A note from Janet: One of my great blessings in 2020 was the addition of Trace Kennedy to our ministry team. Trace is the Brand Manager for the JanetDenison.org brand and has been an invaluable asset as we expand the outreach of our ministry. Trace will be guest writing for my blog for a couple of weeks while I am away. I know you will enjoy her thoughts. Thank you, Trace, for everything you do!
All month Janet has been talking about making time for God to replenish your soul. His timing is perfect; it was a convicting reminder for me.
I have to be honest: since I’ve started working full time, my schedule has shifted significantly. I’m much busier than in recent years. As a result, my quiet time has suffered. I study God’s word a lot because it’s part of my job as well as part of my responsibility as a Bible study leader.
But unencumbered, dedicated time alone with God?
That has suffered. So has my soul.
What might be keeping you so busy that consistent, wholehearted time with God is suffering?
You could be a mom committed to making sure your kids know the Bible only to find that you never seem to have time to read it for yourself.
You may serve as a Bible study leader or Sunday school teacher who devotes hours each week preparing your lessons, but there just doesn’t seem to be enough time to be still and know God.
You may even work for a ministry, getting paid to serve daily, yet, at the end of the day, you somehow never encountered your Boss.
Time with the Lord is essential to good spiritual health
Just like our bodies need consistent, quality exercise and nutrition to stay healthy, our souls need daily, quality time with the Lord. He created us for relationship with him. John 15:5 says, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
We aren’t meant to do anything separate from God, but how often do we find ourselves too busy to spend time with him, and then, by default, we do most of our day without him?
Intention doesn’t equal action
A. W. Tozer said, “To desire revival . . . and at the same time to neglect prayer and devotion is to wish one way and walk another.”
Said another way, while we may have great intentions, if our actions don’t match our intent, we won’t get the results we want.
For example, simply knowing we need to make better lifestyle choices doesn’t get us in shape. It’s when we create a plan and follow through with it regularly and consistently that we begin to notice the positive changes occurring in our bodies.
We can’t wish our bodies into shape, just like we can’t wish for our relationship with God to deepen into something meaningful and transformative.
We truly won’t reap the benefits of that relationship until we develop a plan that not only works in our schedules but is also something we can easily execute daily.
Make a plan you can stick to
For the past decade or so, I worked as a personal trainer. Recognizing that lack of time was the greatest excuse people made not to exercise, the fitness industry began exploring the benefits of shorter, more intense workouts.
In “Why Efficient Workouts are Best,” Ryan Shepperd, MSEd says, “Keeping the time commitment low will help make the workout easily attainable, no matter how busy your schedule may be.”
Just like short blocks of daily exercise can add up to significant strength and health gains, short blocks of time spent with God in worship, prayer, and study can add up to significant spiritual growth and revitalized joy.
Build your plan
I’ve found that the following plan works for me. Feel free to use it as a model for your own plan:
1. Morning: Simply rest in the presence of God (5–15 minutes)
Come to him with no agenda, no requests, and no expectations other than seeking his face. Praise him simply for who he is. Then submit your day to him, including your calendar, your family, and your work—anything that consumes your time.
“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord” (Jeremiah 29:13–14).
2. Midday: Meditate on any Scripture, people, or sin he may have placed on your heart that morning (5–15 minutes)
Seek his forgiveness, pray for that person(s), or study his word. Then again, submit the rest of your day to his will.
“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans” (Proverbs 16:3).
3. Any time you’re waiting: Give thanks, pray, and listen.
On your drive home from work, or as you wait in the carpool line for your kids, or while you’re preparing dinner or taking an afternoon walk, give thanks to him for anything he accomplished through you, pray for those he puts on your heart, tell him about any concerns, struggles, or needs you may have, and then be quiet and listen for his voice.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6).
4. Before bed: End your day in gratitude.
Before you go to bed, maybe while brushing your teeth, straightening up the house, or while lying in bed, end your day in gratitude. Thank God for walking through the day with you, respond to anything he may place on your heart, and then go to sleep and rest in his presence.
“Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs” (Psalm 100:2).
For me, these four small, intentional blocks of time have added up to significant, transformative time with the Lord each day. The benefits? My days are less stressful, my joy remains consistent, and my desire to spend as much time as possible with God continues to deepen.
Any time spent with the Creator of the universe will result in good fruit, “for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things” (Psalm 107:9).
For more resources to help you create intentional space for God, please click on the following links: