01 May Personal Time with God
Many of us have made the statement, “I want to read my Bible but I don’t know where to start.” Maybe you’re like me and you know where to start but you wrestle with not knowing what to dig into during your quiet time? I recently found myself in this place and I began to ask God to show me where He wanted me to be in His Word. You see, I think the most important thing a disciple of Jesus can do to strengthen their personal relationship with God is to dig into God’s word but sometimes I just don’t know what I should be reading. Then God showed me something that changed the way I approach my quiet time. It’s simple, even stupid simple.
Here’s what God put in my heart: I give you a Bible study every Sunday through the Pastor I’ve put in your life.
Of course He was referring to Pastor Daniel. Every week Pastor Daniel speaks an anointed, encouraging word into our hearts. We are foolish if we don’t take his teaching seriously and use it do what it is meant to do: to give us a heart that seeks earnestly after Jesus. Are we digging deeper into Pastor Daniel’s teaching during the week or have we forgotten it by Tuesday afternoon. Here are some practical things that have helped me with my personal bible study…
- Come early. What do I mean? Are you making it into the auditorium for the worship part of the experience? Do you serve until Pastor takes the stage and then make your way into the auditorium to hear the message? Do you routinely arrive late to service and miss most of worship? Do you engage in worship or are you just watching a performance? We understand that worship is all about God – giving God His due praise. It’s about thanksgiving and about placing God at the top of our priorities. But something amazing happens to us when we worship. We prepare our hearts and minds to hear from Him so we can hear what He speaks through our Pastor. If you want to “get more” out of a message, engage in worship.
- Sit Close. Have you ever wondered why the ushers fill the auditorium from the front to the back? There are some practical safety-related reasons, but the main reason is we want to encourage each person to have an expectant heart, ready to receive a word from God. It’s all about attitude. When we come ready and expectant, with notebook in hand, sitting on the edge of our seat ready to take some notes it shows that we are actively pursuing a word from the Lord. Could you show me your notes from last week? If you can’t, you’re just spectating. I want to challenge you to go from spectating to participating. Here is a method I use to take notes during a service.
Draw this on a page in your notebook:
|Date, Message Title, Name of Preacher|
|Scripture||Questions to Ponder|
This way you can record all the scripture Pastor Daniel refers to in the message, you can write down all the questions you feel God is asking you and you can record all the points from the sermon. Now, during the week you can refer back to all the scripture references and dig into God’s word. A good study Bible helps but it isn’t necessary to get started. Pick one scripture and memorize it that week. Maybe it’s the key verse from the message or maybe it’s just something that stood out to you. In a blog post from 2014 Rick Warren listed the following attributes of memorizing scripture:
- It’s the number one tool for resisting temptation.
- It helps you make wise decisions.
- It strengthens you when you’re under stress.
- It comforts you when you’re sad.
- It helps you witness to unbelievers.
Seal it in prayer. Are you leaving the auditorium before Pastor Daniel or your campus Pastor has dismissed you? If so, you are robbing yourself of an amazing blessing. Something supernatural happens when you seal God’s word in prayer. The presence of the Holy Spirit is so prevalent during prayer at the end of a worship experience you can almost physically feel it. How many of us can say we felt like Pastor Daniel was praying specifically for us? How many of us can say we remember when God spoke to us so clearly at the end of a message that we could almost audibly hear it. Let’s not rob ourselves of that. Sit tight for just a few more moments and receive a word from God. A lot of times God will give me what I need to grow in an area of my life during prayer at the end of a service.