This is somewhat a PFP, but soon I feel I’ll need to announce that less, because I can feel God transforming the tone of this platform.
That out of the way let’s talk…
If you’re someone who already actively makes time for God, and spends time with Him consistently, then well done, but still, keep reading.
There is something in here that God has for someone you know, and it is your responsibility to share it with them.
So make sure once you’ve read it, and God shows you exactly what you need to show them, you share it with them.
Now getting into the post…
Today I led a short bible study titled ‘Using your free time wisely: Getting closer to God’.
Now while the emphasis is not necessarily on the fact that it’s only in our ‘free time’ that we should attempt to grow in God, the point here is simply Making Time for God.
So truthfully, for many people who may not already actively spend enough time with Him, yes, it may start out that you find you only want to fit ‘God stuff’ in when you’re less busy – but I am sure that once you begin studying Him more, and growing in Him, you’ll understand that He deserves much more than just your left-over hours of the day.
Now let’s look at something – many of us will proudly and openly say that we love God. This is great.
However moving on to knowing God, it’s likely that fewer of us are able to claim this so boldly.
So I asked during bible study today, ‘How can you love a God you don’t know?’
I mean it’s already one thing that we don’t see Him, but then to not really know much about Him either – how is it possible to love Him?
Well here’s what we raised in our session – yes, we can still love our God without knowing Him properly.
Well, it’s because we know of Him, we hear of the things He does, we are cultured and steered by peers and parents to believe in Him, we ourselves are direct beneficiaries of His kindness and mercy and grace and so much more, and most simply, because we are recipients of His love. The bible tells us that we are able to love Him, because He first loved us – (1 John 4:19). All these things enable us to love God, or rather, have love for God, despite not necessarily knowing Him.
So here’s the thing, knowing of God, is not knowing Him. Knowing of Him is not understanding Him, ‘getting’ Him, relating with Him, knowing where He’s coming from.
Friend, knowing of God is therefore probably good enough to love Him superficially but it’s hard for it to go any further than that.
And the thing is, I’m sure you desire more.
I’m sure you desire to worship God in spirit and in truth, and honour Him with your life, and Love Him with all your heart as the bible says in Matthew 22:37.
I’m sure you yearn to love Him deeper and grow in Him more than ever before.
Which is why we need to make time for God.
And in making time for God we’re studying His word, we’re opening our hearts and ears to Him, and we’re drawing closer and closer, day by day.
In drawing closer to Him, we’re learning more about Him, about His mind, about what pleases and displeases Him, and essentially we are walking and living in a way that exudes a true deep Love and Reverence for God the Father…
Now I like practicality, so I’ll share a few ways how we can begin to spend more time with God, and doing the things of God.
Remembering that this is a PFP, please understand that these ideas are simply suggestions of resources, as well as people/ministers whose teachings have personally agreed with my spirit and have benefitted my walk with God.
There are also some suggestions included below that were raised by other individuals at the bible study today.
I want you to note that this list isn’t exhaustive, nor a guide to being the perfect Christian (if that exists at all), but rather it provides (hopefully) relatable and realistic ways for you to take an active step forward in Getting Closer to your God.
Before anything on the list –
The first step is to make time for God!
Whether you start by dedicating five minutes of your lunch break everyday, or by deciding to get up thirty minutes earlier each day – decide a realistic (but worthwhile) period you want to set aside for God, set it aside, spend that time with Him and just see how it goes.
Now here you are, different things you can begin to incorporate into your life, to get closer to God:
Watch videos of teachings, preachings, sermons, topics, bible discussions and so on.
Swap that music video, or reality TV show for a word of God – initially you won’t really want to do it, but just click on it (the God vid), and you’ll see how your day becomes transformed by the presence of God.
Examples: I follow One Church LA on YouTube and enjoy teachings by Pastor Toure Roberts and Sarah Jakes Roberts.
Also on YouTube, Ify Alexis has a range of messages/sermons, as well as a young women’s ministry called Love Limitless.
Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat – seek that Christian video/word and click it instead of skipping past it.
Read the bible – Joshua 1:8.
Now this is one of the most obvious ones, but possibly the hardest to know how to do.
A suggestion I have is to select a book in the bible, skim through to see how many chapters there are, and then create a reading plan for yourself with an aim of when you would like to read it all by e.g. one week, a few weeks, a month.
Tip: Always ensure to pray before reading – for God to give you understanding of His word and ability to apply it to life where appropriate.
If you don’t have a physical book bible, it’s easy to download any available bible app on to your phone, or access one online – I often use BibleGateway for my online bible, easy to navigate.
Use The Bible App.
There are many reading plans on this App that encourage a structure to read the bible.
Look through and pick one/some that suit you, and begin them. Once you’re done, choose another, or you may at this point want to do the above, and create your own reading schedule of a particular book in the bible.
I’ve enjoyed many of the plans written by Joyce Meyer.
Read articles on Christian blogs/platforms from people of relatable backgrounds.
This could be someone at a similar stage of life to you e.g. student-student, or someone at the stage you’re aspiring to reach next e.g. single-married; whatever you find resonates well with you for whatever topic/topics you’re seeking to learn about.
Examples: Hopefully this platform (Untainted Word) plays a helpful part in being one of the platforms you can come to, and learn.
Love Limitless as mentioned above.
My friends have also enjoyed and shared with me words from desiringgod.org.
These are words (and in some cases prayers too) that encourage you for the day, and also give a few scriptures for you to read as well.
Examples: UCB’s Word for Today was suggested at bible study today.
But you can also type in ‘devotionals’ into Google, and see what it brings you.
The Bible App above also has many of these.
This is another obvious one and a very very important one but sometimes a difficult one when it isn’t a common practice. A suggestion raised today was to set a timer and don’t stop praying until it rings. You may only set it for 2 minutes initially, but just start with something, and gradually increase the time.
What to say when you pray? Friend, I’m not telling you what to say, I’ll just remind you that God is YOUR Father, you are HIS child, therefore be free with Him and just have an open and honest conversation with Him, and hey, don’t forget to listen back for Him speaking too.
‘Alone-time’ with God; Dates with God.
This could be dinner for two – where the other party is God, or a walk in the park, or a sit-down in the coffee shop – dedicate moments of pure ‘alone-time’, listening-time, with God.
You’ll be surprised how much He’s been waiting to share with you – He just needs you to give Him those moments.
Now go ahead and choose a couple…
I encourage each of us to select Prayer by default – as we know that this is key, and the bible does say to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17), so let’s try not to go another day without a prayer, from today onwards.
From the rest of this list, I hope there’ll be at least one or two more things that you’ll be willing to try out – starting today!!
I want to end by saying this…
Having shared so many different suggestions, and opened you up to many different platforms being led by other people in the Christian faith, it is important that we always always always seek out the truth. I’m not saying question everything you read or hear, but simply pray beforehand that God will direct you to resources that will teach sound doctrine, and enrich your spirit in the way He desires for it to be!
I hope you’re excited for a new walk and a new level of Loving and Knowing God!
(Please please feel free to talk to me – let me know how this goes, how you find some of these resources and share with the rest of us some other things that maybe work well for you.)
Keep the Faith, Don’t Stop Believing,
God Bless you.
*Disclaimer: (and I chuckle as I write this, but it’s important that I do) I haven’t been paid to ‘advertise’ any of these ministries/platforms/websites/resources. These are genuine suggestions from myself of resources that I personally use and feel benefit my walk with God.*