Updated: May 7, 2020
As I finished the last portion of my Bible reading plan, I finally admitted to myself that I was not enjoying my time with God. Rather than finding joy in this special time of the day, I felt distracted and bored, like I was doing homework assigned by a professor. I pondered the question, “Is there a way to make this more enjoyable?”
Have you posed this question over the past few weeks? About attending Zoom University? A newfound hobby? Being sheltered in place?
Like me, you may have also had this thought about your time with God. A plethora of reasons can cause us not to enjoy this time.
How then can we renew our craving for our time with God?
REMEMBER WHO YOU'RE SPENDING TIME WITH
In the busyness (or these days, the monotony) of our daily lives, we can easily forget that, when we spend time reading the Bible, we are spending time with the God of the universe.
“The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17
The one who is waiting to spend time with you is the Mighty Warrior we read about in the Old Testament, the one who created and sustains all parts of our world. Zephaniah reminds us that this God takes great delight in us, He loves us, and rejoices over us when we spend time with Him.
When we read the Bible, we are reminded who God is.
Our generation is known as “the most distracted generation in history.” The amount of social media and mindless scrolling we participate in is astronomic and it often distracts us from the most valuable time of the day.
“...let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.” Hebrews 12:1b-2
The author of Hebrews passionately encourages his readers to get rid of anything that would distract them from their relationship with God, and then to entirely focus on Jesus.
What are things that distract you during your time with God? How could eliminating those distractions help you more fully enjoy that time? Not having your phone with you? This is a must for me during my time with God. Maybe even establishing a specific plan?
Whatever it is, making practical goals to throw off the things hindering your time with God can lead to loving it so much more.
DO WHAT YOU ENJOY
We live in a culture saturated by expectations of high efficiency and productivity. Our Bible reading plans often don't escape these expectations. We are all unique in how we learn and relate. Feeling like you must adhere exactly to a reading plan can turn reading the Bible into a box you must check off your list.
“O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” Psalm 63:1
David, the most famous King in the Bible, expresses his desperate desire to connect with God. He compares his need for time with God to being stuck in the desert with no water, earnestly seeking the satisfaction of quenching his thirst.
Imagine if we all had a mindset like David’s – desperate to spend even a small amount of time with God in his Word?
For you, how do you best connect with God?
Reading plans and routines are helpful, but the pressure to cram your daily time with God into these molds can quickly suck the enjoyment out of this time.
As you center your time around the Bible and prayer, also learn how you personally connect with God the most.
Here are a few things you could try:
Journaling while you read
A prayer walk in nature
Worshipping through music
Using an app to memorize scripture
Imagine how enjoyable your time with God might be if you were to discover the ways you enjoy it most?
This week, spend thirty minutes reflecting on the glorious God who you get to spend time with. Eliminate one thing that distracts from your time with Him and explore ways you most enjoy time in the Word and prayer!
Discuss these questions with a friend or spiritual leader to help apply today's reading:
What are some reasons you may not be enjoying your time with God?
What 1-2 things can you do this week to make your time with God more enjoyable?
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