by Shelby Turner
Most of my days rush past in a blur. I am excessively busy from the moment my alarm blares its unwelcome tune just as the sun rises to the moment I tuck four little blonde babies in their beds as the moon trades places with the sun. Busyness leaves no moment of my day untouched. I can guess that you feel the same way about your days.
When I’ve checked every item off of my career and homemaking to-do list, I collapse on the couch. My eyes droop. My breathing slows. My body relaxes. Finally, the day is done. But, I start to have the feeling that I’ve forgotten something… something important. I scan all my mental lists. Check, check, check. I’ve done it all. So, what is it? What am I missing?
Then, I realize that in the busyness of the day, I’ve not taken even a moment to sit quietly before the Lord. I may have sent a slingshot prayer up here and there, but was I ever really with the Lord today? “No” is the answer more often than I’d like it to be. That feeling that I’ve forgotten something is actually a tug from the Holy Spirit to spend time in His presence.
Have you had days like this? Have you felt that tug of the Holy Spirit? If you, like me, want to prioritize time spent with God in your day, then you’re in the right place, friend. Let’s work on this together.
First, being with God may sound intimidating and if it does, know that I, too, have been intimidated by it. One of the biggest barriers to spending time with God for all of us is feeling like we don’t know what to do or say when we spend time with Him. So, here’s a step-by-step guide on how you can spend time with God. I encourage you to read to the end of this blog, then come back and do each step. A good goal would be to spend about five minutes per step.
Step 1: Find a Quiet Place
Whether or not you can find a place that is literally quiet right now, you can choose to quiet your thoughts and the distractions around you so that you can focus on God and His Word. Starting with prayer helps calm my thoughts. Often, my prayers are a bit like a brain dump, with me telling God every thought that’s been racing through my head. Releasing my racing thoughts to Him brings calm to my soul and puts me in a position to meditate on Him and His Word rather than being constantly distracted.
Step 2: Linger in Scripture
For me, one key to understanding and applying scripture has been not to rush my time spent in it. I’ve learned to linger. I read passages slowly. I read them over and over. I read them, pause to consider the questions that arose as I read, then read them again. I have taught myself to just hang out with God’s Word. It may be awkward to do this at first, but the awkwardness will pass, and you’ll begin to see there’s so much to gain from unrushed time in God’s Word.
For today, let’s hang out in Psalm 103:1-5.
Step 3: Make it Applicable
Before you end your time with God, stop to consider what your next steps are. God’s Word transforms us into the image of Christ.
What did you see in Scripture today that challenged you? How can you apply it to become more like Christ? Usually, at this point of my time with God, I find myself back in prayer again. I’m confessing the ways I’ve fallen short of the standard of Christ, and I’m asking God to strengthen me, mature me, and give me the grace to grow in Christlikeness. No application of Scripture can be done apart from God’s supernatural work in us.
What I’m taking away from the Scripture today is that I don’t want to forget the benefits of the Lord. I want to bless Him and remember all He has done for me every day. I’m asking God to help me make space in my days to remember how He has forgiven, healed, redeemed, and satisfied me.
How about you? What are you taking away from your time lingering in Psalm 103:1-5 today? Whatever it is, take it to the Lord in prayer and ask Him to help you apply it to your life.
Now, I want to invite you to take some time right now to spend with the Lord. Why not push pause on your to-do list, take 15 minutes of your day, and follow the three steps above?