You will show me the path of life: in your presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand, there are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11
I actually was asked to write on this topic by someone who is seeking a deeper more meaningful relationship with God, but did not know how to spend time with Him and did not know what to expect. As I thought about it, I realized that, for the most part, Christians consider going to Church as spending time with God. I did until I learned that was far from the truth. Even though we are in the presence of the Lord when we are in Church; it is as a collective body worshiping Him and hearing His Word. On the other hand, when we spend time with God, it is intimate time alone with Him.
From a practical standpoint, spending time with God is just getting away from outside distractions, getting quiet and stilling all the inward noise that is going on in our own minds and hearts. It is a time to be still and give our sole attention to the things of God and to Him. Therefore, our mind and hearts are on Him and His goodness. We may have a devotional reading or scriptures that we read during that time, or we may just sit quietly there knowing that He is there with us and just rest in His presence.
God may or may not speak to us during this time, but when He does, we will know. It may be something He puts on our hearts or minds; it may be a scripture or even a song that is placed in our hearts. Try not to get hung up on Him speaking as much as just enjoying His presence.
For me, being still before the Lord, gives me a profound peace in the deep recesses of my soul. It is not so much that He is speaking during that time, but it is just His reassuring presence that leaves me with total peace. I also spend time with God when I am gardening. It is a peaceful, quiet time for me and I just allow myself to get lost in the quietness. It clears my mind and my heart; when my heart and mind are clear, I can sense His presence and His peace; in turn, it causes me to be able to hear Him clearly.
The beach or ocean also draws me into a keen awareness of God’s presence. It helps me to silence the constant warring in my mind. Again, when I still my thoughts, I am peaceful and peace draws me closer to Him. I can think on Him instead of all the ninety million things I have going on – and when I do that – He puts ideas, solutions, and instructions in my heart that helps me to take care of my to-do list. Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen; I will be exalted in the earth. Psalm 46:10. Getting still in His presence exalts Him in our earthly vessel.
The most important aspect of spending time with God is not how you do it or when you do it, it is doing it. In the book of Daniel, chapter 11, verse 32, it states, “but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.” To know God, you have to spend time with Him and studying His Word. This is how we acquaint ourselves with Him. It’s the same principle as getting to know anyone else. If you do not spend time with a person, you will not know them.
God will surely do this for you, for He always does just what He says, and He is the one who invited you into this wonderful friendship with His Son, even Christ our Lord. 1 Corinthians 1:9 (TLB)