Here is an inside look at my "not-so-quiet" time with God, which includes talking, tears, laughter, and a lot of confession. It begins with what is most important to me…
The highest priority in my life is to love God (Matthew 22:34-40; 1 John 4:19; 1 Peter 1:8). As a way to stay accountable to Him (there are other ways), I repeat these 7 statements of truth and commitment nearly every day. I only repeat the first two sentences: a biblical truth plus bolded commitment.
If I feel conviction from the bolded sentence, I read the rest of the paragraph and even look up the Scripture passage. I always ask God to search my heart.
And He does.
Most mornings I shed tears of humility and thankfulness for His unending love in spite of my weaknesses and failures.
1. "God loved me first while I was at my worst, and He will always love me. Therefore, I believe God loves me and remember His love and forgiveness through the gospel of Jesus Christ." (John 3:16; 14:6; 1 Jn. 4:19; Galatians, Ephesians 2:8-10; Titus 3:4-7). I can only love God as much as I am loved by Him. I need the truth of the Gospel every day. It is the fuel for my relationship with Him and foundation of the Christian life.
2. "I want and need to hear from God, my Father. Therefore, I read Scripture daily." (John 8:31, 15:7-11; Acts 18:24; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Colossians 3:16) I care about what God says. I want to hear from Him. I need His direction in my life.
3. "God is my Father who wants to hear from me and respond to me. Therefore, I pray with a poured-out heart." (John 15:7-11; Matthew 7:7-11; Luke 11:5-13; Mark 11:22-24; Acts 4:31; 1 Peter 4:7; Psalm 80:18; Romans 5:3-5) I will talk with Him always. I will cast my cares on Him. I will share each moment and thought and concern with Him. I will voice what is in my heart. I will be open and honest about the hard stuff too.
4. "God never lies or tempts me. Therefore, I trust God completely." (John 14:1-11; 15:3-8) There isn't anything He wants that I don’t believe is best. He alone knows what is best. In Jesus there is no darkness. My circumstances will not deter me from trusting Him. I will not focus on "the waves" (Peter's experience with walking on water). I will focus on Jesus. Trusting Him is not always easy.
5. "God’s direction is always best for me. Therefore, I obey God immediately." (John 14:15-24; 1 Peter 1:22-23) He has complete ownership of my life. My mind and thoughts belong to Him. I will fight for a pure mind. My actions and efforts belong to Him. I will do what He wants immediately. Delayed obedience is disobedience. When I am not obeying, it’s because I don’t believe His direction is coming from a heart of love.
6. "God deserves my worship and expression of love. Therefore, I worship God intimately." (John 4:23-24; Colossians 3:15-17; Psalm 100:1-2) God is Holy, Holy, Holy; and worthy to be praised! I am a living sacrifice. I bow down to Him out of love. I will sing to Him because I love Him. I love to bless His name.
7. "God is the ultimate and everlasting source of joy. Therefore, I pursue my ultimate joy in God." (Jeremiah 2:9-13; Psalm 16:11; Matthew 13:44-46; Luke 14:26-33) "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him." He will be my ultimate source of Joy. I will seek no satisfaction before Him, and I will find no pleasure above Him.
These are not the only truths in Scripture about loving God. You would have to copy and paste all of Scripture to include everything.
Still, these biblical pillars have kept the fear of the Lord in my heart and mind countless times.