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Biblical, battle-tested, real-life help for "living by faith in the Son of God" (Galatians 2:20). — Steve Fuller

Five Promises To Help Your Times With God

Read Bible on everystockphoto by rushay 4How is Your Time with God?

Do you consistently seek God in the Word and prayer?  Or have you tried again and again, become discouraged, and given up?

And when you do get time with God, is it life-giving?  Or is it just going through the motions, reading an assigned passage, praying through your list, and being relieved when it’s over?

The beginning of a New Year is a good time to make changes.  So if you are struggling to spend time with God, here are five promises that can help —

God is My Exceeding Joy.

Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me … Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy. (Psa 43:3-4)

God promises to be your exceeding joy, not because of what He gives, but because of who He is.  When we behold and worship Him we have infinitely more joy than we have in anything else.

So why would we rather sleep in than seek God?  It’s because we’re not trusting that God is our exceeding joy.  So what can we do?

Don’t just grit your teeth and try harder.  Do what the psalmist says — ask God to send you his light (the heart-enlightening work of the Spirit) and his truth (the Word of God).  Then pray over promises describing God as your joy, like Psa 43:3-4; Psa 16:11; Matt 13:44; Psa 73:25-26; 1Pet 1:8.

As you do that, God will send you His light and truth so you see and feel that He really is your exceeding joy.  Then, when you see that infinite joy is found in Him — you’ll want to spend time with Him.

Hearing God’s Word Will Increase My Faith.

 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.  (Rom 10:17)

Many mornings I’m tempted not to seek God because my faith feels weak.  But that’s like not going to the doctor because my body feels sick.  Just like doctors heal sick bodies, so God strengthens weak faith — as we hear His Word.

Weak faith is like a weak battery.  But God’s Word is a battery charger.  So when your faith is weak, open His Word, and plug in your weak faith.  God promises that as you do that — He will recharge you.

God’s Word is the only perfect source of guidance.

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.  (Psa 119:105)

The world is like a pitch-black cave in which we can’t see anything.  But God has given us the high-powered flashlight of His Word.

So if we head into our day without pondering God’s Word, it’s like stumbling through a cave without turning on the flashlight.

But starting the day in God’s Word is like turning on the flashlight — so we can see the crevice to avoid, the rock to duck under, the turn we want to take.

So don’t head into your day without turning on the flashlight.

When You Pray, God Will Answer

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. (Matt 7:7)

One reason we don’t pray is because we believe Satan’s lie that prayer does nothing.  But that’s not what Jesus taught.

Jesus promises that every time we pray God will answer.  He will either do exactly what we ask, or something even better, which He would not have done had we not prayed.

So if I start the day praying about my heart, marriage, children, work, ministry — God will do things in my heart, marriage, children, work, and ministry that He would not have done had I not prayed.

So trust Jesus’ promise about prayer — and pray.

This is the one thing which will not be taken from you.

“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.” (Luke 10:41-42)

Martha had busied herself in the kitchen, while Mary sat at Jesus’ feet, listening to His Word.  And Jesus said Mary had made the right choice, because she had chosen the one thing which could not be taken from her.

Everything else can be taken from you.  But time with Jesus will never be taken from you — because the heart you nurture for Jesus now will bring you increased joy in Him forever.  And ever.  And EVER.

So if you haven’t spent time with God, and you are tempted with the newspaper, Facebook, or a phone call — stop.  Ask yourself: what will bring me joy that will never be taken away?

Then set everything else aside to join Mary at Jesus’ feet, listening to His Word.

Specific suggestions

Here are some suggestions to help you spend time with God —

  • This is the most important part of your day, so schedule when you will do this.
  • Come to God as you are, admitting the state of your heart, and confessing whatever sins need confessing.
  • Ask Him to meet you and change you, using Scriptures like Psa 119:36, Psa 119:18; Luke 11:13; Rom 10:17.
  • Use a Bible reading plan so you don’t waste time wondering what to read, and so you read through the whole Bible in a systematic way.  Here are some Bible reading plans.
  • As you read, don’t rush.  Linger over promises, truths about God, commands, teachings, and warnings.  Think.  Ponder.  Pray.  Expect God to meet you in His Word.
  • Have a plan for prayer that includes worship, confession, thanksgiving, and asking — for yourself, family, friends, unbelievers, concerns.

Tomorrow Morning

The alarm goes off.

I’m tired.  Maybe just a little more sleep.  But wait –

  • God is inviting me to exceeding joy.
  • His Word will strengthen my weak faith.
  • His Word will shine light on the darkness around me.
  • When I pray, God will work.
  • This is the one thing that can’t be taken from me.

I think I’ll get up.

Comments?  Feedback?

