I don’t know about you, but I can always feel when God wants me to spend time with Him. I hear the most peaceful, gentle voice urging me to disconnect from technology and just connect with Him.
It’s never obtrusive. During those times, I hear Him asking me to turn off the television or the radio or to put the phone down and just spend time with Him.
I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t always listen. Sometimes, I put God on hold. I tell Him I’ll do it as soon as my show is over, or as soon as a song ends. Most of the times, though, I am obedient.
The other day, I couldn’t find a magazine that I had bought. I looked all over my house until I was exhausted and then realised hours later that I left it in my car, so I went outside to get it.
Once I got back inside I heard a small voice say, “if your Bible were missing, would you have spent the same amount of time looking for it?” Deep inside, I knew the answer was no. I felt embarrassed by the question because I knew God was right.
God really is a gentleman. He never hammers us over the head when He wants us to do something. He asks gently. It’s up to us to listen and be obedient.
Life is hectic and work compounds things. But, it’s important for each of us to take time to connect or reconnect with God. I wanted to share five ways that you can do that.
1. Get Still
God can speak to us through the noise. You could be at a concert and still hear Him if He wants you to. But, if you truly want to hear what He has to say to you, then you need to find a quiet spot in your home, car or office and just listen. We do a lot of talking. We ask God for all kinds of things. But, we rarely just be quiet and let Him tell us what He wants us to do. So, shut off the phone; in fact, turn off all technology, if only for 15 minutes and get still.
2. When You Do Talk, Really Talk To Him
When I talk to God, I tell Him everything. I mean everything! I confess my sins, I talk about what bothers me, I apologise for hurting Him, I thank Him for every single blessing that He has put into my life. I thank Him for my gifts. I know this is going to sound weird, but, I envision myself at his feet. I don’t think of myself as a lowly servant when I do it, but rather a contrite child who wants to apologise while expressing my gratitude. Many of us have superficial relationships with God. It’s important that we come clean with Him. He knows it all anyway. So, why not talk to Him?
3. Read The Bible
This has always been a struggle for me, especially when you get to the book of Numbers, which is incredibly repetitive. But, I see great benefits in reading the Good Book. Every time I read the Bible I realise that there truly is nothing new under the sun. Everything that we are going through today occurred in the Bible. It is a source of financial advice, wisdom and encouragement. Proverbs, Sirach, Genesis, Exodus, Job, John and Revelation are some of my absolute favourites. It’s amazing how certain scriptures stay with you. Trust me, you’ll find yourself remembering them at the right time.
4. Do Good To Others
I firmly believe that God smiles when you help someone less fortunate. This doesn’t have to be someone who is homeless. This could be the coworker that you know is struggling financially or it could be a relative who is down on his luck. I love helping others. For many years, I have prayed one simple prayer: God, bless me so that I can be a blessing to others. God knows that He can trust me, so I feel He continues to bless me for that very purpose. It’s a terrific feeling to help someone who could never pay you back. I can’t tell you how many times I have slipped money in envelopes and anonymously left it for people that I know were having a tough time. You want to get close to God? Look out for your brothers and sisters. He loves that.
5. Talk About Him
Any chance I get, I talk about God. I try my best not to force God down their throat because I know what that feels like. It’s annoying. So, I’m always cautious when spreading the word about my Saviour. I love buying religious books for people to help lift their spirits. Even if they don’t read it today, I know that at some point they will and the message will be right on time.
I remember years ago, a gentleman was standing behind me in a bank line. I was talking to a friend of mine about how angry I was with my father and how I would never forgive him. This kind gentleman spoke to me in the sweetest tone and pleaded with me not to hold a grudge. Emotionally, I was not prepared to let my anger go, so I decided that I didn’t want to have the conversation anymore. So, we switched subjects and ended up having a great conversation.
Days later while at work, my secretary told me that a package had arrived for me. It was wrapped in gift paper and a beautiful bow. When I opened it, I saw that it was a religious book that talked about forgiveness. The gentleman who I saw in the bank wrote a sweet note and signed it. I wrote him an email telling him thank you, but I didn’t read it. In fact, I held on to that book for four years before I actually read it. When I decided to open it, the message came right on time. What that gentleman was doing, was spreading the Word of God. He wasn’t pushy, because God isn’t pushy. When I read it, I cried and said a prayer for the good gentleman. I also released that anger. (Child, I can hold grudges for years!)
God wants us to draw nearer to Him. It is such a wonderful feeling to have Him as a parent, but also a friend. In fact, you won’t find a better friend in the world.
You don’t have to do everything at once. But, I believe that if you take it one step at a time, you will end up right where you need to be.