If you have not been baptized yet, please don’t read this article. Get baptized first.
If you have been baptized, ask yourself the following:
- How much time do you spend with God and the things of God?
- How often do you think about God throughout your day?
- How much does God and the teachings of Jesus inform your daily decisions?
Why You Should Know The Answers To Questions Like These
Jesus once said, “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” – Matthew 4:4
We are to live by the words of God.
There are two primary ways we can know the words that come from the mouth of God.
- Study of Scripture
- Spending Time with God
Study of Scripture
We read scripture to learn the teachings of God as demonstrated through the story of humanity, Israel, the prophets, the story of Jesus, and the early church. We learn the teachings to incorporate them into our lives. As disciples of Jesus, we adhere to his teachings especially.
Developing a reading plan to help you learn the teachings is easy enough. There are plenty of plans and apps to help you in this area.
Spending Time with God
The second way to know the words of God is spending time with God. Spending time with God is where I want us to focus in this article.
As a disciple, you need to develop a habit of spending time with God. Developing a habit of spending time with God is one of the most important things you can do in your discipleship.
God invites you into a relationship with him and his son, Jesus Christ. Jesus called this relationship “eternal life” in the Gospel of John (John 17:3).
And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.
Without spending time with God, you can never have that kind of relationship. Eternal life will be difficult to experience, at least not as Jesus described it.
So, develop a habit of building that relationship.
What would a practice of spending time with God look like?
Spending time with God is not much different than spending time with your spouse, child, neighbor, or friend. You must make time for these people in your life. You must make time for God.
There is not one way to spend time with God. There are a variety of ways. What is important is that you find a way that works for you.
I will give you some suggestions along the way.
My most favorite way is simply being still before God. I take this literally.
Be still and know that I am God.
Find a quiet place and simply be still before God. Be present to God.
It is hard to talk with God if you are constantly distracted by your phone. You might not hear the voice of God if your favorite music is blaring in your ears. If your mind is chasing every fleeting thought that goes as fast as it comes, you clearly aren’t giving God your attention.
The ancients used to say "Your body isn't still because your mind isn't still. Your mind isn't still because you spirit isn't still."
Still your mind. Still your spirit. It is a lot easier to know God if you do.
But It Is So Hard
I hear people say things like…
“I can’t sit still that long.”
“My mind chases off after everything.”
Those words indicate why you need to develop a practice of sitting before God.
What does it say about the state of your spirit? What does it say about all the things you are worried and concerned about? (Jesus had something to say about both, worry and concern.)
Sitting still before God can help you learn to trust in God.
If I were personally discipling you, helping you develop a habit of spending time with God would be one of the first things we would concentrate own. In fact, after baptism, we probably wouldn’t move any further until you had developed such a discipline.
I'll say more about being still in upcoming articles. For now, think about how much time you spend with God and the things of God.