I’d love to hear them.  Leave a reply below — thanks.

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(Picture is from everystockphoto by rushay.)

Category: God's Promises, Help with Bible-Reading, Help with Prayer

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9 Responses

  1. Doyle Riggan says:

    A little over a year ago I realized that for many years I, like Peter, had been following Jesus from a distance. Although I had put my hand to the plow, I realized that I had looked back many times. I made a commitment to start spending time in God’s word, daily. God began to reveal to me that I had never truly repented of my sin and trusted Him fully as my Savior and Lord. John MacArthur’s book “The Gospel According to Jesus” helped me get my life back on the right track. It’s one of the best books I’ve read. A little over one year later, I can honestly say that I have a hunger for God’s word like never before. I want to live out my faith and share Christ’s love with others. Commit to spending time in God’s word. It will change your life. It changed mine.

  2. Wisdom paschal says:

    I am really blessed by this.

  3. Kathie says:

    I just discovered your site and I love it. Thanks so much for providing such a helpful resource.

  4. Roy says:

    Hi Steve,
    I have been reading your blog and have coresponded with you several times over the last year or so. It has helped me alot, along with John Piper’s teaching.
    I am still struggling with some things, though, so I thought I would just opt for transparency and tell you about it to see if you can help.
    When I read your desription of how to fight the fight of faith and what happens when you do I am encouraged, but when I get to the scripture references I frequently can’t see the connection.
    In the above entry, for example, the scripture references from the Psalms are not worded like and don’t sound like promises to me.
    The writer asks God for something,( incline my heart……)
    Please help me understand how that is a promise that he will do that for me.
    In other entries you have said that if we fight the fight of faith , The Holy Spirit will reveal the Glory of the Lord and that would be what satisfies our heart. In others you refer to TRUSTING Him to be all that he promises to be to us in Christ as if the act of trusting is what satisfies our heart.
    I really want to understand this and get past this place where I am kind of stuck. It would seem that we trust other things to satisfy us because we have allready experienced some level of satisfaction from them, and, subsequently, we don’t trust Him to satisfy us because we have never experienced Him doing so. I can see that recieving a revelation of the “Glory”, magnificence, or greatness of the Lord by the Holy Spirit through scripture is the solution. This is why I am asking for your help in finding scripture passages that refer to this Glory rather than the fact that someone else has ” beheld” it. I guess I am having difficulty finding the right scripture to meditate on.
    Finally, the idea of ” spending time with God. You mentioned becoming frustrated, and/or disapointed and giving up. That has been my experience. It seems that I could read and pray all day but without some sense of his prescence I have spent time with no one but my self.

    • Steve Fuller says:

      Great questions, Roy. Here are my thoughts –

      First, the reason I believe Psalm 119:36 implies a promise, is because this is a prayer recorded in a Psalm which teaches us how to pray.

      So since this is a prayer we should pray, I think it makes sense to conclude that this is a prayer God will answer.

      So I do believe that when we earnestly pray, asking God to incline our hearts to his word, he will.

      Second, I do believe that the act of trusting Christ will result in beholding his glory, and thus satisfying our hearts.

      Instead of saying that the act of trusting is what satisfies our hearts, I’d rather say that it is Christ in his glory that satisfies our hearts, and that as we trust him we will behold his glory. Does that make any sense?

      Third, you ask about Scripture passages that refer to Christ’s glory. Almost any passage describing Christ could be the means by which the Holy Spirit gives you a spiritual taste of Christ’s glory, but maybe I’m not understanding the point of your question. Let me know if I’m missing it here.

      And fourth, I too have had times of prayer and Bible meditation which did not feel spiritually fruitful. What I find helpful at those times is to confess the sinfulness which blinds me to Christ, to trust God’s promise to satisfy me with Christ’s glory in and through the word (Hosea 6:3; John 4:13-14; John 6:35; John 6:63; John 7:37-39; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 2 Corinthians 4:6; Galatians 3:5;Ephesians 117-18; Ephesians 3:16-19; etc.), to humble myself before God’s sovereignty and trust his timing in fulfilling that promise, and to keep praying and meditating on God’s word when I’m able.

      And even at those times when I feel nothing, I need to trust promises like Psalm 145:18 — that the Lord is near to all who call upon him in truth. So I need to trust that even though my heart feels dull, I’m still gaining ground spiritually in ways I can’t feel.

      I hope this helps.

      Your brother in the battle,

      Steve

      • Roy says:

        A good friend was just telling me that if I looked honestly
        and objectively I would see that although I’m not where I want to be or feel I should be with regard to my relationship with God, I’m certainly alot farther along than I was. I think he’s right, but the progress is so incremental that I don’t notice untill I look again at where I was. It’s so easy to be impatient.

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