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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

What Do You Do in a Daily "Time Alone" with God?

I have met lots of Christians who claim to have a daily "time alone" with God. Many of them tell me of playing Bible roulette. They take their Bibles and drop them open. They say, "Lord, what do you have for me today?" They read the first verse their eyes come on. That is God's word for them for that day.

While I cannot say that God cannot have the Bible drop open and give you His word for that day, I also cannot say that this is the best way to have a time alone with God. Most of these Bible gamblers will admit that they have had to drop their Bibles several times on some days to get what they thought was a "word from God." Let's admit it: This is more about superstition than God's sovereignty. You might as well start flipping coins to discover God's word.

The best time alone with God has a plan. This plan leaves room for God to intervene. You may have a devotional book or you may be like me and read a book of the Bible through for your daily reading. I have found the latter to be the most amazing evidence of a sovereign God. Some times I have a special challenge in my personal walk with the Lord or my church's walk with the Lord. I pray about these challenges during these times with God. Invariably, on the day I must have the answer to my prayer, my answer is found in my daily reading. How cool is that?

God knows what I am reading. He knows what I have been praying. He knows the answer to my prayers. He gives them on the day that I need them in the very scripture I am reading that day. So, I read through a book of the Bible as part of my time alone with God.

Sometimes I will read a passage. Sometimes, like yesterday, only one verse. I have to think through what God is saying in each verse. I look at each word and ask what that word really means. Yesterday I started reading the book of John again. I read only the first verse. I got hung up on "in the beginning." I thought about before the beginning. I thought about God alone. I thought about the amazing event called creation. I thought about Him being called the Word. I thought about what that has meant to me. I thought about all the conjectures mankind has produced to explain the beginning. I thought about how sure we are that we know better than God. I couldn't get past thinking about the first verse.

Prayer should be a part of your time alone with God. The person praying realizes that there are things that God can do better than he can. He also realizes that there are things he can't do that God can. 

So, I prayed. Some of it has to do with praising God as the creator. Some of my prayers had to do with His creation. If you have a problem with something that is manufactured, you should go to the manufacturer. I asked God to fix some of His creation that was broken. I thanked Him for continuing to fix me.

I don't typically spend hours in my time alone with God. I believe that making that a requirement will keep me from having that time alone. I promise myself I will spend at least five minutes though I admit I seldom stop at five minutes. The commitment to have a time alone is more important to me than long it is.

I commit my day to God before I conclude my prayer. It is His day that He gave to me to be used for His glory. It was a glorious day. 

---Just like today. I have to stop now so I can have time alone with God.

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