You might ask what this looks like, or even means exactly. I'll start with what I consider the critical components, in general, for spending some quality time with the Big Man.
God [who never leaves you, so is thus always there] Self Undivided attention Time
You might be surprised that a Bible, journal, or even silence aren't included in the list. It's something I've come to be humbled on, realizing I can make spending time with God about a lot of things other than him.
Now, don't misunderstand me -- I believe His Word, the Bible, is absolutely vital to our lives. There are, however, ways to spend time with Him in addition to reading. Taking a hike through nature while praying, driving in the car listening to worship music, or going on a run, for example.
When I think of "quiet time", I think of getting my heart and mind quiet before the Lord. While some may prefer literal quiet for that, it doesn't have to be. I can be sitting in a coffee shop but instead of thinking about my to-do list for the day or working on blogs (cough), I give Jesus my undivided attention.
My daily way of connecting with God is through spending time reading the Bible when first waking up. I pour a hot cup of coffee, stir in some homemade pumpkin spice creamer and sit at our kitchen nook curled up in a blanket.
Some days I'll read out of my New International Version Bible, other days on our iPad from The Message or Amplified version. Currently, I'm reading through the New Testament chronologically, so that's how I decide where to start. I occasionally like to journal different verses that stand out to me, people I'm praying for, things I'm struggling with, cool moments I've had recently, and what I feel like God is telling me.
My typical QT elements: Bible Journal Coffee iPad G2 pen (I'm a nerd)
I also love to go on bike rides, bake, listen to podcasts, read a devotional book, or go in a quiet room and put on worship music, light candles and sing to God.
Because I'm so
scatterbrained organized, I keep a notepad nearby to help me stay focused. If I think of a task that needs done later that day, I'll write it down so as not to let it distract me. I put my phone away. Headphones in. And do my thing. It might last 15 minutes or two hours. In my opinion, mornings are the best time--in the quiet, before the chaos of and yuck of the day have a chance to wear you down.
Bottom line: make time with Jesus a priority. Keep it fresh and creative. After all, I wouldn't want to spend time with my husband the same way every single day. Don't feel confined to a pattern or routine.
Some personal recommendations:
- Books of the Bible
- John, Galatians, I John
- Devotional Books
- Comforts from the Cross, Elyse Fitzpatrick
- Jesus Calling, Sarah Young
- For the Love of God, D. A. Carson (commentary that takes you through the Bible in a year)
- Smartphone apps (free unless marked):
- FighterVerse - Scripture memorization ($3)
- YouVersion - tons of versions of the Bible
- Bible 360
- Christian music
- All Sons + Daughters
- Jesus Culture
- Daylight Worship
- Tenth Avenue North