Hello, Sunshine! I’m glad you’ve decided to take this journey to learn the 7 Steps to Creating Time With God.
A glimpse inside this blog:
- Why the 7 Steps?
- 7-Step Quick Checklist
- Detailed Guide to Creating Time with God
- 5-Day Morning COFFEE Devotion Sample Lesson
If you are looking to develop and/or deepen your faith walk, the 7 Beginning Steps to Devoting Daily Time with God – Checklist and Step-by-Step Guide is a step in the right direction. This checklist and guide comes with a FREE 18-page printable PDF version for your convenience.
The guide provides steps to help you set a daily atmosphere for communing with God, in a way that yields connection and understanding. I created and use this checklist to help bring structure and routine to my own daily time with God. Because women have often asked me what I do to maintain my faith and to stay prayerful, I decided to share it.
Why the 7 Steps?
Implementing a system is what has helped me continue to grow in my faith. However, I won’t pretend that I always have it all together. I too have times when I struggle to keep my faith and prayer life intact. In fact, one of my life’s greatest challenges is what led me where I am today – encouraging women in both their day-to-day journey of normal life circumstances, as well as in their faith.
My goal, since I came up from the lows of that dark time, is to not only support women; but also, help to normalize the experiences women face, and to help serve as an accountability partner if needed. That’s why, along with recommending the 7 Steps to Creating Time With God, I also encourage and find it very important for individuals to identify at least one trusted accountability partner in their faith journey.
Accountability partners not only help motivate and hold each other accountable to committing time in prayer and devotion, but they are also able to pray and intercede for each other in times of weakness and vulnerability. It has honestly been this pattern of accountability that has both encouraged and strengthened me. It’s reassuring to have friends whom I can trust to help me navigate through the particulars of life.
Time and Devotion to Steps
Once you incorporate the 7 Beginning Steps to Daily Devotion Time with God Checklist and Guide, I suggest you try to commit to a time that you can incorporate into your daily schedule; as well as finding an actual devotional which speaks to your current need; to help you put what you’ve learned into practice.
Though I prefer to complete my devotions in the morning, you can choose to create your time with God at whatever time works best for you; a time where you have fewer distractions and more focus. You may also choose whether your prefer to do your devotion alone or with a friend, or group of friends. Know that it’s whichever gives you the greatest comfort and benefit. I personally can devote time alone, but I’ve partnered with many women from time-to-time to help them through their journey.
If you need a devotion, I shamelessly ask you to consider my book, the 5-Day Morning COFFEE Devotion. It’s a great companion with the 7 steps to help women looking to develop and strengthen their time in communion with God.
The 5-Day Morning C.O.F.F.E.E. Devotion has nothing to do with drinking coffee, and everything to do with being C.O.F.F.E.E. – Chicks of Faith, Focused, Encouraged & Empowered.
The coffee we drink only provides us energy for a little while; but if we are Chicks of Faith, Focused, Encouraged & Empowered, our motivation and strength last a bit longer.
To give you an example of what the 5-Day Morning C.O.F.F.E.E. Devotion is like, after you review the checklist and guide, I’ve included a slight sample of a lesson similar to those you will find in the devotion.
What Others Have Said?
My hope is that this checklist and guide, along with the devotion sample, will encourage and empower you to continue pursing your relationship with God. Women who have used the guide have shared of their newfound desire to know God better. Especially now, with using the guide, they are able to better understand a process for connecting with Him.
“I never really thought about how creating time and space to have devotion or prayer time could make a difference, but I definitely see that it does now.”Dominique L.
Women who have the devotional share of their enthusiasm to set aside daily time with God. They also express how the daily prayers after each lesson have helped them with their confidence in praying. However, as the author, I explain that the prayers (though real and authentic) are just templates. As you continue to meet with God daily, I am sure that He will compel you to pray for certain circumstances and situations to make the prayer personally yours.
