We know that we need to spend time with our Creator. We need to talk with Him and listen to Him, but knowing and doing are two different things! Many know that they need to, but never seem to get around to it.
There are others of us that do it. We actually make and take the time to be with our Creator, but we sometimes miss a real experience with Him, because the action of being with Him has become more about habit or routine!
Let me ask you a very simple question: Do you go to God with your needs? All of them? We eventually go to God with the stuff that we can’t handle, but how about as soon as you have a need, no matter the size, do you take it to your Creator?
Let me ask the question this way: Are you growing in your relationship with God? Now before you throw an answer out, really take the time to think about it! Are you growing in your relationship with God? Are you closer to Him? Do you understand Him better? Will you go to Him, not just with some things, but all things?
The amazing thing about our relationship with our Creator God is that He created us for relationship. God actually wants to have fellowship with us. But far too many of us are missing a real and meaningful relationship with Him, because we are not willing to do the hard work or take the time that makes the relationship work.
Many of us are trying to grow spiritually and are just barely getting by, because we have learned to survive off of crumbs from books, blogs, podcasts, social status updates and sermons. Many of us are living our spiritual lives vicariously through the relationship that our favorite author, friend or preacher is having with God.
Philippians 3:8-14 says: “8 More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, 9 and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; 11 in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. 12 Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
Focus in on the last part of verse eight and all of verse nine – “…so that I may gain Christ and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith.”
We don’t want a relationship that we have to manufacture and make-up, but one that God has provided through His Son Jesus and the righteousness that He provides as we learn to live with and through Him in faith!
We were created for relationship and God longs to have fellowship with us. We need to learn from others, but Jesus calls us to follow Him, not to follow others who are following Him! This is the biggest battle and struggle that we will most likely face in our relationship – learning to follow Him!
The only way that we can learn to follow Him is by spending time with Him! This is Basic #1 – We must spend time with our Creator God if we are going to experience the growth and relationship that we were created for.
Here are a few quick tips to help you to get started in taking and making the time to grow the relationship:
1.) Pull The Trigger! You need to put a trigger in your life that will remind you everyday to actually take and make the time to be with God. The trigger is the event that sets off, reminds you and encourages you to actually take and make the time! It could be something as simple as reading God’s Word with a cup of coffee! Associate the two together, don’t have one without the other and pretty soon, every time you get your coffee ready, you will also be ready to spend some time with God! Your trigger can be pretty much anything. Pick what works for you and a time that works for you!
2.) Be Prepared! To spend time with God, there are some tools that you will need, here is a simple list: A Bible – get a version or translation that you understand and enjoy reading! A Journal – you need somewhere to record what God is saying to you and what you are saying to Him. A Plan – a lot of people just jump around the Word. Find a plan that helps you to read on purpose and that has what you are going to be reading next – up and ready to go, so you don’t have to waste time looking for something to read! A Planner, Post It Note or Pad – to record any random or stray thoughts that might cross your mind and try to distract you! Get all of these items together and keep them together for easy access!
If you are looking for a good reading plan, I would strongly encourage you to check out http://youversion.com This is a great app with lot of translations and many different reading plans. If you have a smart phone, android device or iPad, you can actually download the app and it will assist and remind you! And the best part is – it’s free!
3.) SOAP – Scripture, Observation, Application and Prayer! When you spend time with your Creator, make sure to read the Scripture, this is His Word to you! While you read the Word, take time to observe and think about what God is saying to you. When you begin to understand what He is saying to you, make application by deciding what you are going to do about what He is saying to you. Wrap it all up by taking time to have some prayer conversation with God = remember it’s about listening and talking!
4.) KISS – Keep It Sweet and Simple! This time with God in His Word is all about growing closer to God through relationship! You cannot really grow spiritually without this time. Jesus made time with God a priority and this should encourage us to understand just how important it really is.
5.) Relationship/Fellowship! Don’t miss the amazing reality that God created you for relationship and He longs to enjoy fellowship with you, not just every now and then, but all of the time!
I hope this post will encourage you to get back to basics and spend some time with your Creator. I can promise you this – if you do, you will be glad you did!