WITH GOD: devotional series (pt 3)

PART THREE - WITH GOD: devotional series
By: Stephen Thorne

How often do you spend time with God?
How do you spend time with God?
Do you find it difficult to spend time alone with God?
These questions are often asked to followers of Jesus, but many times we as Christians struggle to answer. Today we will focus on answering just one of these questions and I believe the rest will then answer themselves.

Do you find it difficult to spend time alone with God?

If so, you are not alone! There are thousands of reasons why this may be, and many of them are a result of satan waging war against his enemy (US! God’s chosen children), but the questions of where and how to start often keep us from beginning each day with Jesus.

The difficulty of setting time aside each day may not necessarily be because you have no desire, but because the starting line isn’t defined. The bold starting line that is painted on every running track directly after the turn may not have been painted for your Christian relationship track. Right after you began living for Jesus (The Turn!) no one painted a starting line to assist you in your pursuit of Jesus.

I often felt empty and defeated because I did not know where to start. The days I did not START with JESUS were the days I most often ENDED with SIN. One day during college before one of my classes God spoke boldly to me through a passage in 1 Kings 19:6-8.

"He (Elijah) looked around, and there by his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again. 7 The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you. 8 So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God.”

Elijah was told that he could not make the journey unless he ate and drank the bread and water that was provided by God. It was in that moment, reading before class, that God spoke ever so clearly. He said, “Stephen, you will not make it through the day if you do not eat and drink of me! I AM the bread of life! I sustain all things! If you eat of Me and My word, you will then be able to make the journey.”

Start with Jesus. Make Him first in all things. Even if you do not know where to start and you do not think your efforts are the most beneficial starting point, God receives glory through you praying, reading, and worshiping. He will sustain you and fill you so that you make it through the day. I encourage you to start your day by praying and reading scripture. Make God first by giving Him your time and attention. He will receive glory through it and you will be filled.

Ask/say these five questions/statements before and after you spend time with God:

  1. God, use this scripture to speak boldly to me.
  2. God, use this scripture to reveal a new attribute of Yours to me.
  3. God, how does this apply to my life?
  4. God, what would you like for me to hear through your word?
  5. How can I impact others with what you’ve shown me?

Once you have prepared your heart and mind through prayer and worship, begin reading with your questions and concerns in mind. Allow His word to transform the way you think, react, and respond. Here are a few scriptures that speak to the importance of us knowing God’s word:

Psalm 119:11
“I have hidden your word in my heart that I may not sin against you.”

 Psalm 119:105
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”

 Hebrews 4:12
“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.

Colossians 2:6-7
So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

Lord, guide me to be a person who STARTS EVERY DAY WITH YOU. Thank you for your Word and how it refines me, use it to shape who I am becoming. I trust you with everything Lord--have your way in me. Thank you for the grace of Jesus and the presence of your Holy Spirit. Amen.