“The book is so good…Day 2 really ministered to me!! Eye opening…the ‘joy of the Lord.’ As often as I’ve read that, I never registered that it’s HIS JOY!! My, my my!”Maggie M.
7-Step Quick Checklist
For quick reference, here is a snapshot of the entire list:
The 7 steps are fairly simple to interpret. Jot them down and run with them, if you will. Or, take a look at the step-by-step guide; which provides the details of how to make the above checklist a meaningful impact on your devotion time.
7 Step Guide to Creating Time with God
STEP 1 –
Either before you begin your devotion time or during (depending on whether you can actively read and comprehend with music on or not), create an atmosphere to meet with God. If you have your own MUSIC or playlist, you can turn it on in advance of your designated devotion time. If you don’t have a playlist, there are plenty of Christian or Gospel playlists on YouTube. To take out the guess work, feel free to check out my personal Devotional Playlist on my YouTube channel at Dawn of a New Day 365.
Psalm 22:3 says, “God inhabits the praises of His people.” So, practice getting yourself in the mental posture of praise and worship and drown out the everyday noises of the world and any of your concerns. The music should help you strip off whatever things might distract you and put you in a mindset for receiving from God.
STEP 2 –
Secondly, say a simple PRAYER to ask God to bless this time being created. Ask Him to meet you and make clear His word and instructions; asking Him to give you courage to receive what He says, and discipline to walk in it.
STEP 3 –
Have all your MATERIALS handy, which may include: a journal or notebook, pen, highlighter, and of course your Bible. You may also find it useful to have access to do additional research (i.e. access to Google, a Bible Concordance, etc.). These are useful if there is a word or concept you don’t understand. Finding the definition of the word, understanding the time period and customs, and reading interpretations of other Bible scholars may provide you helpful insight.
STEP 4 –
If you are reading a daily devotion, written by a pastor or other author, you’ll want to read the devotion, as well as the SUPPORTING SCRIPTURES. Note that it is always important to read the supporting scriptures; as the devotions, though helpful, are taken from other people’s opinions and their experiences. God’s word is forever. Through prayer and communion with Him, God is able to illumine His word to speak directly to you. So, don’t just take their word for it alone…take His.
STEP 5 –
To get the most from daily devotion, I suggest always DATING THE EXPERIENCE; so that you have a ledger of when you asked God to help you, and/or an account for where you may be in your life and mindset. Later you will be able to reflect back to see how God has moved in your life, and how you have grown.
STEP 6A –
Close out your daily devotion time just like you began it, with WORSHIP & PRAYER; but this time, pray directly as it relates to the topic of the devotion and how it has resonated with you. Include any pressing concerns on your heart concerning you or those God has entrusted to you in your relationships.
STEP 6B – It may help to have situations and people written down; so you can be accountable to pray for them. This may include family, friends, co-workers (liked and not liked), finances, obstacles, peace, safety. Your list should grow as you become more comfortable. The Holy Spirit will also lay people and situations on your heart to pray about. Harken to its beckoning.
STEP 7 – CONSISTENCY
For anything to become a habit, research suggests it must be practiced for at least 21 days. In order for time with God to become habitual, the same is true. Practice communing with God every day. Once it becomes a regular routine, not doing it will feel uncomfortable.
There is something uniquely special about daily time with God. Not only does life somehow seem clearer, but the trust you develop towards God (even when things aren’t so clear) gives you a peace that is indescribable.
I hope you found this checklist & guide for deepening your daily faith walk helpful. I pray it assists you to get in a posture and mindset to meet with God daily in prayer and devotion.
As previously suggested, I hope that you would consider my 5-Day Morning C.O.F.F.E.E. Devotion to help you begin incorporating the practices you’ve learned; so that you can put them to daily use, as you continue to grow in the gymnasium of faith.
5-Day Morning COFFEE Devotion Sample Lesson
*As promised, here is a sample devotion, similar to what you will find in the 5-Day Morning C.O.F.F.E.E. Devotion. Now is the time to implement the steps you’ve learned.
