Soaking in the Presence

In a recent post entitled 52 Dates with the Savior I mentioned the concept of dating the Lord.  Because this is a subject that is near and dear to my heart I want to share some of my experiences with you in hopes that this will provoke a few ideas in you about how you can make your relationship with the Lord become more consistent and intimate.

I believe that if people can grasp the concept of dating the Lord it will bring freedom to their spiritual walk.  For the past 24 years I have heard the concept of daily devotions taught in the church.  And, while I agree that daily devotions are a best practice that will increase spiritual maturity and Biblical knowledge, the reality is that most people are not able to consistently incorporate this practice into their lives.

One reason is because daily devotions do not fit into their busy schedule.  Another reason is because daily devotions have not been deemed a priority.  Ultimately, I really believe that part of the problem is that (as suggested by Gary Chapman in his “God Speaks Your Love Language” book) individuals express love differently.  For individuals whose primary love language is quality time, daily devotions may be a natural expression of their love to God.  In fact, not spending this time with God may leave them feeling empty and distant in their relationship with God.

However, for others whose primary love language is not quality time, consistently applying daily devotionals becomes burdensome to them.  Finding other ways to express their love to God that fit better into their primary love language helps them to become better connected to the Lord and frees the from the guilt that they feel if they don’t consistently do daily devotionals as they are taught “good Christians” should do.

This is the gap that the concept of dating the Lord can fill.  For this other group of people, dating the Lord gives them the opportunity to have a fulfilling personal relationship with the Lord on terms that work for them.  It allows them to spend time with the Lord speaking to Him in their own love language without the guilt of trying to fit into someone else’s box.

For me, it opened up a whole new world.  I commit to one day a week where I spend 1-2 hours of focused time with the Lord.  I set aside a day where I plan time on the calendar to have a date with Jesus doing something that will make me feel connected to Him.  By living inside of the parameters of “at least once a week” it allows me the freedom to live without guilt if I cannot squeeze in a daily time with the Lord to do a scripted daily devotional.

I pre-schedule one day per week on my calendar and look forward to it from one date to the next.  If something should happen to prevent me from being able to keep my date with the Lord, I quickly reschedule because I have a commitment with Him to go on at least one date per week.  Because I have enjoyed our dates so much, I usually end up going on more than one date with Him each week even if some of those dates end up being quick 15-30 minute get aways.

One of my favorite dates with the Lord is a “soaking date”.  This date that I put on my calendar is just what the name implies…I soak with my Savior!  In the bathtub that is…

I usually have these dates with the Lord on evenings when my family is tied up doing other activities or when I’m up during the middle of the night.  I fill the bathtub with bubbles or bath salts and hot water.  Then, light a bunch of scented candles – frankincense and myrrh is one of my favorites.  I grab my Bible or other book that will help me feel connected to the Lord.  The most intimate worship music I an find gets turned on the stereo in my bathroom and I grab a crystal wine glass of cold tea or other beverage.  Lastly, I turn off the lights and climb in the tub.

I spend some time listening to the music and worshipping the Lord.  I pray and talk to the Lord and just relax and enjoy His company while I listen for Him to speak to me.  At some point I usually take out my Bible and read some passages.  I may read the book.  I’m not religious or strict about exactly what I do during these dates.  The entire purpose is to feel connected and intimate with the Lord.  I usually spend at least an hour or sometimes two just renewing my spirit and hearing from Him.  Sometimes, I’ll grab my iPad and take some notes on what the Lord is showing me in the Word.  Sometimes I’ll do a SOAP devotional study.  Sometimes I just listen to music and just de-stress after a long and anxious week when there are so many thoughts in my head that I just need Him to help me sort everything out.

The amazing thing about these dates is that when I’m finished I feel totally connected to the Lord and I usually feel closer to my husband also.  It’s really amazing that when my relationship with the Lord is in the right place it carries over and has a direct impact on my marriage.

I hope that hearing about this has encouraged you and given you some ideas about how to implement your own Savior Dates!  I am looking forward to your comments telling me about the great dates you’ve had with Him!