Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Time out

Sometimes I think we need some time out to just think and pray and spend time with God. I'm not just talking about the time we spend in his word and in structured prayer (those things are good and essential in maintaining our relationship with God), I'm talking about some unstructured time just worshipping him and being honest with him. This comes to mind because I just spent 30 minutes sitting outside watching the sunset, and it's something I love doing, but nearly never just stop and do. I was taking photos, then my camera died, so I had to just sit and enjoy the glorious sunset for what it was. It was truly marvellous and a good time just to be honest with God about where I've been stuffing up lately and to come back to him in repentance (Another thing I fail to do often enough).

The question is, is there a biblical mandate for this? Sure, I might find it good and encourage people to do it, but I'm just a sinful human with extremely clouded and selfish motives.

Biblical mandate to read the bible and pray
Deuteronomy 6:6
These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.
How do we have God's word in our hearts? We need to know it ourselves. How do we do that? Read it.
Psalm 119:105
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
Matthew 4:4
But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
If God's word is the light by which we can see how to live (where to walk), then we need to read it and spend time in it. It is our spiritual food, and to be spiritually healthy we need to spend time in it.
Joshua 1:8
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
This is more of a direct command - "meditate on it day and night". We are meant to spend time with God, and we're meant to keep spending time with God even after we've ended our official time with God.

There are so any other applicable verses. If you want some more, check out this site.

Biblical reasons to just have unstructured, extra time out with God, but more reflectively?

As it stands I haven't been able to find any direct passages that say we should have unstructured time with God. What I mean by unstructured time is something like going for a walk and just having time to think about life and living for God and how I've been going at that.

Regardless of the lack of verses that directly seem to mention this, it is obviously a good thing to do. We are called to repent of our sins (Mark 1:15, 1 John 1:8-9), and I find these times are good for me to be able to compare myself and my life to God's standard again and see the bigger picture.

Colossians 3:17 says "whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." I find I'm most able to praise God for his creation when I'm in it and just appreciating it. I find that its easier to give thanks to God when I take time aside to think about what I have to be thankful for, and spending our free time with God is a good way to glorify him too.

I'd imagine that everyone has a different method for spending time in God's word and in prayer - I find if I want to be consistent in it, then I have to set structured time to read and pray daily. But there's an honesty and praise that comes more easily when I'm just spending my free time with God.

Here's one blog on the subject.

I hope those thoughts were helpful.
God Bless,
Nat.

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