Why should we spend time with God? Is it just something to do as a believer, to check off our believer checklist? Well I believe it’s something way more than that. Two reasons why I believe reading Gods word and talking with God is so much more than just something we do.
First, it’s a sign of how much we love God. Think about it, how much time do we try to spend with those we love. Whether it be a spouse, boy/girlfriend, friend, or family member. Usually the amount of love we feel for someone equals how much time we spend with them. You know it’s true, if someone doesn’t spend “enough” time with you, you start to question how much that person loves you. I know I do this. I’m fully aware of my desire to be with someone I love. Especially really close relationships. My top love language is quality time. If we love God we need to spend time with Him to show Him that. Also, God loves to spend time with and listen to His children. Let’s look at Psalm 116:2, “Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath!” God bends down to hear us when we pray! He doesn’t just sit up in Heaven tapping his “fingers” so to speak while we talk. No, He bends down to intently listen to every word we utter. Or every word we say in our mind and hearts. This verse assures us that our prayers matter. That we very much matter to God. That He wants to hear from us. Listening to someone in my opinion is one of the biggest ways to show we care. Talking to God allows Him to show just how much He loves us, through listening to us. Then His word shows us just how much He loves us too. But this love can’t be shared without spending time together. We simply are showing God we love Him, through allowing Him to bless us and love us back. So, showing God we love Him through quality time together is the first reason we should spend time with Him.
Second reason is, it helps us navigate daily life and other relationships better. Psalm 119:105, “Your word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Simply put, Gods word shows us how to live. It shines light on all the uncertainties of life. But it can’t do that for us daily if we aren’t in it daily. One thing I like to do is look up verses that speak to a particular way I’m feeling. I google verses sometimes. I’ll just type in “bible verses for ” and end it with whatever I’m facing that day. It might be for “fear”, “anxiety”, “loneliness”, “unforgiveness”, “finances”, and more. Whatever I’m struggling with there is always hope in the Bible. I do that along with 10 minutes of reading a day. Not sure where to start with a 10 minute reading time, start in Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John. The Gospels. The more we go to Gods truth, the less Satan’s lies can get to us. The less we will believe them. I spent way too many years buying into his lies, even as a believer. Even as a volunteer at church. Why? Because I wasn’t spending enough time reading Gods word. I wasn’t spending enough time meditating on His love for me. Enough time really trying to understand what the cross did for me. How it allowed me to walk in victory instead of shame. That mistake led to a lot of other mistakes and sins that didn’t need to be made. Which led to more shame and guilt that I didn’t know how to handle. So it ate away at me until it destroyed my life. Or at least destroyed what was in it at the time. God never wastes a hurt if we allow Him to use it, so our life is never fully destroyed. That’s why I’m writhing this right now. To allow God to use the hurt in my life in hopes that you can save yourself some hurt and regret. Or if you already have a lot of hurts and regrets, you can see that life isn’t over because of them. That God still has plans for you as long as you have breath in your lungs. Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” I mediate on this verse daily. In fact I have a painting of it on my bathroom wall. A reminder of Gods good plans for me. That doesn’t mean there won’t be pain, none of us can escape pain in this fallen world. But it does mean even when there is pain, God is still working for our good. And there will even be some good without pain in there too. 🙂 See the more we know Gods love for us, what Jesus did for us, and how the cross changed everything for us, the better we can live this life. Once we fully know and trust who we are to and in God, we won’t be so quick to destroy it. Or at least do things things that hurt us. The more you see yourself through the eyes of God, the lens of love, the less you will want to harm yourself in any way. We always protect what we love more than what we hate. I spent too many years hating myself. I do not want the same for you.
So that’s two big reasons why spending time with God through reading the Bible and praying daily is very important. Why it’s so much more than just a thing to check off our to do list. The more time we invest in doing this, the more we can invest good in ourselves and others. Oh and by the way, prayer does not have to be some big fancy thing. Keep it genuine. God is not impressed by big fancy prayers. Matthew 6:7, “And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.” God is not interested in the words we use, as much as He is interested in what’s in our hearts. I talk to God like I would a friend. A friend I trust with it all. As long as we are respectful in our approach, God is not as concerned with how we come to Him. But that we simply come to Him. Prayer does not have to be intimidating. Neither does the Bible. Like I said earlier google verses at first if you have to. Start in the Gospels. Then once you get more comfortable, pray for guidance on where to read next. I’ve had some amazing moments with God that way. But it took me a while to get there. So don’t give up on your reading the Bible. Please. God is waiting in His word to help you and I live our best lives. No matter what!