Daily Devotion: Foolish or Wise…Specific or Implied
Preparedness and intentionality are important not only to our daily lives, but our spiritual ones. However, sometimes in our human frailty, on one hand we seem to be in the right place, with the right tools; but on the other hand, lack the ability to use it or manage it well. Jesus speaks of a similar example in the scripture Matthew 25:1-13 –
The Parable of the Ten Virgins – (Were they prepared?)
The scripture reads,
1“At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3 The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. 4 The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. 5 The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
6 “At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’
7 “Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8 The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’
9 “‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’
10 “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.
11 “Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’
12 “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’
13 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.
This depiction may seem a bit far off, so I’ll try to relate it to an experience I once had.
Parable of the Unit – (Were we prepared?)
I’m a military veteran, and I recall while serving in the Army, we used to have a process called PMCS – Preventive Maintenance Checks and Services. Any time soldiers (particularly younger soldiers) were going to be taking a travel pass or holiday leave (either individually or as a unit), leaders would have soldiers to perform this check on their POV (personally owned vehicle). They’d check the windshield wipers, turn signals, headlights and brake lights, the oil levels, and even the tread on the tires. Their intent was to make sure there were no preventable impairments that could cause accidental injury or death to the soldier while they were away.
The process was practiced regularly on POVs and military vehicles during peace time because during times of war this practice needed to be second nature · ingrained · intuitive · instinctual ·.
If in a position to possibly face the enemy, a soldier needed to know that their military vehicle or other equipment was serviced and prepared for the journey…for the hazards of uncertain terrain… for the conflict. In addition to the vehicles, it needed to be known and expected that a soldier’s weapon had been cleaned and checked, because in times of needing to actually use it and fire it, there needed to be the security or confidence of knowing that the weapon wouldn’t malfunction.
So, as soldiers in the military, we practiced in peace time in order to build our discipline for times of war.
I’ll never forget one time when I was stationed in the dessert of Fort Bliss Texas (where the summer time temperature could be 110 degrees by 10am), we were preparing for an exercise; at which time, I was a XO (Executive Officer/1st Lieutenant). Our battery (unit) had all of our individual equipment and mostly all of our unit equipment; but we were missing a water buffalo.
A water buffalo is a large tank on wheels with multiple taps (holds 400 – 500 gallons of water) for filling cups or bottles. Though it served multiple purposes, we relied on it heavily to fill up our water canteens; which of course would be needed in the sweltering heat.
The Specific Task
Since our unit’s water buffalo was down for maintenance, we’d have to sign one out from a different unit. I had given instructions to the individual in charge of maintenance and logistics to make sure to follow up on obtaining a water buffalo in time for the field exercise; and the task was fulfilled fairly quickly, which was a relief. I was confident we were prepared for the task and mission before us.
So, on the actual day of the exercise, everything was going as planned. We were on time. The convoy had gone well. It was going without a hitch…so I thought.
Suddenly, I was informed by another leader of a slight problem. What could it have been? We had crossed every “T” and dotted every “I.”
The problem, I was told… was…the water buffalo.
“What’s the specific problem,” I asked. “Does it have a leak?”
“No ma’am,” they replied. “The water buffalo doesn’t have a leak. It has no water.”
What is the purpose of having a water buffalo IN THE DESERT with no water?!
The Implied Task
When I went to ask the individual I had given the responsibility of taking care of this task what had happened, his response was, “Ma’am, you didn’t tell me to put water in it.”
I was in disbelief. I didn’t even have the energy to blow up. So, in the moment, I just said, “And this is a classic example of the difference between SPECIFIC and IMPLIED tasks.”
Parable of Life (Are you prepared?)
In this life, there are going to be tasks that we need to do, want to do, and can do. We’ll know what those tasks or goals are specifically; however, most of them will have additional implications in order to bring them into fruition.
