Lately, I’ve been in a dry season. I don’t feel like reading God’s Word. The holidays blurred by in a whirlwind frenzy. In all the chaos, I’ve been missing my daily time with the Lord; I’m being honest here, I have no desire for it.
But someone once told me that the more you do something, the more you’ll love it. I’m not sure if that goes for everything. I can’t imagine ever loving beets or oysters. But I have found it true when I read God’s Word. The more I read it, the more I want to read it. The hardest part is beginning.
So I thought I’d share what my personal time with the Lord looks like. Maybe like me, you need to start spending time with God again. Or maybe you’ve never had a quiet time with God before, but you want to start. Either way, I hope this encourages you to spend time with the Lord everyday. But where do you begin? What tools do you use to spend time with the Lord? What does a quiet time with God look like?
The Tools You Need
These are the tools I use in my daily time with God: 1. A journal. 2. The Blue Letter Bible App 3. A commentary 4. The Bible. The Blue Letter Bible App and commentary are optional. You don’t have to have them to spend time with the Lord.
The Process You Use
To help me know what to do when I spend time with God, I use the acrostic SOAP. Each letter stands for a step you do in your time alone with the Lord.
The S is for Scripture
If you have never had a daily time with the Lord, there are a few books of the Bible I recommend. Any of the gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John are great places to begin. These books give you a description of Jesus and how he lived. Another book I recommend for the beginner is I John. It’s a short book that explains what a believer’s life looks like.
Now that you’ve chosen what to read, it’s time to open up your journal. Write the Word SCRIPTURE near the top of your journal page. Pretty simple ;-). I suggest reading about 10-15 verses. As you read, look for ideas in scripture that grab your heart. Whether it’s encouraging or convicting, write the verse that speaks to your heart under the word SCRIPTURE in your journal.
The O is for Observation
The letter O is for Observation. Under the SCRIPTURE portion in your journal, you are now going to write OBSERVATION. This is the time you “observe.” Some questions to ask yourself in this step are: Who is the author of the book? Who is the book written to? When this scripture was written, what was going on in history? What is the scripture about? What do certain words mean?
A commentary can be useful in answering these questions. A commentary is a book that explains the Bible. I use the Wiersbe Bible Commentary. But remember that commentaries are not the inspired Word of God. You don’t need a commentary to have quiet time with the Lord. Although I have found that it can be helpful to understand scripture.
Another tool you can use to answer your questions during Observation is the The Blue Letter Bible App. I recommend you download the app to your phone, and explore the features. I use this app solely for defining words in scripture that I don’t understand.
The A is for Application
The letter A is for Application. Go ahead and write the word APPLICATION underneath the OBSERVATION portion in your journal. Now you apply what you’ve learned from Scripture to your own personal life. How do you need to change because of what you’ve read? What specific area of your life needs to change and why? Make sure to write it down.
The P is for Prayer
Finally, the letter P is for Prayer. Write the word PRAYER underneath the APPLICATION portion in your journal. Write what’s on your heart. But keep in mind that this doesn’t have to be a long prayer. Your heart’s motives are most important. Adore him for who he is. Confess to him your sin. Be genuine. Thank him for all he’s done. And ask for him for anything. Write it down.
Encouragement for the Road
Spending time with God doesn’t have to be elaborate or fancy. Jesus wants your heart. The real you. Go to him as you are, and he’ll change you into the person you are meant to be. Don’t give up. Don’t quit. Growing in Christ is a journey that doesn’t happen in a day.