I love meeting with God in my personal worship of Him. It is sheer pleasure; something I look forward to with great anticipation each morning.
It wasn’t always like this.
I remember times, even seasons, of my life when having a “quiet time” or “devotional” was like pulling teeth. It was hard. It was a chore. And many times, it seemed like I got nothing out of it.
But not anymore.
Sure, there are times that are drier than others. God doesn’t always “manifest” His presence when I meet with Him. And I still have to fight the urge to just “go through the motions” and “check this off my spiritual to-do list.”
There are many things that I’ve learned about this time of meeting with God, one-on-one; things that have transformed how I approach this time. And I’ve written about quite a few of them (click here for an overview of how I approach personal worship time with God).
But today I want to focus on one thing that has helped make my time with Jesus so … pleasurable. And it’s not something super spiritual or profound. In fact it’s quite “earthy” and simple:
I attach some tangible, pleasurable things to my time with God.
– I make a good, hot cup of coffee for my time with the Lord. I’ll take a sip between prayers. I’ll hold the cup in my hand and enjoy the warmth, as I reflect and meditate.
– I light a small candle at the beginning of my time. It not only reminds me of the presence of God’s Spirit with me, but it calms my heart and my mind. I’ll gaze at how it dances at the slightest wisp of air as I read aloud a passage of Scripture. In silent prayer, I will focus on its light – sensing the invitation from God to go deeper and to come closer.
– I play some very calm, soothing, but inspiring instrumental music on my iPod or computer (I highly recommend the “Music for Solitude Series” by the Transforming Center. Click here for more information). Sometimes the cadence and mood of this music fits perfectly with my readings or prayers or reflections. This causes a strong sense of closeness and intimacy in my heart towards God. This is not something I contrive or manipulate. The music is the same, and the readings/prayers are assigned (Daily Office) – but the Spirit sometimes uses them to do some amazing orchestrations in my heart!
Of course, the greatest pleasure of my time with God is simply to be with Him. But these additional pleasures prepare me for the pleasure of being with God. Much like going out with my wife to a special restaurant enhances the pleasure of being with her. The restaurant, while pleasurable in and of itself, is not the reason why I go there. It is simply a pleasurable context to enjoy the greater pleasure of being with my lover, my best friend, and my companion.
So spending time with my Lord is enhanced because of these special, pleasurable things I do to prepare my heart to meet with my Creator, Redeemer, and the Lover of my Soul.
It’s become my favorite moment of the day.
What are some pleasurable things you do to make your personal worship time with God special?
What helps you to overcome the rut of doing “spiritual tasks” in your personal worship so that you enjoy the relational aspect of being with God?