We, like the virgins from Matthew 25, are on a journey to meet the bridegroom (Jesus Christ). But, before we get there, there is preparation that we all must make; and because we don’t’ know when he’s coming…because we don’t know when the journey will end… we have to prepare in peacetime for times of war.
We have to be like the five wise virgins. Scripture tells us that there were 10 altogether. Five were wise and five were foolish. This indicates to us that though we may, at times, be doing the same as others (in the same job, school, house, environment), all of us are not the same. We don’t all have the same calling or purpose. So, who you surround yourself with and who you listen to matters.
Who are you with?
Are you with someone or people who tell you to check your oil (like the wise virgins or those helping to perform PMCS)? Or, are you with people who encourage you to push the limits…even when it could be dangerous, cause your to break down, or cause you to miss out?
Prepared With a Purpose
Note that during biblical times, the significance of the lamp maidens was to light the way for the bridegroom into the celebration. These were the days when the only source of light in darkness came from burning oil lamps; but someone was also needed to constantly care for that light, so that the flame would burn and show clean and bright.
HAVE YOU EVER SEEN WHAT SEEMED LIKE A DIRTY FLAME OR DIRTY SMOKE? THAT’S NEVER A GOOD SIGN. FIRE HAS TO BE TENDED.
In scripture, the maidens were called and expected for a specific purpose. They had with them what they were supposed to use; but not all of them were prepared for the task. They were to specifically light the way. The implied task, however, was they would not only have enough oil in their lamps, but they would also keep their lamps trimmed and burning; so that the path for the bridegroom could be clear and not dim or smoky. In other words, their purpose required preparation.
What’s is your flame like? Can you display it as you should? Do you have part of what you need, but find that you are not fully prepared to use it?
What has God shown or told you to do specifically? What are the implied tasks you must persistently fulfill in order to reach that goal?”
Our Call to Action
In Matthew 25, the maidens are representative of the Church, and the bridegroom representative of Jesus. They were to use their lamps to light the bridegroom’s way into the celebration. Likewise, you and I are to use our gifts to light the way for others until Jesus returns.
I came to encourage you and remind you today, like the wise maidens, to keep your lamps trimmed and burning; for you are a light. Whether or not you shine bright or dirty depends on how you tend to it. But you must remember, you must practice in peacetime for times of war. When faced with darkness, it helps if you’ve spent time beforehand tending to your source of light. Your purpose requires continuous preparation. Never forget, you have specific and implied tasks to fulfill.
13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
Goals and Reflections
Lord, I your servant THANK YOU for your Word, Dear Father. I thank you for choosing me to be your light. Lord, I ask that You forgive me if I have not shown your light to the world as you intended. Lord, forgive me if I have neglected or mishandled the gift or gifts you have given to me.
I ask that you grant unto me wisdom that I might continue to seek You in prayer for instruction and guidance in all things: love, obedience, school, work, my dreams and endeavors, my mind and emotions, my finances, and my future. Help me commit myself daily to prayer and devotion. Give me discipline to prepare myself in times of peace and happiness for the spiritual attacks that will come against me. Help me to trust that even in those times, You are still in control and that I can always trust in you. Jeremiah 29:11 tells me that You alone know the plan for my life, and I believe that.
Lord, I ask you to forgive me for the times that I act foolishly and take for granted the gifts that you have given to me. Help me to better steward what you have blessed me with so that others may see YOU through my reflection.
Lord, help me to tend to my light daily that it might shine clear and bright for your kingdom. In Jesus’ name. Amen!
Again, I hope you found both the checklist & guide, along with the devotion sample, helpful for deepening your daily faith walk. If so, I’d love to hear about it! Connect with me and tell me about your journey to hear from God. Feel free to follow me on any of my platforms.
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My desire is that you will use the checklist and guide, along with the devotional, to truly develop and deepen your relationship with God and your continued commitment to time with Him.
As I mentioned before, you could choose to do this alone, or grab a friend or two and take the journey together; all while becoming stronger C.O.F.F.E.E. – Chicks of Faith, Focused, Encouraged and Empowered.