Daily Choices for God: How to Live Close to God Each Day!

hour glass 5

Daily Choices for God

How to Live Close to God Each Day!

We all know that there are people who somehow think that Christianity is a “religion” that has to do with church-going, formal membership activities, and ritualistic devotions. Instead, the Word of God shows that the way of Christ is deeply concerned with our practical daily life.

As we read through the New Testament letters, it is unmistakably clear that God is interested in the decisions—great and small—that we make each day. Paul writes, “Be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.  So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:15-17). This says that we are to be careful how we live, we are to be wise in our living choices, we are to use our time well, and we are to understand God’s will in many different ways. God is greatly interested in the way you and I live!

In order to give some direction on how God is interested in our daily walk and our regular conversation, it would be helpful to just mention briefly the kind of thoughts that might go through our mind as we arise in the morning and go through a typical day. What choices do we make? What decisions do we have? How do we use our time, plan our activities, and where do we go? Let’s go through this usual day and consider how our relationship with God and our commitment to Christ will affect what we do.

sunrise (10)

The Typical Day

First, we either spontaneously awake or the alarm clock rings and a new day begins. As a worshiper of God, we might want to lift our heart to Him in prayer before we do anything else. If He is our Creator and Heavenly Father, it is only reasonable that we would acknowledge Him from the very beginning of our consciousness.

Second, we admit that there are many different duties and ways to begin a day. You may choose to have a “quiet time” of prayer and Bible reading at this point—in the early morning, before anyone else awakes. On the other hand, you may wish to begin a physical exercise routine somewhere in the house or outside. Even if you take a long walk, as I do, you can use this time to pray, to review memorized Bible verses, or to meditate on the beauties of the day and of God’s goodness. This may be an opportunity to plan your day to take advantage of the time God gives to you.

Third, sometime in the early morning—before the busyness of the day begins—you will want to gather your children together in the living room or at the breakfast table and there have an edifying time of teaching, training, and worship. If you are a father or a mother, this is a most important period and should not be overlooked. Of course, some families prefer to have a longer time in the evening or at the dinner table instead of a long time in the early morning. If you don’t have children at home or you are childless, you can—and should—still communicate with your spouse in the early morning.

Fourth, breakfast time is a good time to begin family thanksgiving for the meal. Don’t just sit down and begin eating—as the world does—but acknowledge God’s presence, God’s providing the food, and God’s worthiness in Christ Jesus. Some families sing a Christian song or hymn along with the thanksgiving at the beginning of the meal. I’ve known of those who also end the meal with thanksgiving or a prayer. You can see that focusing on God and His Word should be a natural part of each day, from the beginning to the end.

Fifth, again each family is different after breakfast. If you have children and home educate them (home school them), you will have plenty of opportunity through the morning hours (and even the afternoon hours) to acknowledge God’s blessings and will in the life of your family. You will want to use curricula that are clearly Christian in content, and this again is an opportunity for your children to be exposed to Christian values and teachings. Virtually every subject that you cover with your children will give opportunity to speak about the Lord, His will, and His word.

Sixth, if you are the wage-earner in the family, as you drive to your place of employment, you again have the opportunity to speak to the Lord in prayer and praise. You definitely need God’s strength, wisdom, and guidance throughout your day of work. If you are a manager, supervisor, or owner of a business, you will need God’s help and wisdom. Pray for guidance that you will have the wisdom to lead your company or supervise your employees so that they will find satisfaction working for you and do a good job in their chosen field. If you are simply a worker, you can seek God’s guidance on how to work with wisdom, skill, knowledge, and honesty for the satisfaction of your employer. Pray also for your fellow-workers that they may be blessed of the Lord and even come to Him in repentance.

Seventh, depending on the nature of your work—whether it requires deep concentration or mostly physical activity—you may be able to use some of your work time for spiritual purposes. In the past, I was able to memorize Bible verses, review Scripture, pray, and participate in other spiritual endeavors part of the time on the average day. While your hands are busy, you mind can also be active with some of these spiritual pursuits. Even in the midst of mental activity, you can bring God into your thoughts and work.

Eighth, if you do have a job that permits it (especially if you are the owner), you may be able to speak to others (such as customers or fellow-workers). If you have God constantly in your thoughts and review memorized Bible verses or meditate on them, you may be able to share comments with others. We know that the job is generally not the ideal time to have full Bible teachings, but since the Lord wants to be part of your daily life, you may be able to say something to others, as the occasion allows and warrants.

Ninth, some people have found that they can gather one, two, or a roomful of fellow employees together at lunchtime or break time (maybe in a vacant room or a corner of the break room) and lead a short Bible study with them. This may be attended by professing Christians who are eager to learn more or it may be that non-Christians will want to attend. This is an opportunity for spiritual “seekers” to learn more about God’s Word in an informal atmosphere. You will probably want to receive permission from the owner or manager if you do use company facilities. Once in my past, the lunchtime was used to discuss spiritual matters in a “community type” of vacant building near the company grounds.

Tenth, even when the nature of your job requires much concentration and interaction with others, you can still involve yourself with spontaneous prayer. Talk to the Lord in an informal way, such as, “Thank you, Lord, for my good health.” “Thank you, God, for this job. Help me to do it well.” “I love you, Jesus, for giving your life for me and presently living for me.” “God, show me how to solve this problem and be a good example to my fellow-workers.” The opportunities are virtually endless!

