As women of faith, we know how critical it is for us to invest in spending time with God – to essentially have an encounter with God before we encounter people.
As important we know this to be true, practically living this out can be a challenge.
If you are anything like me, you are managing many different roles every day – wife, mom, daughter, sister, teacher, entrepreneur…and the list goes on.
Everything seems so urgent and calling for your attention. In the day-to-day, it is easy to forget what is most important – spending time with the Lord.
But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”
In this Simple Guide to Daily Bible Reading for Busy Women, I hope to share some practical tips and tools to encourage busy women to choose the “one thing that is necessary”.
What an encounter with God?
When we spend time cultivating our relationship with God, we do so with the intention of hearing from Him.
At the same time, we can share our REAL thoughts, desires, and questions with Him. How cool is that?! Having a one-to-one relationship with the One who thoughtfully created us and gave us purpose – that is what it means to encounter God!
Made Possible Because of Jesus
Now, while having a relationship with God is awesome, we need to remember why this is even possible. It all goes back to the Good News of the Gospel! On our own, we are not able to relate to God, no matter how “good” we think we are.
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. ~Ephesians 2:8-9 (ESV)
God is Holy, meaning He is without sin. He is perfect and can not relate to us without our sin being punished.
But no worries!
Jesus Christ, God’s perfect son, took the punishment for our sins when He died on the cross.
When we place our trust in Jesus’ work, that is all that we need to be made right before God just like He originally planned! Each time we spend time with God, it is important for us to remember this.
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How to Get Started: Have An Encounter With God Starting Today
There are many different ways to spend time with God, but no matter what, our goal for that time should be to have an encounter with God and better understand who He is.
After having children, I found that having long periods of focused time in the Word and prayer to be a challenge. I needed a simple way to ensure that I would be able to do just that.
For the remainder of this post, I will share with you a four-step method that any woman (regardless of your age or season of life), may find helpful when having a quiet time with the Lord: (1) Seek, (2) Savor, (3) Surrender, and (4) Sow.
1. Seek God In Prayer
We must not forget that God is always near. Often the problem is that we are not seeking Him and aware of His presence. It is through prayer that we begin to keep our eyes on God and depend on Him to do a good work in and through us.
With this in mind, we can approach the Lord with a heart full of adoration, humility, and thankfulness. I encourage us all to start with this truth, whether you are seeking to spend time with God for the very first time, you are seeking to know God more after years of neglect, or you have been relating to God for years now.
2. Savor God’s Word
The foundation of our faith is based on God’s Word.
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of God. ~Romans 10:17
Therefore, it is important that in our time alone with God, we use the Bible to hear what God wants to communicate to us.
There are five ways that I share in this post.
Oh, and please know that there are definitely other ways you can have a sweet encounter with God during your day – like by listening to worship music or even writing in your journal!
As you read through these five suggestions, consider choosing one or a combination of a few.
Listening to the Bible on audio is one of the ways that I can spend time with God most consistently since becoming a mom. I don’t always have the time and space to sit with my Bible open and journal.
I quickly learned that listening to the Word of God while getting ready in the mornings, bathing the boys, and even feeding them could really make the difference in having an eternal perspective.
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. ~ Romans 10:17
It is amazing what taking some time to listen to the Lord through a Psalm, a parable from the Gospels, or one of Paul’s letters could do to for my day. The NIV Dramatized Audio Bible is my favorite though!
I know, the Bible is a huge book…it’s intimidating to think about reading through it all.
You don’t even have to worry about all that. Just read a little bit each day.
You will be further along than where you started. Whether it is a page a day or a chapter a day, reading God’s Word has the power to change your life!
Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near. ~Revelations 1:3
There are many Bible reading plans that you can check out. Just do a Google search or use a Bible app. The Navigators has a full webpage dedicated to sharing various plans for reading through your Bible too.
To me, Bible study is like doing research and having an encounter with God in the process.
