Post written by Noland Gilmore
Spending time with Jesus is just as essential to your every day as food is. Our bodies don’t function or grow properly when we are malnourished. We are not able to build muscle, concentrate, stay awake or do anything at a normal speed when we don’t eat.
Your body was made to take in food, just like your soul was made for relationship with your Creator. We were made to thrive with Jesus and we do that by being in His presence. It is essential for believers to value time with Jesus in the same way we value food: to survive and thrive.
There is not one formula for spending time with Jesus, just like there is not one type of food or diet. But I do want to give some handrails for what spending time with Jesus looks like for me and what it could look like for you.
1. Wake Up Early
- Yep. This is a big deal and the biggest hurdle for me on a daily basis. - Find a quiet place to spend time with Jesus. - “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” Mark 1:35 - “Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.” Proverbs 3:9 - It matters that we give God the first of all of our resources, including our time! He promises to fill us when we do.
- Starting my time worshipping Jesus (with worship music on my iPhone) stirs thankfulness in my heart and puts me in a place of gratitude moving into the rest of my time with God and the rest of my day. Who doesn't love a person who is grateful? - “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 - “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.” Psalm 100:4
- Depending on what is going on in my life this part could look completely different. I have had seasons of reading through the entire Bible, where I choose to read 1 chapter in the Old Testament, 1 chapter in Psalms and 1 Chapter in New Testament. Sometimes my goal is to understand a certain book in the Bible, so I read a chapter a day of just that book (i.e. John). - The point being, I am spending time every morning reading God’s word. - “All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17
- This is where I ask God how can I apply what I just read to my day-to-day life. I will then wait to hear something (sense something in my heart that is in line with the character of God and scripture) and then pray into what He spoke. - Then I have a list of people and circumstances I pray for. For me this looks like praying in great detail for my wife, friends, family and our city. - “Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6
It matters that we spend time with Jesus because in His presence there is fullness of Joy (Psalm 16:11) and we have access to that. Let’s get to know Jesus in a deeper more personal way together; we can’t lose with Him!
And once again, this is not about being more religious than you already are. Just like our need and desire for food, it’s about surviving and thriving in our relationships with Jesus.