I closed out last year with a two part series titled, “Your Best Year Ever”, which focused on establishing a consistent daily time spent alone with God. I wanted to revisit that topic and address those who already practice the discipline of a daily “quiet time”. I believe no matter how far along in your journey you are, no matter how much your life might already look like Jesus, there is always room for more growth and more learning.
It is not possible to fully understand God in hundreds of lifetimes, much less the single one we all possess. So if you are already regularly spending time in God’s presence, I have a few ideas to help you make that time more effective so you too will have your best year ever.
If you take some time for honest reflection, what would you say are the least satisfying elements of your time with God? In what areas could you improve? Let’s take a look at the three elements I presented in part two of “Your Best Year Ever” and see how we might amp them up a bit.
It’s easy for prayers to become dry and routine. Remember you are speaking with the God of the Universe. You have the privilege of one on one communication with the One who created you, died in your place, and loves you beyond measure. Before you begin each prayer, meditate a few moments on those facts. Understand the gravity and honor of what you are about to do. Then begin by asking Him to devastate your heart for each petition you bring before Him. Prayer is our weapon of light in a very dark world. It is through prayer that God’s Kingdom will come to earth. As soldiers of God, it is our mission to wield it purposefully and to pour our soul into each and every prayer. There are no rote prayers for warriors of the King.
Listening and Reflection
We are a horribly distracted people. When sitting quietly waiting for the Lord to speak, it is easy for our mind to wander to the pressures and obligations of the day. Put them aside. Focus on the majesty of Jesus. Remember His sacrifice. Imagine it vividly in your mind until you are too ashamed to think of anything else. What distracts us is trivial. Focus on God. If you aren’t in the habit of writing down the thoughts that come to you, begin immediately. Not only will you have a record of God’s faithfulness to look back upon in future years, but there’s something magical about writing it down. It becomes more real, something tangible onto which you can hold.
Study and Memorization
Have you gotten lazy in your study of God’s Word? This is an area where too many simply read a passage and check off the box. I found myself slipping into this rut when reading through the Bible each year. It’s why I took last year off from that habit and am so excited to re-engage it this year. Don’t just read the Word; chew on it. Think about what you’ve read. Ask how it can be applied to your life and what principle of God’s character is revealed through the passage. Again, write it down. Take the time; this is your time with God. What in the world is more important than that?
Don’t be deceived into thinking your time with God is good enough. There is more to learn. You have further to grow. God gave His best for you; we owe Him nothing less in return. Your best year ever starts by spending daily time with God. How can you use that time to know Him better than ever before? What new thing can you bring to your King this year?