I picked up my Bible while asking God, “Where do You want me to read in Your Bible today?” Before I finished my question, His answer flashed in my mind.
“Just pick a PLACE. I’ll meet you ANY PLACE and ANY TIME!”
I was shocked me and thrilled at the same time. You may ask, “How can you be sure God was speaking to you, and that it was not just your vivid imagination?” That’s a valid question. But all I can tell you is, I just know. How? I don’t know how, but I just know when God speaks- it’s that simple. Let’s review what He said to me, because this is for you too.
He is so excited to meet with us,
JUST PICK A PLACE, ANY PLACE.
Remember, I was asking God where I should read in His Bible. Every part of His Word is alive and life giving – even the parts you don’t understand or that seem boring. It’s not just reading or studying the Bible that God wants from us. Reading or studying the Bible without an encounter with God is pointless.
The purpose of the Written Word is the reveal the Living Word (John1:14).
The Pharisees were the leading theologians of the day during Jesus’ time. They memorized great portions of the Word, yet they did not recognize the Living Word of God when He was standing right in front of them! So just pick a book, a chapter, a psalm and remember the purpose – is to meet God in this place. He knows if you are really looking to meet with Him or – just reading.
What’s the best time to meet with God? What He told me was,
Scripture does reveal that God seems partial to the early mornings. It’s the time when most things are still without a lot of distraction. It’s also the first part of our working day. Meeting God in the first part of your day is a good way of honoring Him and seeking His kingdom and will first.
“In the morning, O Lord Thou wilt hear my voice. In the morning I will order my prayer to Thee and eagerly watch.” Psalm 5:3
Early morning prayer was the practice of Jesus.
And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. Mark 1:35
In January a few people in our church started a prayer meeting at 6:30 a.m. on Thursdays in the sanctuary of our church. At first I wondered about this. You can pray any time, so why should I drag myself out of bed to pray at such an early hour?
It’s a voluntary love call.
One reason I know God is behind this, is because I never set my alarm to wake up. Wednesday nights I ask the Lord, “If this is something You would like me to do, then just wake me and I will go.” I don’t normally wake up this time of morning. But without fail, with no alarm I wake up extra early on Thursdays confident He wants to meet with me. Other people too, have said the same thing. By this, we know it’s a voluntary love call.
I confess, sometimes I went out of duty and not desire. Other times I went with my prayer list of things for God to fix, thinking He would honor my requests because I am putting in overtime. Wrong! The times I went to prayer out of obligation, or with my agenda I ended up Talking At God rather than Meeting With God. There is a huge difference!
Now on Thursdays I bring myself, my Bible, note pad and pen to the sanctuary at 6:30 in the morning. At first I sit in a chair, or lay on the floor, and become still and quiet myself on the inside.
Some days this takes a lot of effort because I have too much on my mind. Imagine shaking a snow globe and seeing all the flakes swirling around. Your mind can be busy like this. A busy mind is one of Satan’s main distractions to keep you from meeting with God (Mark 4:18-19). I have to tell myself, “I’ve come to meet with God. Nothing is more important right now than this.” The practice of stillness is a discipline that must be practiced and learned.
When my son was a little boy he was quite busy and always talkative. We would have him practice a time of being still and quiet, and then reward him with something when he achieved it. We began with small goals like 2-3 minutes of total quiet and stillness, then later increased this to 5 or 10 minutes – which must have seemed like an eternity to him at first. But But through time and practice he achieved up to 20 minutes of being quiet and still – which is pretty good for a child. Many adults couldn’t do this!
I find it best to have something to focus on so my mind does not wander (see Isaiah 26:3). Some days I just wait with no apparent response from Him. When those times happen, I just assume it’s my time to practice – after all, I am His little boy and quite busy and sometimes I talk too much. He knows what I need.
Even though my mind and body say I’m wasting time, I know the truth. I am learning something important – I am learning to trust Him. He always shows up, but maybe not in the way I expect. It’s like going fishing. You will learn about waiting when you go fishing. Sometimes you wait and wait and wait before you catch a fish. Once you catch a fish you forget about how long you had to wait. Sometimes it is like that with God. You wait and wait.
But then it happens. Like a tug on the end of your fishing pole, you got something from God. Maybe it’s a scripture, a thought, or an idea that just lights up your insides with the life of God. You get excited. You may not be able to explain it, but you just know, that you know – and it’s wonderful. You won’t be able to keep it a secret – others will be able to see when you have been with Jesus (Acts 4:13).
ANY PLACE, ANY TIME – He’s waiting to hear from you.
Please share any comments below.