I read a study once that said the majority of people that can change their health, marriage, relationships or finances are unwilling to do what it takes to do so. Ouch! This is also true in our spiritual lives.
BC (before children) I was able to invest in my life in a way that reaped remarkable benefits. It was like choosing an incredible stock that continued to climb every day. I was able to prioritize spending a half day with God every single week. Every Monday I would go to a small prayer chapel (always empty) or a remote place on the beach. Sometimes our student ministry would try to organize spending a day alone with God. We would gather as a group on campus, the beach or a park and then disperse. After 4 hours or so we would meet with our brown bag lunch and share about our time with the Lord. For many years I would spend 7-10 days with the Lord during the Christmas break and go up to Arrowhead Springs, CCC headquarters. It was usually pretty empty at that time and I had a room and grounds pretty much to myself. During summer break I would take 2 weeks and go somewhere. Usually took about 10-12 books with me. The first week was spent unwinding from finishing out a busy school year of working 60+ hour weeks. The second week I was more prepared to pray, read His Word and listen. This investment in my relationship with the Lord…the daily devotion time, the half day every Monday, the monthly day with the Lord, the week at Christmas break and the two weeks in summer….was life changing.
I can imagine what many of you are thinking. Who has that kind of job flexibility? You’re right. At that time in my life I made my own schedule and was very fortunate to have that kind of freedom. Most of you probably can’t make that type of investment. No longer can I. We have demanding jobs with certain hours, children that need to be taken care of and a family to serve. But I still believe it is possible to change our lives in one day. Here is how…
Spend a daily time with God. God wants a relationship with us. For those of you married, can you imagine what your marriage would be like if you rarely if ever spent time with your spouse? It would be cold and distant. A marriage without time is a disconnected marriage. Start with just 10 minutes then work your way up to 30-45 minutes alone with God.
Spend a half day with God. This may seem impossible but with some creativity it can be done. It is amazing what 3-4 hours with the Lord can do to you. Try to schedule this. What about when the kids go off to school? If you work weekdays what about the weekend? Get up early on a Saturday and leave. If that doesn’t work what about a Sunday? What about letting your family go to church and then out to lunch while you have a half day with the Lord somewhere.
Spend 24 hours with God. This can be more of a challenge with a busy family but it can be done. Do you ever go on an overnight for a retreat or conference? Consider doing this somewhere by yourself. It can be a powerful time in your life and that of your family.
I read a tweet recently that said something like When we close the Bible God closes his mouth. When we open the Bible God opens his mouth. We can’t live out Jeremiah 29:11 without spending time alone with God. No matter how good a church is, it is not the number one way for spiritual growth. Nor is listening to a pastor speak. Spiritual growth comes from personal time with God.
“Everyone has the power to impact the outcome of his life. The way to do it is to focus on today. Today is the only time you have. It’s too late for yesterday. And you can’t depend o tomorrow.” ~ John C. Maxwell
My next post will discuss creative ways to spend your devotional time with God .