My guess is that you’re planning your Thanksgiving weekend, and perhaps your holiday season. Don’t forget Jesus. Purposefully write in your calendar some time over the long Thanksgiving weekend during which you will sit with Jesus giving thanks. Use a small portion of that time to plan out times to spend with God during the month of December. Purpose to lay the world aside and spend time with the Jesus. Purpose to do the most important things this season, not just the urgent ones.

While I strongly encourage you not to plan a full schedule of things to do during those times with the Lord, a simple plan can be a good thing.

Three Reasons Why You Should l Have a Basic Plan for Your Time With God

  1. It can help you transition from full speed ahead in the world to peaceful worship and rest during your time with the Lord (without such a plan sometimes it feels like a crash landing instead of a spirit-led transition). Sometimes when we’ve rushed to our appointment with God it can be hard to settle into His presence.
  2. It can help you transition from servant to friend. If simply sitting at God’s feet isn’t something you do regularly, having a plan may help you adjust from a mode of serving God to enjoying Him.
  3. It can help you transition from purpose-driven thinking to presence thinking. If you’re like me, it’s easy to feel like you’re wasting time or being selfish when you are resting in His presence (forgive me, Lord). Having a plan gets me over the initial hump because I am doing something – I’m following my list of things to do. Don’t read this the wrong way. I’m not saying we approach our time with God as an item to check off our To-Do lists. What I’m saying is that having the basic plan helps me resist the feeling that I’m wasting time at the beginning of my time with the Lord. It helps me engage. Once I’ve engaged, I’m no longer working the plan, I’m enjoying God.

Here are some ideas for your time with God. Don’t do all these things each time you meet Him. Plan the number of things you’re going to do according to the time you have. If I only had fifteen minutes, I would only do one, maybe two of these things. If I scheduled fifteen minutes every other day, I’d focus on different activities each time, cycling through them and then returning to those I found most helpful.

Worship – Whether through song or prayer or activity, let worship take you into the presence of God. Don’t rush from song to song or prayer topic to prayer topic. Linger. Play the same song several times. Pray different things about the same awesome character trait of God. (For example, “Lord, your love is incredible. It covers my sin. It surrounds me like a comforting blanket, protecting me, shielding me and healing me. Your love brings peace. Your love – how can I know the depth, breadth, height and width of it? I can’t, and knowing that it is bigger than me reminds me of how awesome you are. Lord, your love is incredible. It is by your love that your purposes are accomplished in my life. It is by your love that I can sit here with you at peace. It is in your love that I can do all things. Lord, your love is incredible.” Remember, don’t rush the prayer, linger over each phrase.)

Thanksgiving and praise – Scripture says that we “enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise” (Psalm 100:4). That’s what I want to do during my time with God – enter His inner sanctuary to meet with Him. Doing it His way only makes sense.

Prayer – Don’t pray your laundry list of needs (whether for yourself or others), but have a conversation with God. Have you ever asked God “Lord, what gave you pleasure today? What blessed you?” I never have! The idea just came to me as I was writing this, and it seems like a good one. I’m going to incorporate this into my times with Him! I’m looking forward to “hearing” His answers. (I put the word “hearing” in quotes because I don’t anticipate hearing an audible voice. But I do anticipate receiving an impression from God that will bring me joy as I get to know Him better.)

Read Scripture meditatively – If fifteen minutes is all you have, spend ten of them on one or two verses. Pray it back to God. Ask Him to reveal Himself to you through the verse. Then sit and listen for His response.

Express yourself creatively – Journal, paint, write a song or poem – Express yourself to God in some tangible way. It may feel awkward at first, but just go with it. He won’t be a critical judge of it any more than you were when your children drew their first picture of mom and dad.

The point is, schedule some time with God. Time just to be with Him. If you don’t schedule it, it’s unlikely that it will happen. (Although God’s been known to force the issue – it’s generally much better to put Him first than to have Him bring it to your attention that you haven’t been.)

Enjoy your time with God during this Christmas season and I am confident that you will enjoy the season.


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