that I love you, but what if I never actually told you?” That would change things a bit. Getting to the point, prayer works!!!! Pray and ask God to help you have that deep Psalm 119:103 longing for God’s word in your heart. Ask him to help you fully develop a consistent and daily quiet time with him. He hears you and will help you conquer your goal!
I will say that this is a daily battle and struggle to stay submersed in God’s word. Some mornings NOTHING makes me want to pick up my Bible and read. However, it does get easier as you develop that habit. We will thirst for more and more and seem to never get enough!
DON’T TAKE MY WORD FOR IT!
- The unfolding of your words gives light;
it gives understanding to the simple. (Psalm 119:130)
- Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. (Matthew 7:24)
- For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)
- All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
- Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. (Psalm 119:105)
- Do not let this book of the law depart from your mouth, meditate on it day and night so that you will be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” (Joshua 1:8)
I hope that you all are finding many blessings showered upon you even throughout this trying time for our country. Continue to merely turn your eyes upon Jesus! …And take this opportunity to delve deep in his word!
God Bless You, Friends! ~Savannah💐