Ok, the new year is officially here and your goals are set. (Yes? No?) One of them just might be spending regular time with God-- some people refer to this as "quiet time," others call it "devotions," or "Bible study." Whatever you call it, it all amounts to the same thing-- a regular, consistent, committed time to meet with God, to hear from Him and learn who He is. It is a time for digging into His word, reading inspiring books, devotions, or commentaries from wise, godly people, and praying. You also might want to spend some time in worship-- listening to a song or two that you love, one that helps you focus on Him. Songs like this one or this one, just for starters.
Some people like to light a candle, or have a special place designated in their home. I knew one woman who had a whole separate little building on her property for her prayer and study time! My friend Jessica has a prayer basket, all stocked and ready to be picked up and carried wherever she can find some quiet in her busy house with three young children. Sometimes she picks up that basket and takes it to the prayer room at a nearby church and spends several hours with God. I love this idea!
Most importantly, there is no one right way to "do" your time with God. Your time will be as unique as you are.
When I read Wendy Pope's blog entry about kicking off a group effort to read through The Chronological Bible in a year, I noticed a question one commenter had asked her. I loved her answer and wanted to share it here, in case it inspires someone as much as it inspired me!
Wendy-I am very excited about spending this next year in God's Word. I know you posted the supplies you will be using in your quiet time...Just wondering how you will use them? Sometimes others have neat ideas that they use in their quiet time and I have been blessed by gleaning ideas from others. Thanks, Sarah
Sarah, I write the date to the reading in my notebook and prepare myself to write what the Lord leads. It may be an interesting fact I knew but had forgotten about. It may be how the text ties in with another scripture I already know. I make notes cross-referencing the two passages. I write the verse in the margin then write my comments on the lines. I use college ruled paper because I write a lot. I highlight things that are repeated or referred to more than once. The sticky notes are for me to jot down thoughts or questions that I want to research after my QT. I take it and put it on my computer for later research. Many times God is leading my on a fun rabbit trail to a nugget He wants me to use in a message that I am preparing for a conference. Hope this helps, Sarah. Good question.
If you have any great ideas for personalizing your time with God, or tips you have picked up along the way for enhancing your time, please leave a comment and share it with us!