Spend Time With God in 6 Simple Ways
Why is it important to spend time with God?
At the core of Christianity, we believe that we have been given unbridled access to a personal relationship with God.
However, making time for God is a gift that we often neglect. If we want to get the most out of any relationship, we have to be intentional about setting aside time specifically for those we are in a relationship with. This is a time for communication, a time for enjoying God’s presence, listening for His voice, and sharing your heart with Him.
Whether you are a new believer or have been following Jesus for a while, you’ve likely wondered how to spend time with God most effectively. So let’s take a look at 6 simple steps to spend time with God.
6 Simple Steps to Spend Time With God
1. Remove Distraction
When creating devotional times, the removal of distractions is a must. It will take time for your mind to create new rhythms and patterns. Until then, your brain will continually try to pull you into the habits you are trying to break.
You know yourself best. What will pull you away? Technology, tasks, interactions with other people? Be proactive in addressing potential distractions.
Put your phone on silent, leave it in the other room, use a print Bible rather than an app if you are prone to be distracted by your phone, and even consider leaving it in a different room. Maybe you create this space best when you are in nature. Step out your front door, leave your phone at home, and talk with God as you walk. Wherever you are, though, you have the power to create a space that is Holy, set aside, protected for a purpose.
2. Build A Routine
If you aren’t intentionally building a routine, your time with God will be a one-time event. Building routine means foreseeing things that will derail your plans, dealing with them, drawing boundaries, and protecting them. You will need no say to things. Routine requires sacrifice. Science shows that it generally takes upwards of 66 days to create a new habit. It’s not easy. But it is worth your while.
Typically, it’s easier to have a set quiet time each day (preferably morning in my case, when most people in my household are still sleeping or having their own quiet time with God.)
There is something so powerful about starting your day with God-think about it, how many of us have a morning ritual? For me, outside of my time with God, the whole process of making coffee has become a morning ritual that I really enjoy. I intentionally prepare my coffee in a way that takes more time – largely because I like to be able to ‘fine-tune’ the way in which it tastes, but also as a form of creativity; becoming more intimately involved in the process.
Ritual requires creativity and creative expression is ultimately God-breathed. If I can find so much Joy in a morning coffee routine, how much more joy can be found in connecting and communicating with my Creator?
A highly valuable aspect of doing a YWAM DTS is the structured schedule that you are expected to live by during school. Spending intentional time with God is a normal part of a day in DTS, and it will give you the tools you need to make it a lifelong practice.
3. Prioritize Scripture
Spending time with God does not require the Bible every time. However, if you don’t have a basic understanding of God’s word, it can limit your relationship with Him. There are endless lessons for every area of life, applicable wisdom, and fresh ways to hear God’s voice in the pages of Scripture. God’s written word is the basis for ALL KNOWLEDGE of God-Scripture is important. God has chosen to speak to the global church through the Bible for thousands of years. If you are neglecting it, you are choosing to operate in a much smaller scope of faith. If structure helps you, find a Bible reading plan and stick with it! If you are driven by social activities, you could join a Bible study. Whatever it takes, get into the pages of Scripture.
Listening for God’s Voice & Responding
The voice of God can be a scary term to some people. But the truth is, God is always speaking. He is always extending His heart to His people. This isn’t limited to hearing an audible voice; God speaks our language. He will speak to us in the manner that will have the most impact on us. God uses limitless avenues to talk. Some hear Him most
clearly through artwork, others through studying science, and still others through fitness. He is a creative communicator!
When we hear the heart of God, through whatever way He has spoken to speak, it becomes our privilege to respond.
The ways we can respond to God are nearly as limitless as the ways He communicates. However, our response to God will typically include one of the following;
Confession & Repentance: Recognizing and turning from actions or behaviors that damage us or others
Forgiveness: Receiving the endless grace that God bestows upon His children when we turn to Him
Petitions: Sharing our needs, worries, and desires with God
Adoration & Worship: Reflecting back to God our love and enjoyment of Him Communion: Friendship with God, simply being with Him
There is no one way to pray. Your prayers can be your unique creation, and you can join with the saints by reciting centuries-old prayers found in resources like the Common Book of Prayer or reciting passages of Scripture, declaring the Truth found there. More often than not, we have a tendency to overcomplicate prayer, treating it as some stale, uninspiring recital of big words. Prayer shouldn’t be complicated. In fact, it should be one of the most natural activities of our faith. Talking with God doesn’t have to be an individual activity either. Ideally, we should prioritize having our own time with God, but throughout Christian history, prayer has been a beautiful communal and corporate activity. So, take time to speak to God one on one, but make time to join in prayer with other believers as well; you will be an encouragement for each other.
The YWAM Discipleship Training School class curriculum includes teaching on hearing God’s voice, prayer and intercession, and Bible overview. If you would like to receive these tools, sign up for the next DTS! Applying only takes a few minutes, and it’s totally free.
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.”
This may seem redundant after discussing making a routine. But the art of consistency communicates something beyond personal discipline – it communicates long-suffering devotion. When we make something a consistent, unshakable part of our life, we communicate (to ourselves, the world, and to God) that it matters deeply to us. And additionally, when we stick to something, even when things get mundane, painful, or even boring, we solidify in our spirit that we are in a relationship with God for more than surface-level gratification. Something I have learned in my relationship with God is that
long-term obedience, despite my enjoyment levels, always comes with great reward. Valuable things COST. So when you hit a rut, don’t let that be a reason to end your routine with God. Maybe you change a few aspects of your routine, add variety…but consistently spending time with God will always benefit you. So press in. Don’t quit. If you use journaling as a part of your time with God, you will be able to look back and see the worth of pushing through the hard times and the ways God was speaking through those seasons.
Invite other people into your journey. Welcoming the voice and perspective of others can encourage you in ways you might miss otherwise. Friends and mentors can offer insight into our blind areas and hold us accountable. Though not immediately obvious, spending time with other believers is a way to spend time with God. He dwells in each of us. So, within the body of believers, as we interact with one another, we allow the presence of the Holy Spirit in others to impact us. When we are struggling through a difficult life season, addressing a sin pattern, or wrestling with a question, God can (and often does) use other humans to lead us.
6. Honesty & Humility
All that has been laid out above will mean little if it is not rooted in deep honesty and humility. In our journey to build a meaningful relationship with God, our pride and self-protection must be silenced. When we approach Jesus, He already sees all that we are and all that is in our hearts. We fool, and even wound, ourselves when we put on masks or take on a performance mentality in His presence. We are less likely to see things from His perspective if we are clinging to our own, and it will be much more difficult to trust His leading. Make a practice of releasing your fears, insecurities, plans, and offenses as you come to God.
In conclusion, it’s fair to say that making time for God is not always easy, but it is always worth it. Whenever you choose to pursue Jesus, you are choosing to pursue life. If you’re ready for a deeper walk with Jesus, consider joining us for the next Discipleship Training Course. You’ll never be the same.