It is seeking to understand the Word for yourself rather than relying on someone else’s interpretation to gain understanding. You can hear from God by just allowing His Word to speak for itself!
Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. ~ Acts17:11
If you want to learn a really fun and visual way to study God’s Word, I would highly recommend the New Inductive Study Bible.
Anytime that I have taken the time to memorize Bible verses, it has always been life-changing!
It’s simple to get started.
Just take a scripture on a particular topic you are studying or issues that you are dealing with personally and write it out on sticky notes or index cards, like this…
You can place the cards in your purse, on your bathroom mirror, or as a bookmarker in your Bible. Just be sure to put them somewhere that you will see them often.
I suggest memorizing with a “Verse of the Week” to be sure that you not only memorize it but can internalize and apply it to your life.
You will be sure to have an encounter with God as you store up His Word in your heart!
I have stored up your word in my heart,
that I might not sin against you.
~Psalm 119: 11
Naturally, intentionally memorizing scripture will lead to meditating on it, which is our last way to engage in God’s Word.
The ministry that created the Word Hand states that “Meditate” is on thumb because it can easily be incorporated with all the other ways to engage God’s Word. This is because meditating means to take concentrated time to think about what the Word is saying and how to apply it to your own life.
…but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
~ Psalm 1:2-3
We can experience the transforming work of God when we take the time to be transformed through the renewing of our minds by His Word (see Romans 12:1).
Just to recap, here are five ways that you can Savor God’s Word: (1) Hear, (2) Read, (3) Study, (4) Memorize, and (5) Meditate.
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We have discussed the first two steps in spending time with God: Seek & Surrender. Next, we will move into the third portion, which is Surrender.
3. Surrender To God
When we engage with God’s Word, we should respond to what the Lord has spoken to us through it. It is not enough just to know what the Word says, but to be doers of it.
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
~ James 1:22
It takes faith to surrender to God’s ways. However, we must have confidence that His ways are better than our own. I would suggest thinking through the following as you surrender to God.
Is there any…
- sin to acknowledge?
- promise to hold fast in your heart?
- example to follow from a person you read about?
- command to obey?
- knowledge of God’s character to thank Him for?
I know it is a lot to think through, but just remember S.P.E.C.K. as you seek to apply God’s Word to your life by surrendering.
4. Sow God’s Truth
Lastly, sowing God’s Truth means that you decide to feed your spirit with actions of obedience, not just once but consistently. We need to understand that everything we do either feeds our spirit or our flesh…and we reap what we sow.
For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
~ Galatians 6:8-9
Another way of sowing the truth is by sharing His Word with others, whether it be friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, or anyone else that the Lord lays on your heart. I encourage you to sow seeds with faith that it will take root and grow!
Tips for Having a Successful Encounter With God Every Day
Now that you have a plan for WHAT you can do to spend time with God, let me share s a few tips on HOW you can do it. I believe that these last few tips are what will give you a framework that helps to spend time with the Lord consistently.
My three tips are the following:
Set a Time
Try to set a time that you can protect and stick to consistently. Think about it as if you are setting an appointment to meet with God. Like a date!
Choose a Place
This alone can make all the difference in the world! Find a place where you feel cozy and comfortable. It may be at your breakfast table, a cozy loveseat, or even a coffee shop. Just be sure that you are able to focus on your one-on-one time with God.
Keep a Journal
Sometimes when we can document what we are experiencing and how the Lord speaks to us concerning each one, it can encourage our hearts deeply. This is why I recommend keeping a journal. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy – maybe just a composition book. However, I personally like cute journals and colored pens. Lol.
The Last Thing You Need to Know About Having An Encounter With God Daily
Finally, I want to encourage you to not forget that connecting with the heart of God is our goal. So, with that being said, be sure that whatever you do, you do it with that intention. He is faithful to meet with us. He is waiting and more than willing!
In what ways to connect with the Lord most deeply? What methods do you use? Do you have any additional tips to share with other readers? If so, we would love to hear from you in the comments. We need all the support we can get, Sisters!