Recently, a survey went out to the readers of the Young Wives Club, asking them to share with us the topics that they would most like to see covered on the site. Two answers which both ranked very high on the list centered around “finding time to be with theLord” and “including the Lord in your everyday life, throughout the day”. I thought I would combine the two and do my best to share what I hope will be both edifying encouragement and practical help on these really important topics.
5 Things to Remember When it Comes to Spending Time with the Lord
- Remember that you already have all the time you need to do exactly that which you want (and have been called by God!) to do.
Any talk on the topic of spending time with the Lord must begin with focusing at the heart. It has been said that we make time for that which is important to us, and I find that to be absolutely true. I read a very convicting quote recently which made the point that instead of saying “I don’t have time.”, we should say, “That isn’t a priority.” Instead of saying, “I don’t have time to be in God’s Word or to spend time with Him”, say “It’s not a priority for me to be in God’s Word or to spend time with Him.”
It hurts when you say it that way, doesn’t it? But the pain is worth it because you need to ask yourself – do you really want to spend time with the Lord? If so, you will find the time to do so. We can trust that our sovereign, all-wise, all-powerful God did not make a mistake when He intentionally placed 24 hours into each day. If you can’t seem to find the time to be with the Lord on a daily basis, it might be because you are spending that time on pursuits of far less lasting importance.
- Remember that it is not something you “have” to do, it is something you “get” to do.
Here, again, is where the heart perspective is so important. If we view time with the Lord in a legalistic, Pharisaical way as something we have to check off the list in order to be “good Christians”, we have missed the boat entirely. The amazing truth is that the whole purpose of the Bible is that the God of the Universe might reveal Himself to us. Jesus prayed in John 17:3 about His ultimate goal for us – “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” It’s all about a relationship; it’s all about the privilege we have to intimately know the Lord Who made us! It is by no means a drudgery. It is specifically when we begin to view time with the Lord as merely an item on our to-do list of drudgery that we begin to put it on the back burner, lacking any passion whatsoever to actually spend sweet time with Him. A right perspective changes everything.
We likewise need to remember, however, that time with the Lord is not optional if we want to live a victorious life in Christ; it is precisely what equips us to do so. This realization also helps us stop viewing time with God as something we just have to cross of the to-do list. Rather, that time with the Lord becomes exciting, purposeful, and encouraging when we remember that it equips us for every moment of every day. Second Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” The fact of the matter is that if we are not regularly in the Word of God, spending time with Him and seeking to know Him more, we are ill-equipped for our daily lives. We have good works the Lord has prepared for us to do (Ephesians 2:10), but we will not be equipped to do them if we are not spending time with Him.
- Remember that it is all about an ongoing relationship, not a 30 minute business meeting.
If we want to include the Lord into every moment of our every day, we need to begin reframing what we believe “spending time with the Lord” to be. If spending time with the Lord can only be about having a long, drawn-out quiet time all to ourselves every single morning, not only will we possibly find that to be unsustainable in certain seasons of life, but we will also fail to bring the Lord along with us throughout the rest of our day.
Two ladies both recently shared on my podcast that we need to stop viewing time with the Lord as something we just enjoy for a set amount of time in the morning and instead as something we continue to have throughout the day. One of the ladies used a great analogy – if your husband wanted to kiss us goodbye as he left for work you wouldn’t say, “Honey, because I don’t have time for a 2 hour date with you right now, I’m not even going to talk to you for 2 minutes as you leave.” No, we would spend time with him however and whenever possible.
The same could be said of our relationship with the Lord. We need to consciously bring Him with us throughout our day (consciously being the key word there, because He’s always with us!). This is, after all, how we are able to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). We bring the Lord into every moment of every day by always acknowledging Him (see Proverbs 3:5-6) as we go throughout our day and as we face worries, needs, hard decisions, and questions. We remember that He is always with us and always wants to hear from us. We remember that He is always ready and willing to listen to us, and we take advantage of that by communicating with Him all throughout our day. It truly is as simple as that!
- Remember that it is the Word – not the atmosphere!- that is important.
We busy women sometimes get frustrated if we can’t always have that idolized, perfect quiet time complete with peace and quiet, a beautiful sunrise, birds singing outside the window, candles flickering, music playing, a hot cup of coffee sitting beside us, and God’s Word along with all our other Bible study accoutrements – highlighters, pens, and journals included – in our laps. We begin to think that if our time with the Lord does not look like that on a daily basis, then we might as well just throw in the towel because it’s not the way it is “supposed” to be.
Here’s the problem with that: we are placing more power and importance in the surrounding atmosphere of our time with the Lord than we are on the Word of God itself. Hebrews 4:12 tells us, “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Isaiah55:11 reminds us, “So shall My Word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” -regardless of how and when you read said Word!
The Lord simply desires that you spend time with Him; He couldn’t care less what the atmosphere is like when you do. The Lord wants you to remember it is His Word which holds the power – not the amount of time you spend reading it or the circumstances surrounding your reading it.
- Remember that the world of technology makes it so easy for you to be in the Word – if you want to be.
Again, we are going back to the heart of the matter. If you want to spend time in the Word, there has never before been an easier time to do so! Sometimes we lament technology for distracting us from spending time with the Lord, but I say it’s all a matter of self-control and what your true priorities are, because that same tool of technology we blame for keeping us out of the Word can be wielded to help us more easily get in the Word! Here are some practical ideas:
- Download a Bible app onto your phone or other device and read it as you wait in a waiting room or while you are cooking dinner
- Use the audio option on your Bible app and listen to the Word as you drive, do laundry, or get ready for the day
- Listen to a sermon podcast
- Use your Bible app to track your memory verses
Here are a few other ways to more easily incorporate time with the Lord right into your everyday life:
- Spend time with the Lord first thing in the morning.
- If you’re a mom, read the Word or pray while you nurse or while your little ones nap.
- Keep your Bible open on your kitchen counter so you can quickly read verses as you go throughout your day.
- Post verses in your car and throughout your home that you can meditate on.
- Read the Bible out loud to your children and discuss it. Lead them in prayer every day.
- Have worship music playing in your home and car.
As you can see, spending time with the Lord and bringing Him with us throughout the day can be so much easier to do than we sometimes like to think. It’s all about the priorities of our hearts and remembering that He is but a prayer away at any given time.
God bless you, friend, and may your time with Him be blessed, as well!