I’m convinced that spending time with God on a daily basis is critical for people who are serious about spiritual growth, who want to become a more loving and compassionate person and want to make every day count!
Unfortunately, the idea of spending time with God seems really daunting and overwhelming to a lot of people. Sometimes, it’s because we buy into a variety of myths.
Here are four myths I’ve ran across over the years that keep people from spending time with God.
FOUR MYTHS About Spending Time With God:
- Myth #1: It’s got to be EARLY in the MORNING, or it doesn’t count.
I’m an early morning kind of guy! I love getting up early! I really do believe that there are a boatload of benefits to being an early riser. We’ll talk about those in another post. But it’s a myth that for your time with God to be effective it has to take place between something like 4:30 and 6:30 in the morning!
Let’s be honest: for some of you, not even God wants to talk with you
before 7, 8 or 9 am!
If possible, time with God should be scheduled for when YOU are at your BEST! If you’re at best at around 12 noon, why not schedule some time to spend alone with God during your lunch hour every day?
- Myth #2: It’s got to LAST at least ONE HOUR.
For years I struggled with spending time with God on a regular basis. One of the reasons I struggled was because of some bad information I received about the subject.
Back in the eighties there was a popular and well-intended teaching titled, “Could You Not Tarry One Hour?” As I remember it, the thesis of this material was basically that you needed to pray at least one hour every day, and that it needed to be really early in the morning.
When me and a pastor friend, Victor Massey, read the material, we decided that we needed to get up at 4 am, go to the church he served as pastor, and pray for an hour. This was more than thirty years ago, and my love for early mornings hadn’t kicked in yet. For the solid week we attempted this experiment, all I could do for one hour was lay my head on the altar in Victor’s church and say, “Oh, God… Oh, God… Oh, God…” over and over… I don’t think it was all that effective…
And even when I could push past the tiredness I felt on a physical level at that hour, I quickly ran out of stuff to say.
Now, just to be clear, I think it’s great to spend an hour with God! Or, two, three or four! That’s awesome! I also gained some great insight from that matter. But, when you’re just starting out, the thought of spending one hour every day with God can seem completely overwhelming and out of reach!
Even more, there’s nowhere in the Bible that says you have to spend an hour with God every day.
So, why not start with something doable? Say, 15 minutes?
All of us could probably spend 15 minutes with God every day?
If someone gave you a few tools and helps, fifteen minutes is probably a realizable goal.
- Myth #3: It’s got to sound like the KING JAMES VERSION of the Bible.
Where did we get the idea that prayer is supposed to sound really proper or like 16th century English to be effective?
Sometimes when I hear people pray, I wonder if they might not struggle with multiple-personality disorder, because they sound so different than they sound when they just talk.
Your language, verbiage, vocabulary and communication when you spend time
with God should be a reflection of who you actually are and
the way you actually communicate.
God wants to hear from you, not some made-up, put-on version of you.
So, just talk to your Father.
God values stuff like authenticity, honesty, vulnerability and humility a lot more
than a great vocabulary or impressive language skills.
Just talk to your Dad.
- Myth #4: If you MISS A DAY, you might as well QUIT.
This is a line the evil one uses regularly to fill people with shame and regret and keep them from spending time with the Father.
Think about it like this… I like to eat! I like to eat, a lot! But there are days when I get so excited about my day or a project I’m working on that I forget to eat. It doesn’t even cross my mind.
But when I have one of those days when I forget to eat breakfast or work right through lunch, I never think to myself, “You know I blew right through the morning without taking time to eat… I’m way to embarrassed to grab lunch…” That never crosses my mind! Or, “I was so into that project, that I forgot to eat lunch. I feel way to much shame to sit down and eat dinner with Janet and Cam…” Again, that never enters my brain.
I usually just say or think something like, “Oh, well… I skipped breakfast… I need to be more attentive to that… No worries, I’ll just eat a good lunch…” Or, “Wow. Time flies when you’re having fun… I forgot to each lunch… Big deal. I can’t wait to eat Supper tonight.”
If you miss a day here or there in your daily time with God; don't let SHAME, FEAR or REGRET keep you from the Father’s presence.
He’s a good, good Father. (I think I've heard that somewhere...)
Just take note of the fact that your morning got way too busy and you didn’t take time to meet with God. Tell Him about it. It can go something like this: “God, I’m so sorry I flew right through this morning and didn’t take time to talk with You… I love our time together… I look forward to catching up… Right now, I give this day to You… I trust Your heart…” And then, move on!
The evil one loves to use shame and regret to keep us from the Father.
But Your God is the Father who “runs to meet you” (See Luke 15:20)
There you have it – four myths that keep us from spending time with God.
In the next post, I’ll describe a simple plan that you may find helpful when it comes to fifteen minutes that can change your life!