Do you enjoy spending time with God?
One of the classes I’m taking this semester is World Religions. This past class, we talked a lot about meditation and yoga. My professor was basically saying that meditation (and yoga) in and of itself is not a bad thing; to try to relax, clear your mind, zone out, etc. by stretching. This is not a bad thing. But with Hinduism, they say chants that give certain Gods and/or spirits permission to come and relax you and to bring you to a higher reality, to put it simply. For this reason, many Christians do not condone things such as yoga. I side with my professor when he says that meditation and yoga, when doing it simply to relax or clear your mind isn’t bad without chanting or humming.
At church on Wednesday, [the man teaching] asked us how much time do we really enjoy spending with God? Do we even spend time with Him at all? He told us how he loves watching Criminal Minds during the week and that he spends many hours a week watching it, yet spends less than half of that amount of time really enjoying God. I always think about the quiet time I spend with Him; in His word, praying, and sometimes journaling. There are times when all I do is open my Bible, read a chapter or two, close it and go to sleep. That’s it. It’s those times when I feel an emptiness. It seems so shallow, and I do not enjoy it. I usually do not even look forward to spending time with Him when I have been repeatedly treating my time with Him like that. That’s because it isn’t even with Him. It is shallow and empty. All I’m doing is blankly reading words. The times that I most enjoy spending time with God is when I spend serious time in prayer before I ever start reading. I thank God for many things such as family, friends, school, financial provision, etc. Next I pray for requests that people have told me, people that have been on my heart, and for myself. When I pray for myself, I usually pray about things I have been struggling with and things I’ve felt convicted about and that I would be obedient to those convictions, things like that. Then I pray specifically that God would edify me through His word and that I would be able to understand and grow and mature spiritually through the reading. Then I read. I can’t tell you that every single time I do that I have this amazing experience with God and that my whole life is changed every night, but it definitely helps. When I do this, I can subconsciously tell that I am mentally ready and even spiritually ready to hear from God, that I am eager to grow. This causes my heart to be open, wanting to suck in anything I can from Scripture. And of course, asking God for edification and growth through Scripture is amazing. He wants to hear that we actually want to grow and mature, and that we’re ready to do so.
Praying has been a kind of meditation for me to prepare myself and to let God prepare me for reading His word. I think, though that I’m going to try really meditating on specific parts of Scripture. We’re starting to go through Ephesians on Wednesday nights, and I think that this weekend I’m going to read one chapter of Ephesians each night and meditate on a verse in that chapter. I’m not really sure how I’m going to do that yet. I’ll start praying about it now and see how it goes.
All that being said, I want to encourage you to be serious about your time with the Lord, and to be consistent in spending alone time with Him. Ask God to prepare your heart and ask Him to edify you. He will.
Enjoy your time with Him.
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