A couple of days ago, I was speaking with a man who told me that he was greatly encouraged and challenged by some things he heard me sharing. We were speaking of how to have a “head over heals” love relationship with Jesus.
I told him how to move from a relationship based on discipline and duty to one of delight. Not just “checking off the box” of religious duty, but an authentic, vibrant love relationship with Jesus.
It is simple but not easy…once you begin and you have that God encounter it’s hard to miss your time with God.
I love to read so I begin by reading the Word of God first. I read a chapter each day in the book of Proverbs. I have been reading the Proverbs for over 20 years, they are full of wisdom and direction.
Then I read another chapter from a book in either the Old or New Testament. I ask God to speak to me about two or three things out of those scriptures – is there a promise to claim? Is there a sin I am being warned to avoid? Is there a command to obey?
I meditate on God’s word and most of the time, I read everything twice, I read slowly and I read it out loud. I do this because I really want to get God’s word into me.
Next, I enter my prayer time. I begin with what I call, “Confess Up.” I quote I John 1:9, I John 1:7, Romans 8:1, 5:2. I confess my sin to God, agree with Him about my sin and name anything in my life that has grieved God or caused Him hurt. I don’t want anything to hinder my relationship with God. Psalm 66:18 is a strong reminder “not to regard iniquity in my heart.”
After this time of confession, I get “Filled Up” with the Spirit of God. Ephesians 5:18b tells us to “be filled with the Spirit.” Galatians 5:16 tells us to, “walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.”
The Spirit of God is not an it and not an energy force, He is a person and that person is power. I have already confessed anything in my life that would grieve or hinder the Spirit of God, so now I am asking to be filled afresh and anew that I might walk with Him in power as I face life, and that I will bear the fruits of the Spirit as shared in Galatians, Chapter 5 and verses 22 and 23.
Next, I get “Dressed Up” as we read about the spiritual battle and the armor of God we are to wear in Ephesians 6, verses 10-18. I get dressed in every piece of the armor – I pray over each piece in place to protect me as I prepare to fight the battle of that day. As soldiers gear up for their physical battles, we as Christians must be armed and ready for the spiritual battles that will come each day. Be ready!
I then move into a time of “Intercession” where I intercede (pray on behalf of other people). I pray for my wife, each of my six children, my two daughter-in-laws, my son-in-law and my four grand children I pray for other family members, friends and other needs that I am aware of.
From there, I have a time of “Worship” where I just praise God and tell Him how awesome and wonderful He is. Take time to adore Him and bless Him. He is worthy, let’s make time to tell Him so!
I end with a time of “Thanksgiving” where I focus on just giving Him thanks. Reflect on all of His blessings, His love, provision and protection. We are so guilty of asking for everything in the world and neglecting to share our thanks with God. I thank Him for everything I can think of, including the time that He allowed me to have with Him and the intimacy that I was privileged to share.
Let me remind you of two things… First don’t let this become a religious duty that you do to feel good about yourself or to to gain Gods approval. This time is a love relationship and the result will be growth and intimacy.
Second, don’t be time conscious.Don’t worry over spending 5 minutes or 30 minutes with God. Its a relationship! The more you fall in love, the more time you will want to spend with Him.
Get caught up being with Him, not doing stuff for Him. Fall head over heals.