Do you struggle to spend time with God every day? Is it a constant battle between spending time Him and distracting yourself with social media? Does it feel like you’re in one corner of the ring, and the Holy Spirit is in the other corner?
Maybe you want to read the Bible more, but find yourself putting it off to enjoy more “fun” reading. Or you forget about spending time in prayer until you’re ready to fall asleep at night. You desire an intimate daily connection with God, but aren’t sure how to maintain it. You wonder how to find more time to meet with God throughout the day?
Those are good desires. In fact, they’re great desires. But desire alone won’t get us anywhere.
Simply wanting a more intimate relationship with God, isn’t enough to make it happen. At least, not on a regular basis. Simply wanting to spend more time with God, isn’t enough to make prayer and quality time in His Word a daily habit.
We are all human. That means we all must fight against our flesh every.single.day to do the things that please God, rather than the things which simply gratify our bodies. That means we all must fight to meet with Him, no matter whether our bodies crave the comforts of bed or the distractions of life.
I like what Andrew Murray has to say about this (emphasis mine):
“The believer must understand that he has no power of his own to maintain his spiritual life. No, he needs each day to receive new grace from heaven through fellowship with the Lord Jesus. This cannot be obtained by a hasty prayer, or a superficial reading of a few verses from God’s Word. He must take time quietly and deliberately to come into God’s presence, to feel his weakness and his need, and to wait upon God through His Holy Spirit to renew the heavenly light and life in his heart. Then he may rightly expect to be kept by the power of Christ throughout all the day and all its temptations.”
So how do you “take time quietly and deliberately” to enter God’s presence each day? How do you make your desire to spend quality time with Him into a reality?
1. Define your distractions.
Where do you lose track of time? For many of us, that’s social media. For some, it’s friends or hobbies or even work. Think through your day. What did you end up spending way too much time on?
You may need to keep an old-fashioned paper log for a few days to figure it out. Often, we’re not aware of how much time passes as we focus on those “distractions” — until we see it retrospectively. The key here is to observe your activity.
2. Don’t let the urgent crowd out the important.
Most of our “distractions” aren’t truly bad things. It’s not wrong to spend time checking Facebook, or playing Words with Friends, or searching for ways to improve my online experience. But those can all distract from greater priorities, like spending time with God.
This is where you apply those observations about your time. Decide how to limit (or avoid) your greatest distractions. Maybe you need to set a timer when you go on Facebook. Maybe you need to limit certain activities to certain times of the day, so you can free up more optimal times for better activities.
For instance, deciding to only read your favorite novels after you’ve read your Bible. Or choosing to spend time in prayer before you get out of bed, instead of spending that time checking social media on your phone. Or combining your daily workout with memorizing Scripture, instead of listening to your favorite tunes. The key is to figure out what’s truly important, and restructure your day to match. And then practice it faithfully!
3. Discipline does not negate delight.
Consider your favorite hobby. You have to work at it, learn about it, and practice it faithfully. But disciplining yourself to work at it doesn’t make you like it any less… you still enjoy it, right?
Or consider your closest friend. Maybe some days you don’t “feel like” spending time with them, but you have to anyway. But instead of frustrating your friendship, it only grows stronger. Right?
Time with God is like that — the more time you spend with Him, the more you’ll want to spend time with Him.
If spending time with God is truly a priority,
then decide to make it work — no matter what.
How do you make spending time with God a priority, despite busyness or daily distractions?
Share some tips or suggestions in the comments!
Also, if you need more motivation for spending daily time with God, read A Place of Quiet Rest.