Years ago, I was taught to spend intentional time with Jesus every morning. So, from the time I was about 12, I spent time with Jesus. That practice was called “quiet time.” Now, I like to call that my “facetime” with Jesus because it reminds me to meet with Him face to face. During my moments with Jesus, I spend time listening to music and praising Him, a few minutes in absolute silence to prepare myself to hear His voice, time reading His Word, and journaling. These times with Jesus have become absolutely precious to me!
My hope and prayer is that you also practice facetime with Jesus every day. As you faithfully practice spending time with Him, your friendship with Jesus will grow. You’ll look forward to this time and it will become the springboard for your life.
As I read His Word and journal each day, I’ve learned to ask myself a few questions. These questions help focus my time and help me center on what the Holy Spirit might speak to my heart. I thought I’d share them with you:
4 Questions to Tune Your Heart as You Read Your Bible
What am I feeling? You’re probably thinking that is a strange question to start with and it might even seem unspiritual. However, our feelings alert us to the condition of our hearts and what issues we need to bring to Jesus. Spend a few minutes considering; Am I feeling anxious? Am I feeling sad? Am I feeling lonely or angry?
Recently, I spent some time in Psalm 20. Before I began to read, I was considering, “What am I feeling?” As I considered that question, I realized I was feeling anxious about some marketing things I need to take care of. Marketing is not my favorite activity; however, as an author and speaker, it’s part of my job. In order to honor my publishers, I have to market the books I write. As I was reflecting on the anxiety I was feeling, I read these words in Psalm 20:1-2, “May the Lord answer you when you are in distress; may the God of Jacob protect you. May He send you help from the sanctuary and grant you support from Zion.” In my spirit, I cried, “Yes! Answer me please oh Lord and send me help!”
What does the passage speak to me? The Word of God is timeless. While it was written to specific people and cultures, it speaks to us today in our situation! As I was reading Psalm 20, I began to ask myself, “What does this passage speak to me?” The Psalmist David reminded me that the Lord would give me victory (Psalm 20:6). He would help me to push past my anxiety over marketing and do the things the publishers expected. I could step past my fears and learn new practices.
Your situation might be completely different. You might be feeling anxious over medical tests you need to have done or over children who are far from God. You might be feeling fearful over a financial crisis. Here’s the thing: as you’re reading God’s Word, expect Him to speak! He will.
What is God’s invitation to me? As I continued meditating on Psalm 20, I realized that God’s invitation to me was to relax and trust that He would lead me as I took courageous steps. “We trust in the name of the LORD our God” (Psalm 20:7). As I meditated on this, I wrote in my journal, God’s invitation to me is that I relax ad trust Him to lead me as I try to learn how to market more effectively.
I have found that usually, God’s invitation to me is to relax and trust Him more. Whether my concerns revolve around my kids, my grandkids, our finances, or something as simple as marketing, God’s invitation is often for me to trust in Him. Sometimes His invitation is for me to take initiative and grow in some new skill. Sometimes, His invitation is for me to join Him by taking some new risk for His kingdom. His invitation to you might be somewhat different, although often it will involve trusting Him more.
How will I respond? Finally, after I’ve written down what God’s invitation is to me, I consider, “How will I respond?” It might be that I’ll write the words, God is inviting me to relax and trust Him” on an index card. I might post that index card on a mirror. Or, if God is inviting me to join Him on a new adventure that involves risk, I might write out a prayer of commitment and act in obedience before I chicken out! If God is inviting me to forgive someone, I might send that person an encouraging note or small gift signifying my open heart towards them. No matter God’s invitation the key is to respond in obedience.
Friend, why don’t you try out these 4 questions as you spend time with Jesus? Let me know how they work for you. Here’s what I know: Jesus wants us to bring our genuine selves to Him. He wants a deep abiding friendship with us!
My new Bible study on the Psalms, The Extraordinary Power of Praise, will release in June! This Bible study is what I call the Bible study of my heart! You can pre-order it now here, and I honestly think you’re going to love it! You can’t praise God and NOT be changed!