What's the point of a regular quiet time anyway? Is it to check something off a list, to earn God's favor, or is it to connect with Him?
I hope you spend time in God's Word to learn about your Creator and connect with the King of your life! In fact, I hope not a day goes by without a time of worshipping your Savior whole-heartedly and allowing God to fill your cup.
Here are ways to truly connect with God during your quiet time:
Ready Your Heart
Take a moment to open your heart to receive instruction and encouragement from the Lord. That means putting aside all distractions - bye, bye, Facebook - and taking on a humbling attitude that is ready to admit wrong, if necessary, and be changed from the inside out.
When our heart and mind are set on Christ, we are able to meet with Him in the most unobstructed way. The noise of the world cannot keep us from our God and, because of Jesus, neither can our own sin.
Study the Word
Whether you are just starting a new habit of studying the Bible or have a number of study tools already under your belt, spend some time reading a passage, paying special attention to the context and asking yourself what the author intended to say.
If you are not sure where to begin, check out last week's article that answers this very question. This site is full of resources for studying Scripture. Hover over the word 'blog' in the menu to find the "Mini Tip Motivation" section. It's full of Bible study hacks that will enrich your time in God's Word.
Meditate on Scripture
If you are studying Scripture in depth with the right heart attitude, you may already be meditating on God's Word in the process. However, sometimes we can get so bogged down in gaining head knowledge from the Bible that we leave out the heart.
Recently, I have shared with you that in my journey of seeking to be more patient and calm, God has convicted me that I need to take more times of rest with Him. I am not talking about sitting on the couch with a Netflix show. I mean dwelling on truth from Scripture and praying and listening to God.
Over the last month, I have tried something new. Maybe you'd like to join me.
I ordered this Bible verse coloring book from Amazon. I pick a verse, study it for a while, then meditate on its powerful truth while coloring the page. It's been a powerful experience.
I am not artistic - in fact, my four-year-old is better at coloring than I am. But for me, this has been more about the exercise, the process, rather than the outcome of a beautiful picture.
I recently shared with you that on my journey of asking God to teach me to be more calm and patient, He has convicted me of my need for times of rest in Him. I am not talking about sitting on the couch with a Netflix show. I mean truly connecting with God to let myself recharge.
I have loved this experience because I can feel my whole body relax as I color and dwell on the verse in front of me. My mind and heart pour out in thankfulness to the Lord, and I feel comforted and challenged by the Word of God.
You are here to connect with God, so don't forget to speak with Him. Let your heart praise Him with thanksgiving. Lay your burdens at His feet, and allow Him to fill your cup. Pray for those around you who are hurting or in need.
Don't rush this time. You may know how it feels when someone is only half-listening to you, their body language telling you they can't wait to leave the room as soon as you have finished. I want to cover my head in shame thinking about how often I have done that to God. Speaking of which...
Listen to God
Prayer is not just one-way communication. It is essential to talk with God, but it is also important to listen. This may take some time and practice to get used to. We don't audibly hear God's voice. Rather, we listen in spirit.
Ask God to speak to you, then listen quietly. It usually takes me a few minutes to push aside all distractions and the urge to "do something". Trust that God can speak to you. Then wait for Him to impress a thought on your heart, send conviction or comfort, or point you towards an answer.
Have you ever experienced God speaking to you like this? I'd love to hear about it.
Over the next month, I am going to share a few examples of how God has met me in these five steps recently. I will share a few examples of the "The Word in Color" coloring pages and invite you to join me.
It's been so powerful. I bet you will love it as much as I did.
May God refresh your soul as you connect with Him.