Before coming to do a Discipleship Training School with YWAM, I didn’t really have a personal relationship with God, but I did read my Bible a lot. When I finally found out that God wanted a personal relationship with me, it totally changed the way I had quiet times! Instead of reading my Bible to be the person in my Sunday school class with the most scripture memorized, I read the Bible to learn more about who my Creator is and what He says about me. Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way!
1. Come to God willing to receive anything.
Sometimes when we spend time with God we come with an agenda, but He has different plans for what He wants to speak to us. There have been times when I’ve been so ready to hear an answer from God, but instead, He has said, “Just sit with me.” When you spend time with God, ask HIM what He wants to speak to you.
2. Ask God what to read.
Instead of looking around for scripture to answer what you want to know, ask God if there’s anything specific you should read. There was one day when I had messed up and I asked God what to read, instead of jumping to a Bible verse I knew would make me feel good. I felt God tell me to read Colossians 3, and when I started to read, I understood why He wanted me to read this passage. Rather than feeling ashamed for messing up, I felt God encouraging me through verse 12. “So, as God’s own chosen people, who are holy [set apart, sanctified for His purpose] and well-beloved [by God Himself], put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience [which has the power to endure whatever injustice or unpleasantness comes, with good temper].”
3. Ask the Holy Spirit to highlight words, thoughts or ideas to you.
When reading, it’s easy to get confused by what’s going on in the verses or to find yourself reading a part of scripture that you’ve read hundreds of times before. The Holy Spirit is our helper, so don’t be afraid to ask for help. It’s as simple as saying “Holy Spirit, would you show me something from this/these verses?”
4. Journal your feelings.
How did the scripture make you feel? Did you learn anything from these verses? Is there something new that you hadn’t realized before? How does it make you feel? What emotions does it provoke in your heart?
5. Write a letter to God.
Tell Him what you’re thinking, what you’re struggling with, what areas or characteristics you want to grow in. Tell Him something cool about your day or something you didn’t find fun. Tell Him how His Word made you feel. Ask Him questions! (Psalm 17:6-9)
6. Apply the things you’ve learned to your life.
Is there something specific that God revealed to you during this time? Is there something that stood out to you in the passage you read? How can you apply that to your life? Did God show you something in your life that you need to change? Reading scripture is good, but the way to bridge the gap between what God revealed to you and your life is through application. (2 Timothy 3:16-17) Let’s put into practice what we’re learning right away!