Scripture: James 4: 6-9
6 But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
Lord, please use this time spent with you to open my heart and mind to hear your voice. Let me fine joy in the obedience of seeking after you. And let my thoughts and requests be a sincere and holy cry from my heart. Amen.
Being at Tapawingo is amazing for many reasons. Whether it was supposed to be your first time coming, or you were going to be a staff member returning after many summers, there is the feeling of loss of something precious to not be there this year. While the activities are fun, being outside and seeing nature is beautiful, and getting to be silly and goofy with your friends can happen at Tap like no other place on earth, the most important part about Tap is how, in so many ways, it can bring you closer to God. Sometimes that feels like at Tap it is easier to be close to God than at home in everyday life, but the truth is that being at Tap helps to strengthen you so you can be stronger at home. Especially this summer, without the ability to listen together to the teaching at Power Hour, sing at Vespers, sit around a campfire with other girls and talk about God, it is important now to learn how to grow closer to God in your life at home.
One of the most important ways to do this, is to dedicate time each day to spend with God. Life can be really busy and sitting still and knowing where to start can sometimes be frustrating. But as we read in James, it does take work on our part to grow in our faith. Our efforts to seek after God are returned when we seek to know him more. This doesn’t necessarily mean that every time we read our Bible or pray that we will walk away feeling energized and excited about our faith. Sometimes there is not much feeling that necessarily comes from daily devotions. But God still tells us to submit to him and that means making the effort to seek him and spend time with him.
Getting into a routine of spending daily time with God can allow Him to show you new things about Himself, reveal areas where he’s trying to convict you, encourage you, comfort you, or help you know how to help others. Giving God space to speak to you each day gives him the chance to reveal himself to you. He does offer grace if we are struggling. There are seasons in life where we don’t feel like we have enough time or where time with Him feels dry or empty. But if you continue to seek Him in obedience, even if you feel silence and like you’re not getting anything out of it, God can still be working and teaching you patience and persistence in that time.
So how can you get started or get back into the habit of spending daily time with God?
- Pick a time of the day that works for you. Maybe you like to wake up early each day. Can you get up 15 minutes earlier each day? Are you a night owl and like to reflect on how your day was with God? Make it the last thing you do each day. If you have a hard time sitting still, can you write verses down on note cards and read them as you do something you do every day like brush your teeth or ride to school?
- It can be hard to know what to do besides open your Bible and just start reading. Ask your parents, someone from church, or e-mail a Tapawingo Staff member for recommendations and resources to help you get into God’s Word
- Don’t expect every time to be amazing. There are times it can be. But sticking with it means there are more opportunities for great and filling days if you are doing it every day. Ask God to be present and to speak. Be willing to listen and be willing to work to know Him and draw near to Him.