I often get asked about my personal time with God. I find it refreshing and concerning at the same time. Many people want to know so they can perhaps evaluate or improve their own; however, I sense there are many who do not have a consistent time alone with God in His Holy Word. So here are some points to ponder that I am learning in my own daily time with God and His Word.
1. God speaks to my specific needs.
The more I remove distractions during my time with Him, the more I can hear from His heart and His agenda. The more I retain distractions (even calling it “multitasking”) the more I only give Him my concerns and my agenda. I have even said, “I think better with certain music or noise”, but anything which might occupy my mind waters down my concentration. As Jesus modeled for us in Mark 1:35, it requires strategic planning and sacrificial prioritizing.
2. He drives me deeper into His Word.
Hosea 6:3 says “Let’s pursue the knowledge of the Lord. His going forth is established in the morning; He will come to us like the rain. I used to say, “Well, I’m just not a quick reader.” Then I recalled what my dad used to tell me: “an excuse is the skin of a reason wrapped around a lie”. Now, while the average adult male reads at a 6th grade level (which is about 250 words per minute), I refuse to be a statistic. By the way, President JFK read 1250 wpm. Reading is a discipline to learn.
3. God clarifies the choices in my life.
James 4:8 clearly promises “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” I’ve heard it described that mountain climbers are more energetic when the peak is in view. They are more sluggish when the clouds are over the top. When we spend time with God, our view is less foggy and more clear.
4. God rebukes my rebellious attitudes.
The more time I spend with God, the more I’m realizing that His still small voice is actually a megaphone. The day I no longer hear Him, will be the day I disregard His Lordship over me. It’s been said “everything rises and falls with Leadership” but as my friend Dr. Ted Traylor said: “Everything rises and falls with Lordship!”
5. He moves me out of my ruts and discouragements.
The song Josh Groban popularized best describes this: “you raise me up.” As I strive to be the leader God wants me to be I’m met by my own insecurities. It seems that the Devil knows them too! It still surprises me when just one critical statement can alter my mood. But thankfully, the grace of God comes to my rescue. Besides, as far as leadership goes, it’s not what is around you as much as what is in you. The key to learning as I commune with my Savior everyday is the truth that I am no better publicly than I am privately.
6. He chases away my pride.
Ironically, what annoys me most about many leaders is arrogance, and no one is attracted to arrogance – especially God. The Holy Spirit certainly inspired the writers of Scripture, and no one any more so, than Solomon in Proverbs 27:2 “Let another man praise you.” What God deals with me often in reading His Word is my own boastful proclivity.
I have much more to learn. After all, I desire to “study to show myself approved.” (2 Timothy 2:15)