Lately I’ve been challenged about how I spend my time after dinner. Each night I have a choice … to sit in front of the TV and watch something which I really don’t want/or should be watching, or do something else. The problem is, after a long day I want to be doing something which relaxes, yet recharges me, so I can wake up in the morning feeling refreshed and invigorated.
This is why I’ve been spending time with God instead.
Eric and Leslie Ludy came to this realization in their book “Wrestling Prayer”, where they experimented spending time in the presence of God to relax instead of watching TV. Surprisingly, they found that their initial expectations of prayer were wrong. Instead feeling exhausted and drained, the Ludy’s found that after spending time in God’s presence they felt more refreshed than if they’d done anything else. I couldn’t believe this was true! So just as they did, I tested it out myself…
I traded my unfulfilling TV time for time with God; listening to worship music, praying, reading the bible and reading uplifting Christian books and blogs. To my surprise, I found exactly what the Ludy’s did! As I sat in the presence of God, any worries, stress, and frustrations I had from the day melted away and were replaced with His peace. I left feeling so refreshed! As I got to know God better I also found my desire for Him increased and I no longer wanted to spend my time anywhere other than with Him!
Upon starting, I was unsure about how to actually spend time with God. I found Heather Lindsey’s article on How to spend time with God and her youtube video which really helped me a lot! I recommend you checking them out if you’re unsure about how to spend more time with God.
Remember… it’s not about how long you spend with God. Quality over quantity for sure. As you fall deeper in love with Him you will find that you want to spend more time with Him, but just for now, start small. By choosing to let God satisfy you instead of something else, you will reap great rewards. (P.S: There’s nothing wrong with watching TV, but personally I found that I was going to it instead of God, and I only wanted to be satisfied by Him alone.)
When I’m spending time with God I find it helpful to have a special place to go to where it can just be me and Him. Free from distraction. Personally I go to my bedroom, but if you’re looking to build a spiritual sanctuary in your own home you can choose anywhere! A small corner in a room will also work if you lack space. Wherever it is, turn it into a special place where you can be free to seek God within an environment that sets the focus for what you are doing.
How to Create a Spiritual Sanctuary in your Own Home
Set the mood:
It’s all about the ambience.
I love lighting candles, diffusing essential oils, and playing soft worship music to create a relaxing atmosphere. I also make sure I have a snuggly blanket and some of my favourite pillows on hand too! (If you’re doing your quiet time on your bed just make sure you don’t lie down to ‘pray’ … I’ve done this many times and woken up an hour later!) Pop some fresh flowers in your room, and you’re all set to go!
Surround Yourself with Truth:
I love having bible verses and inspiring quotes around my room. They set my focus on God and really makes my room a special space to be in. Philippians 4:8 tells to think on things which are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy – I believe having truth around my room helps me do just that!
Yes that is a watermelon bible … so cute, right?
There’s nothing more distracting to your quiet time than if you don’t have everything you need and you have to go around the house searching for it. Because of this, I have a box filled with all the resources I might need so that if the needs arises I have everything on hand to use. My quiet time essentials include:
- Bible; NIV, Message
- Journal and pens
- Latest book I’m reading … right now I’m reading “The Battle plan for Prayer” by the Kendrick brothers (this goes along with the War Room film).
- Bible study book … right now I’m working through Seamless by Angie Smith.
- Tissues (sometimes things get emotional 🙂 )
- Laptop (for worship music)
- And a steaming cup of hot tea … mmm – green tea with lemon is my favourite!
Limit the use of technology:
I try to limit the technology I have in my room during my quiet time. I switch my phone on silent and only use my laptop for worship music. I make sure I put it on the other side of the room though so I’m not tempted to start browsing the internet as a distraction.
Feel free to customize your space to suit your personality and tastes. And it doesn’t have to be inside either! If you are doing your quiet time during the day, why don’t you pick a favourite spot in the garden? Go wherever you feel most comfortable and relaxed to be yourself with God.
I love the spiritual sanctuary I’ve set up in my bedroom. It has a relaxing, yet recharging atmosphere to it and being in it instantly gives me peace. I encourage you to try creating one in your own home … you just might find it becomes your favourite place to be!