Jesus assumed that His followers would engage in one-on-one time with the Heavenly Father (Matthew 6:6).  I believe most believers know that they should spend time with God.  On top of this, I believe most honestly want to have time with Him.  The matter with personal worship is not usually an issue of “what” or “why.”  It is often a matter of “how.”  Many believers have never been given practical instruction concerning a daily devotional time.  Consider two tips for spending time with God.

Find a time. 

During my college days, I lived with my grandfather for a couple of years.  He had been a preacher for over 50 years.  While I learned many things through my time with him, I was most impressed by his personal worship.  Nearly every day, I saw him spend time with God.  There is an old hymn that says “Take time to be holy.”  In order for you to develop a quality devotional life, you must pay attention to time.  When the Psalmist described his personal worship, he often made mention of a schedule.  In Psalm 88:13, he sang, “But I call to you for help, Lord in the morning my prayer meets you.”  It seems he had reserved the earliest hours of the day as a time for worship.  In Psalm 119:164, he sang “I praise you seven times a day for your righteous judgments.”  His words could be taken literally, as if he actually praised God on seven different occasions each day; or, they could be taken figuratively to mean that he worshipped a complete number of times each day.  Either way, the point is clear — God’s people should set aside time for spending with the Lord.  Some may think such a discipline is cold, legalistic, and mechanical.  Those who really walk with the Lord know otherwise.  It is beneficial to reserve time for the Lord.  I myself have found this to be important.  The morning time is the best time for my daily devotions.  If you want to establish a strong devotional life, one that will make you spiritually strong, make some time for the Lord.  Carve it into your schedule.  Create a holy occasion for meeting with the Lord each day, and you will be surprised at how your spiritual life will soar.

Find a place. 

Location is another critical matter.  In order to become people of prayer, it is important to have a reserved place to meet with God.  Now, we must remember that we can meet with God anywhere (Psalm 139:7-12).  We don’t want to be legalistic, but we want to be sober minded  and sensible.  Establishing a regular routine is half the battle in our devotional life.  When we have a reserved, secluded place for daily worship, we are well on our way to become spiritually strong.  The gospel of Mark describes our Lord’s worship habit: “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, He got up, went out, and made His way to a deserted place. And He was praying there” (Mark 1:35).  Notice that Jesus went to a deserted location.  He found an isolated space where He could focus on the Lord.  This is what’s important — we each need our own place which is free of distractions.   When we have a place to meet with God, we will be more likely to meet with Him!  What’s your place?    If you don’t have one, get one!

Dr. Patrick Latham

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