Whether you are new to christianity, or have been following Christ for a long time, this post can help you find ways to connect with Christ.
If you were to ask anyone what the key to a heathy relationship would be, you would get answers like effective / healthy communication, trust, love, honesty, etc. But more importantly, how do we even begin to attain those qualities? The answer is through spending time with that individual. The same is for your relationship with Christ. By spending time with Him, the relationship deepens and trust, love, honesty, and good communication are built. The Bible says to abide in the Lord (John 15:4), but how? Below are 4 basic ways to spend time with God. Note: This list is in no particular order.
1. You spend time with God through prayer / meditation.
Your best friend did not become your best friend entirely by accident. No matter the story, I am sure it required conversation in some way. Talking to people is a great way to spend time and get to know them, and the same is true with God. Prayer is how we verbally communicate with God. Through prayer we talk to God about our highs and our lows, our joys and sorrows. Prayer is not only how we communicate our desires and petitions, but also our thankfulness to God. The extra pro about prayer is that you can do it anytime and anywhere. If we are to pray without ceasing (1 Thess. 5:17), that means we are to be in constant conversation with the Lord. This means that your short prayers in the grocery store are just as important as your long prayers down on your knees. And if Jesus, perfect and directly connected to God, needed to pray, then we, sinful from birth, need to as well.
Meditation, on the other hand, is how we listen to what God has to say to us. Meditation, contrary to popular belief, is not sitting with the mind blank, but rather it is focused thought. In meditating on God's Word, we can get a full picture of what God wants to say to us. Plus, quieting the mind in this way allows for you to be able to hear God's whisper. A conversation is a two way street; both parties talk and exchange ideas. Prayer and Meditation is how we do that with God. Here are some Bible verses that talk about prayer and hearing from God: 1 Thess. 5:16-18; Phil. 4:6; Psalm 1:2;77:11-12;119;15,148;145:5,18; 1 Kings 19:11-13; Jeremiah 29:12; 33:3; John 10:27; Mark 1:35.
2. You spend time with God through Bible study.
Simply put, Bible study is exactly what it says; it is the study of the Bible. The Bible is God's word, and is another way that He speaks to you. Bible study can be done by yourself or in a group; my suggestion is that you do both. Others can often provide an insight that we missed, but it is important to have your own foundation as well. When you read the Bible, God tells you both about yourself and about Himself. What's key, however, is not just reading, but also researching, writing, and memorizing. I'm talking about real Bible study. With those added steps, one can build an understanding of God, His word, and how He desires for us to live. The Bible is more than a good book; it's transformational. Rick Warren in The Purpose Driven Life mentions, "It is impossible to be God's friend apart from knowing what he says. You can't love God unless you know him, and you can't know him without knowing his Word. The Bible says God 'revealed himself to Samuel through his word.' [1 Sam. 3:20-21] God still uses that method today." I encourage you to spend time with God, by learning about Him through His word, inviting Him to be with you in the process, and letting Him speak to you. You can't be in God's presence, accept Him, and remain the same. Here is some of what the Bible has to say about itself, God's word: John 1:1; Hebrews 4:12; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; Isaiah 40:8; Psalm 119:9,11,130; John 15:7; Proverbs 30:5.
3. You spend time with God through service.
I don't mean service like a church service, but rather, community service; doing something for someone else. Serving others is one of the ways that we can live out God's word, and living out God's word will bring us closer to Him. How is service part of living out God's word? I am glad you asked. First, in the Bible we are called to be like Christ and to follow His example; He was a servant and we too are to be servants. Additionally, He said that the second greatest command is to love our neighbors and that all the laws are built upon this (along with loving God; Mathew 22:36-40). One way we can give our neighbors some good lovin' is by helping them with their needs; humbling ourself to serve them in the best way we can. Bonus pro in helping others: you can spread the gospel at the same time! Jesus met the needs of the people on earth, but He did not stop there, He ministered to them. Folks are more likely to listen to the gospel when their needs are met. Would you want to hear about the cross and revelation, if you haven't eaten a solid meal in three days? I think not. Lastly, when we serve others, we are serving God Himself, and I'd say that constitutes spending time with Him! 😉 The bible says that what we've done to the least of the people here on earth, we have done to Christ (Matthew 25: 31-40). Here is some of what the bible has to say about service: Proverbs 14:21; Hebrews 13:1-3; Romans 13:8-10; 15:1-2; Isaiah 58:10-11; Luke 6:31-36,38; 22:27.
4. You spend time with God through Worship.
Worship is the act of glorifying God, the one true God. We are expressing our happiness with God to Him because of who He is, what He says, and what He does. With this definition of worship in mind, we can do this anywhere and everywhere; it is not limited to a church service. Expression of our love, affection, and adoration for God can be done through singing and prayer, yes, but it can also be done while washing the dishes and vacuuming the carpet. Real worship is pleasing to God and draws us near to him. It is deeper than just expressing kindness. Genuine worship requires a surrendering of the heart to God, and a recognition of His greatness outside of your current circumstance. Keep in mind that worship is a response to God's magnificence and has nothing to do with you; the praise is ALL about Him. In addition to that, although worship can be done by oneself or in a group of people, it is deeply personal. No one can worship God for you; it is between you and Him, even if you are worshipping among 4,000 other people. Here is some of what the Bible says about worship: Exodus 20:3;34:14; Luke 4:8; Psalm 29:2;63:3-5;99:5;100:4;150:6; Isaiah 12:5; Hebrews 12:8; John 4:23; Revelation 4:11.
I hope this was helpful to you as you journey with Christ whether it was new information, or a healthy reminder. God wants to know you deeply and loves to spend time with you. Ask yourself these questions : In what ways can I increase spending time with God? What am I doing to strengthen my relationship with Christ that I should continue doing? In what ways has my life improved since seeking the Lord?
P.S. If you have any questions about this post or in general, leave me a comment or email me directly at email@example.com. And if you know someone who this post may help, go ahead and share it! Let's all grow together 🤗