Abiding in Christ
How do you plan to spend time with Jesus?
by Kandi Gallaty
Isn’t it amazing that we hold in our hands and have access to the greatest book of all time? The Bible is composed of 66 books, written by 40 different authors, over the landscape of three continents, in two different languages. Not only is that amazing, but the words on its pages are divinely inspired. They are the very breath and word of God to us. He has so much to say to us, but often we don’t slow down long enough to stop and listen to Him.
As a mom of two boys only two years apart, I’ve learned if I’m going to spend time with Jesus it’s going to be early in the morning before the day gets going. For me, if I wait until the day has already started it just won’t happen. When the day comes to an end, I’m wiped out and worn out and pretty much good for nothing. My brain shuts off and shuts down, and that’s a wrap. To this day, I spend time with Jesus every morning before my boys wake up, and they are 13 and 11 now. I cherish this time with Jesus every single day. The only light on is a lamp by my reading chair. I sit with the Lord and drink my first cup of coffee with Him. This routine and spiritual discipline has been my lifeline. In order to survive and thrive I must abide.
Time and Place
If you’re just surviving in life, let me encourage you that God has so much more for you. If you’re a believer of the Lord Jesus Christ, then you have the Holy Spirit of God living inside of you. The same Spirit who divinely inspired the written Word of God lives in you. Second Peter 1:21 says, “No prophecy ever came by the will of man; instead, men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” We must create an atmosphere to hear what the Spirit is saying to us. Hebrews 4:12 tells us: “For the word of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
Allow me to give you some helpful suggestions to consider as you discover what your time with Jesus needs to look like. You may function better at night after the kiddos are in bed and that it totally fine. There isn’t a “right way” to spend time with Jesus. But it’s right to spend time with Him. I have one child who is a morning person and one who is a night owl. My night owl reads for a solid hour or sometimes even two hours before he goes to bed. He reads his Bible at night during this time. He reads his Bible at night, but it’s not the only thing he reads during this time. My other son likes to wake up early, and if he is going to read his Bible this is when he does it. His dad and I read in the mornings as well because we’re more alert and productive. Figure out what works best for you and stick to that.
After you have decided on a time of day you may want to choose a consistent place you will go to. For me it’s in my sitting room in my comfy chair. For you it may be your office, an area in your kitchen or dining room, your front or back porch, or your living room couch. A consistent place creates a sacred space. This is your spot. This is where you know you will go and expect to sit and hear from God. Let this be a special spot for you.
Plan and Action
Not only do you need a place, but you need a plan to be successful. Having a plan of what you will read each day will help you to be consistent. I suggest picking a Bible reading plan that you can commit to for a year. I know, committing for a year seems impossible. But I promise, you can do this. My husband and I have created Bible reading plans for years. We wholeheartedly believe that God’s Word is living and active. The Holy Spirit resides in us and speaks to us — not only once a week at church but every day.
In a world that is always grabbing for our attention, we have to be intentional about spending time with Jesus. If we’re not careful, we will hear the cry of the world over the voice of God. The truth is that the world is discipling people all day long. Satan, sin, and social media would love nothing more than to steal every second of time you have. Instead of being saturated and infatuated with social media, let’s be purposeful about our spiritual growth. Let’s be self-feeders — Christians who pick up the Bible and feed ourselves on the spiritual nourishment God provides in His Word.
My desire has always been to create reading plans that are manageable for busy believers because I know life happens fast. The goal of any time you spend with Jesus isn’t about the quantity of what you’re reading. It’s about the quality of the time spent.
I’ve recently taken one of our reading plans and tweaked it for women. It’s called The Bible in a Year: A Guided Scripture Reading Journey for Women. It’s a plan that reads chronologically through the Old Testament for half of the year and the New Testament for the other half. The plan involves reading one or two chapters a day five days a week. The other two days allow you to catch up if needed. Each week includes two verses to choose from to memorize — or you may choose to memorize both. You’ll also be introduced to a journaling method called H.E.A.R.T. that will encourage you to engage the text in a way that leads you to apply the truth you encounter.
Consistency and Accountability
I couldn’t be more excited to have this resource available for women. But I don’t want you to miss the main point. It isn’t for you to use the plan I’ve created. Don’t get me wrong, I would love for you to read this new plan or any of the plans we’ve created over the years, but that isn’t the point. The point is for you to choose a reading plan your heart desires. Choose a plan that interests you and excites you to learn and grow. Remember too that when you sit down to spend time with Jesus there isn’t a right or wrong way. You may choose to read your Bible or listen to your Bible on audio. You may read in the morning, on your lunch break, during nap time, in the car line, in the evening when you get home from work, or even after you put your kids to bed. You may write in a traditional journal, or you may choose to record a journal entry on your phone or in an app. Be creative in the way you spend time with the Lord. Don’t be locked into what you think it should or shouldn’t look like.
If you’ve never had a regular time with the Lord, let me encourage you not to become overwhelmed. If you become overwhelmed, you may choose to do nothing at all, which isn’t good. I typically spend on average 30-45 minutes in the morning in my time with Jesus. You may not have that much time to begin with or you may have more time. If you can’t sit down for 30 minutes, then start with 15. As you begin to get into a regular rhythm, you may want to bump up your time to 20 minutes and see how that goes. Do what works for you and watch the Lord grow your time with Him.
You don’t only need a place and a plan. You also need people in your life who will encourage you to stay the course. Consistency and accountability are essential in the life of a disciple of Jesus. Meet with Jesus every day and with a group at least once a week and see what God will do as you share your different lives built on a common faith.
As women, we can be too hard on ourselves. We think we’re not doing enough for our families or we’re messing everything up, including our kids. It’s time to give ourselves a break and know that Jesus is for us and always in our corner. Even more, He wants to be in our hearts, heads, thoughts, and emotions. Join me in committing to spend time with Jesus daily as we continue to be transformed into His image.
Kandi Gallaty is a pastor’s wife, a mother of two precious boys, Rig and Ryder, a speaker, and a writer who is devoted to making disciples by cultivating a passion in women for God’s Word. She and her husband, Robby, coauthored Foundations, and together they lead Replicate Ministries, a ministry that educates, equips, and empowers believers to make disciples who make disciples. Kandi and her family live outside of Nashville and serve at Long Hollow Baptist.
Leave a Reply