You might be tempted to believe your problem is a lack of discipline. And you wouldn’t be alone. Lack of discipline is the #1 reason I hear from those who believe they should have daily times alone with God but don’t.
But instead of trying to drum up more discipline, there’s a better place to start.
Begin by asking yourself what you expect.
I mean it. What do you expect will happen when you next try to spend time with him alone? This is an important question.
But what follows is even more important: Let yourself answer. Don’t edit, don’t self-correct, and don’t shut down. Let whatever comes up for you come up.
Because here’s the reality: Chances are, if you’re not regularly spending alone time with the Lord, there’s a part of you that doesn’t want to.
And there’s a reason for that that matters.
Maybe it has something to do with how you expect him to respond to you—the real you. Maybe you’re carrying a sin or a relationship you don’t think he likes and you’re not ready to let it go. Maybe you’re disappointed in him; perhaps he’s let you down in some way that really hurts.
Maybe it’s all of these. Whatever it is, begin there with him.
You don’t need to start spending time with him where you think you should be. You can start where you are.
Could it be he’s been waiting to hear from the real you?
Or that he knows all about what you don’t want to let go and he’s waiting with grace to help you?
And could it be he’s been waiting a long time for you to speak with him about your disappointment?
You may be closer to him than you think.
Question: What helps you spend time alone with the Lord? If you use a specific routine, devotional, or anything else that you’ve found beneficial in growing closer to him, let us know by leaving a comment here.
Great article. The thing that helps me most is that I ACCEPT that He loves me and meets me right where I am. I ACCEPT that He longs to spend time with me and wants to show His wonderful goodness to me by giving me His wisdom and counsel. The thing that has hindered is a fear that He will ask me to do something that I can’t. So I ACCEPT again that He loves me right where I am and He does not want to load me down with responsibility.
Thanks for the article.
If God was my husband id b sleeping on the couch. Right now i cant even imagine why God would speak to me bc
Hes allowed things in my life which i find incredibky unfair. Why do i want to talk about it. I mean i dont agree im like you didnt have to allow that. No one else gets this circumstance except ppl he must really dislike. So i feel unfavored by God its really hard to talk to someone you feel let you dont or must not like you too much to begin with. Else why you?
I mean let you down..sorry.
What helps me to pray is being in a attitude of prayer all day long. I read my bible and talk to God through out the day. When ever I feel uncentered I just pray for help, and I also talk to a trusted Christian friend.
I set my mobile phone to ring after one hour, I set it on silent mode, then I start praying. I also use a Christian calendar. When I pray an hour a day I draw a little square around that day. When I pray half an hour, I draw half a square. When I see the days when I did not pray, that makes me sad and more decided to do it.
Hey Josh, I enjoy seeking God as often and regularly as I can because I know He is waiting there and always has only good things for me in His written word and in His spoken words in my heart.
It helps me to think of Him in the way I visit with my friends. When I take time to visit them at their homes and ask to be in their presence face to face, they are there waiting to be with me. They don’t just show up and stare at me, they engage me and interact with me because they are alive, just like Jesus! In the same way we do this with our friends we see, because we care about them, we do this with Jesus who we cannot physically see.
I try not to beat myself up about “how many times” a day or week (or whatever) I visit together with Jesus because that’s legalistic and kills the spirit of our love. He knows my heart and the Bible says we don’t even know our own hearts !! It’s not always about quanity but quality.
In the end I try to stay with my regular quiet times not so much for Him, but because He knows I am the one that needs it. The Bible says ‘He is a rewarder of those who earnestly seek Him.” In the end, the reason for my seeking to be spiritually disciplined isn’t for discipline in itself, it’s for the sake of my relationship with Jesus which I treasure above all else.
Josh, thankyou again for a timely article. Gods grace directs us to Him, he so much desires us to speak and commune with Him. I love using two devotionals. Spurgeon’s Morning & Evening, and Oswald Chambers ‘My utmost to His highest’. These two men inspire me to talk to God where ever I am. Even If it is the call for HELP.
Hope you had a great weekend.