“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It straightens us out and teaches us to do what is right. It is God's way of preparing us in every way, fully equipped for every good thing God wants us to do.” (2 Tim 3:16-17 NLT)
The Bible is the best selling book of all time. It is probably also one of the least read book by people who attend church. We live in generation that is completely distracted with blackberry's, droids, iphones, game systems, TV, youtube, and much more! How does a time alone with God fit into our busy lives?
One of the most important needs that we have as followers of Christ is to spend time daily with our Creator. The Bible is living and active and is not meant for the bookshelf! If the only time you open the Bible is at church, you are starving spiritually! I have heard statements like this in the church, “I’m wanting to change but reading the Bible is too hard.” or my all-time favorite, “I am switching churches because I am not being fed spiritually!” Newsflash! A follower of Christ is responsible for their own spiritual feeding of God's Word! Where in the Bible does it say that church leaders are the only way a person is to receive spiritual growth? It is your personal relationship with God, so make it personal!
D.L. Moody said: “The scriptures were not given for our information but our transformation.”
How to have a time alone with God:
1. Have a specific time: Best time? Some are morning people and some are more awake in the evening. The important fact is to have your TAG time when you are at your best! The “I will do it when I have time” approach never happens!
2. Have a specific place: Quiet, private, consistent. Find a place that is free from distractions (Turn TV off, silence the cell phone).
3. Use a good process: Start by asking God to speak to you. Spend approximately equal time in prayer and Bible study.
SOAP Bible Study Method (Wayne Cordeiro started this S.O.A.P Method, New Hope Community Church).
S – Scripture: Read the scripture of the passage of scripture. Write down the verse that impacts you in your journal or a verse that “sticks out to you” from a longer passage. Do not just skim it but meditate and think about each word of the verse(s). It is important to let scripture interpret scripture as you read. Read until you hear from the Lord. "Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path." (Psalms 119:105 NLT)
O – Observe: Ask the questions about the background of the scripture. Who was the author? Who was the author writing to? How would I explain the scripture to another person? Write out the verse in your own words to try to understand it further. The Holy Spirit illuminates our heart to interpret God’s Word. Context is important! Interpret a passage in the light of its context. Context is the portions of scripture surrounding the passage being studied, both before and after it.
A – Apply: How do you live out what the verse(s) in your personal life? Be specific. Memorize specific verses that stick out to you! (Proverbs 7:1-3, Psalm 119:11). It is not a matter of if we can memorize but of becoming disciplined to do it. We all have memorized song lyrics and movie quotes! Deposit God's Word in your life to become more like Christ! Make it personal! Ask the question, "How can I make this verse(s) a part of my life today?"
P – Prayer
Write down specific prayer requests about your personal needs. Keep your prayer requests written down in a journal to go back to in the future. Meditate on the verse(s), read and reread. Meditate on it throughout the day as you apply it to your life! "I honor and love your commands. I meditate on your decrees." Psalm 119:48 (NLT).
“You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water. 2 I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. 3 Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. 4 I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. 5 I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you. 6 On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. 7 Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. 8 I cling to you; your right hand upholds me." Psalm 63:1-8
I encourage you to spend time daily in God's Word. Pursue Christ and know His heart and live it each day!