God created us and our souls long, even ache, to connect with Him.
So, when a person realizes their need for God and asks Him into his or her heart, new questions arise: How do I spend time with God? Can I actually get to know Him?
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In reality, even lifelong followers of Christ might not really know God.
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This excerpt from “Practicing His Presence” by Charlie Riggs, a longtime director with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, reveals practical steps to actually get to know God.
Read below to learn how you can talk to Him, and how to discern when He’s speaking to you through the Holy Spirit.
4 Ways to Spend Time with God
We can sing “Oh, How I Love Jesus” and yet enjoy very little reality of His companionship. When you love a person, you want to spend time with that individual. Likewise, you get to know a person through close, intimate fellowship. But how do we spend time with our heavenly Father? By and through the following means:
- Reading the Bible and other good Christian literature
- Regular prayer and Bible study, alone and with others
- Regular worship with other believers
- Listening to Christian TV, radio, or devotional and teaching tapes (or podcasts)
In addition to all that I have mentioned, the habit of starting each day with the Lord devotionally has helped me tremendously. I am consistently learning to practice His presence throughout the waking hours of the day.
>> Read Billy Graham’s daily devotions.
Get Alone with God
The Quiet Time is not an end in itself. It is meant to develop the habit of starting the day with the Lord and then consciously walking with Him throughout the day. The amount of time isn’t as important as the quality of time because its purpose is simply to initiate the daily walk. I have found that five to ten minutes locked in with God is worth more than an hour of drifting in my reading and prayer time.
Personally, I like to spend from 30 minutes to 60 minutes at the start of the day. I like to walk and pray after I have spent time in reading and meditation in the Word. When finished, I don’t say, “Goodbye, Lord. I’ll see you tomorrow.” Rather, I say, “Lord, let’s go. What exciting things are going to happen in my life today?” I find myself communing with God many times during the day.
The goal in the Quiet Time is to get acquainted with our heavenly Father—to enjoy His presence, peace, joy, wisdom, strength, forgiveness, guidance and much more. In a lifetime, we cannot know all there is to know about God, but we can enjoy His presence every waking moment of the rest of our lives. This is the abiding relationship. God said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5, NIV).
Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains [abides] in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me, you can do nothing” (John 15:5, NIV). It is very important to know that our lives will be empty and fruitless without the Lord.
Remember, we get to know a person by spending time together. All that we know about God is found in the Bible. The Holy Spirit is our Teacher as we read the Bible. Through His living Word, He speaks to us; and through prayer, we speak to Him. It is a dialogue.
Charlie Riggs (1916-2008) worked for the Navigators before joining the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in 1954, eventually serving as director of counseling and follow-up from 1957-88 while also serving as Crusade director for many meetings. At his passing, it was said that he had taught more people how to share their faith in Christ than anyone who had ever lived.
Searching for peace? Find it in Jesus Christ.
>>A list from Charlie Riggs on 15 ways to spend time with God.