Daily Devotional

The Purpose of Time Alone with God

By Brent Barnett

This week’s topic: Time Alone With God

The ultimate purpose of spending time with God is to commune with God. Man is made for relationship with God (Ecclesiastes 3:11), and thus, in order to have fullness of joy and to be what God wants him to be, he needs to cultivate that relationship. How this is done will make all the difference for making our devotional time a meaningful, edifying, and truly purposeful time.

James 4:8 says, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” The reason we must have time with God is because God asks us to. He puts the responsibility on us to make the first move to reach to Him in drawing near. He wants us to want Him, and so He waits for us with open arms hoping that we will run to Him. The promise for us is sure that if we draw near to Him we can be sure that He will be there for us. He won’t run, He won’t hurt us, He won’t ignore us, He won’t abandon us, and He will listen. He is the perfect friend and Father, and He always has all the time we could ever need. In addition, He has the power to effect change, move mountains, and truly impact our lives immediately and directly. It is such a privilege to be a child of God Who can approach the Sovereign of the entire world to move to meet our needs.

When we come to realize that life is about relationship with God, we will get the most out of our devotion time. If we start to think that life is merely about doing things for God rather than enjoying God Who does His work in and through us, we will lose our joy and our first love (Revelation 2:4). Life to the full is knowing God (John 17:3). Eternal life and the abundant life (John 10:10) are found in cultivating a personal relationship with a personal God through Jesus Christ. This is what our heart longs for, and if we start replacing God with activities for God or any other idol, we will lose our joy and wonder why God feels so distant. The beauty of an intimate walk with God is that we can know His will (1 Corinthians 2:16), we can have our joy made full (John 15:11), and we can expect our prayers to be answered (John 15:7). There is rest, security, and certainty when we are near to the heart of God. But we must take the time to spend time with God to listen to Him, learn from Him, and love Him.

A productive quiet time is one in which we encounter God’s heart for us through His Word. We read it, study it, and meditate upon it such that the Spirit is able to give us enlightenment concerning its meaning and His desired application for our lives. The Scripture is not meant to be mere data and information, but it is language expressing God’s love and intents to us and for us. It is thus more than letters on a page, being God’s handwritten note to us about His love and purposes for us. It is very much alive (Hebrews 4:12). When we read God’s Word to see what God’s heart is and how He wants our hearts (James 1:25), then devotions are meaningful and purposeful.

Devotions should also involve time in prayer. We should listen to God through His Word, and then we should speak to God through prayer. It is essential that we open our hearts fully before God, especially since He sees them for what they are anyway. It is silly to not express our full longings when God knows what they are anyway. We should cast our worries and cares upon Christ (1 Peter 5:7), we should pour out our needs to Him, and we should pray for the things which He has told us to pray for, such as for His kingdom to come and will to be done in various areas in our sphere of influence and in the world. We want to see His name lifted up in spirit and in truth. Once our hearts are enraptured with God, it is only natural to pray for others to know the same thing.

Psalm 16:11 says, “You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.”

We were made for God, so let us spend time alone with God to hear from Him, to know Him, to enjoy Him, to learn from Him, and to listen to Him. He alone can give us strength and meet our deepest needs, so let us draw near to Him regularly, starting today.

Scripture Of The Day: “You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.” – Psalm 16:11 (ESV)

Brenton M. Barnett is the founder of the free Bible teaching ministry, Relevant Bible Teaching, found on the web at He is also the author of Catch Fire: A Call to Spiritual Awakening. Brent’s greatest joys in life are his wife, Sarah, and daughter, Anneke.…

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