Can you say with the psalmist: “This is a day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24)?
When I think a time I have had the great sense of peace and contentment, it is a time when I am in fellowship with God. It first happened 33 years ago when I came to the point in my life of realizing my desperate condition, my need for God’s forgiveness. It was when I recognized God’s only plan available to me was through the sacrificial payment of Jesus Christ and the victory of His resurrection. (John 3:16-18; I Cor. 15:3-4) Now it was my choice: To receive that gift provided or reject it (John 1:12). In that moment of humble admission and commitment, I prayed to receive Christ as my own personal savior and He fulfilled His promises. Forgiven, saved, with promise of eternal life and fellowship of God Himself as His child I was born again into His family (John 3:3-8). Indwelt and sealed by the Holy Spirit until the day of redemption I was His forever. That was when I first experienced the “peace of God that passes all understanding” (Phil 4:7).
But maintaining that closeness in the day to day fragmented world we live in was like walking on the top of a two-rail fence. I was constantly falling off on one side or the other. So when did I finally get back to the fellowship I longed for? It was not in the blessings and good times. It was in the crisis of hitting a brick wall that was impossible to get over or through. Usually I ended up flat on my back where I could only look up and call out for help. Then He heard my call and I found Him again.
One of the closest encounters and the longest fellowships of joy, peace and contentment I have ever experienced was when I underwent life-threatening surgery. It was very unexpected and as a single mom with two teens it could have been overwhelming but God brought along all the people and care to eliminate the concern for my children. I could let go and focus on God. I was in the hospital for 3 weeks in isolation. It was just me and my Lord, my Bible, a notepad, a pen and a window to watch the sky. The long quiet times with God alone each day was the most productive growing period of my life.
This is the example I need to go back to when I need to find true satisfaction and peace. It is a daily “Date with God” also referred to as “quiet time”, “personal devotions”, etc.
How to Make a Date with God and be truly satisfied and part of His growing family:
- TIME: Set an appointment with a half-hour or more limit. You’d spend that much in a personal relationship on the phone. For me it is first thing in the morning so I can ask Him to spend the day directing my path and being my companion throughout the challenges.
- TALK WITH GOD: Prayer is the way we talk to Him anytime about anything. Start with praising Him for who He is then share with Him anything that may be standing between you. That is called admitting or confessing your iniquities, sins, failures to keep His perfect will so He can cleanse you today (I John 1:9). Ask your requests for yourself, for others or just tell Him how much you love Him. Finally Thank Him for His personal care, for His provisions and ask Him to use you in His service today.
- LET HIM TALK TO YOU: Through His written love letter – THE BIBLE. Read in a daily consistent manner (a few verses of one of the books, like Mark, Philippians or I John or even a chapter) then perhaps a Psalm or Proverb. There are reading guides to provide a way to read through the Bible in a year to help you (Try: our daily bread – www.odb.org for helps). Write down a verse that you think God has just for you just for today and carry it with you all day, rereading repeatedly. This is called “meditating” on His Word. (Ps 119:11) (2 Tim 2:15)
- WRITE DOWN YOUR THOUGHTS: Journalize what you received out of today’s special time with God. Keep a list of prayer requests with space to record the dates of His answer to them.
- CLOSE OUT YOUR TIME: With a grateful heart, ready to look for His leading in your life today and ready to share the hope that is within you with others (I Peter 3:15)
When I feel far from God, drowning in the hurry and cares of the world, I ask myself – Did you have your Date with God today? Or did I just say Hi and Bye as I rushed out the door?
Quality quiet time with God is never wasted and produces a day to day peace and satisfaction that is beyond all comprehension. Lord, help me to remember the peace in your presence today.
Do you know Him personally – Are you His Child (John 1:12)? If so, are you walking with Him daily and getting to know Him better?
How is your walk with God today?
Please send any comments or inquiries to:
Dr Nancy at: [email protected]