Eleventh, when you drive home after work, you can use this “drive time” to great advantage. Some people live only a mile from work, but others may live twenty-five miles. Your drive time may take five minutes or even forty-five minutes. You can use whatever time you have to pray to the Lord (thank Him for how the day went, or ask Him for wisdom in making life-decisions), to sing to the Lord (another reason to memorize songs or to learn how to spontaneously sing songs that you make up as you go along), or to plan your evening or your week. Of course, you will want to carefully avoid distractions while driving, but generally driving does let your mind go free and you can be occupied with spiritual pursuits there in your daily commute.

Twelfth, it should be clear to our readers that the Christian whom we are following in our imaginary daily activities, will display the full array of spiritual fruit from early morning through the remainder of the day. Some of the fruit would be love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). Dozens of other spiritual qualities are scattered through the New Testament writings. The follower of Jesus will be sure to display such characteristics in all he does through the day. This will be for God’s glory but it will also be a means of reaching unbelievers for the Lord (Matthew 5:13-17).

Thirteenth, not only will the believer display the fruit of the Spirit, but he (or she) will also be careful to avoid the deeds or works of the flesh (cf. Galatians 5:19-21). This would refer to those sins of action, word, thought, and attitude that must not be in the believer’s life. We are to “cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Corinthians 7:1). If we remain close to the Lord, we will be like the Lord in our inner disposition and outward behavior. Let all dishonesty, all angry words, all bitter attitudes, all unkindness be put away from our life! (Ephesians 4:21-24; Colossians 3:12-17).

Fourteenth, when the family reassembles after a busy day (with the husband/father home from work, and with the wife/mother finished with her domestic duties), there are plenty of opportunities to seek the Lord. The husband may be able to arrange a teaching session with his children that will help his wife in the education she has been involved in earlier in the day. We know that the wife is to be the “helper” of her husband (Genesis 2:18), but there will be opportunities for the husband to bless his wife and the wife to bless her husband, and both to continue blessing their children.

Fifteenth, the evening mealtime is another opportunity for the father to take the lead in supervising the family again. This would include not only the family meal (the dinner or supper), but the family thanksgiving for the meal, perhaps another song to or about the Lord, and then the table conversation at the meal. This family time of conversing at the time is quite important. Obviously, there is no place for TV, for worldly music, or other distractions. The father can inquire about the learning and activities of the children, the parents can share the activities of the day, the wage earner can share any Christian encounters he has had, and the family can discuss the important events of the world. All of this may make a lasting impression on each of the family members. If there are no children (either they have left the “nest” or perhaps God hasn’t given children), the husband and wife may be able to discuss important points of interest, including the activities of the wife.

Sixteenth, hospitality may be an important element in our daily activities. Maybe the husband can invite one or more of his fellow-workers home, or the wife can invite a woman friend or friends whom she knows, or maybe neighbors can be invited. This will not only give the guests the opportunity to eat a nutritious meal (very unlike the unhealthy, non-nutritious, junk food with which most people are familiar), but it will be the opportunity to show unbelievers what a truly Christian family is like.

Seventeenth, whether it be the evening meal or the evening time, it may be possible to invite brothers or sisters in the Lord to visit your home. This hospitality—mentioned a number of times in Scripture—would be a blessing to you as well at the invited guests (Romans 12:13; Hebrews 13:2; 1 Peter 4:9).

Eighteenth, every parent will want to make sure that the entire atmosphere of the home in the evening hours is “Christian” in character. There is no place for the TV, or worldly music, or worldly activities, or foolish games, or any other pastime or worldly influence. Obviously, worldly children who are neighbors should not lead your children astray during anytime of the day. Sports games and activities shouldn’t mar the children’s evening hours (or any other time during the day). Dozens of wholesome activities can occupy your children’s time after the evening meal. The father or mother can lead in these activities or at least approve of them.

Nineteenth, some families have a “devotional” time in the evening or at least before bedtime. The father (or mother) can read appropriate Scripture, the family can sing one or more Christian songs, the parents can lead out in many discussions on important themes, all based on the Scriptures and a Christian worldview. Prayer would be a way to end this time.  I’ve read of one family that had a one-hour session with the children in the morning and another one-hour period in the evening, but it need not be this length. Each family can decide on the length, depending on their unique circumstances. I well remember one sweet family, that had maybe six to ten children, seated around the living room and the children were very attentive. What a blessing this was! It should be a blessing that almost every family can enjoy.

Twentieth, when the children are all tucked into bed, this may be a time when the father or mother can have private sharing with each one and prayer for each one. The children need such times and God will surely be glorified. The husband and wife will also want to find sometime in the day or evening to have their own Bible studies and worship times. There also needs to be some time for the husband and wife (the parents) to share with each other, both seeking God’s blessing and will. The final hour of the day is an important time to commit the day to the Lord in worship and devotion. Both husband and wife can pray to the Lord intimately.

sundown (8)

Twenty-first, during the night would also give opportunity to speak to the Lord in prayer and praise. If you have difficulty sleeping, there would be periods of time when God could be addressed and love expressed.  Perhaps there won’t be too much opportunity for any long prayers to the Lord in the middle of the night (although maybe this would be possible, depending on the situation), but even a sentence or two can acknowledge God’s presence.

Your Own Circumstances

We know that there are a wide range of different situations and circumstances in life and maybe parts of our discussion above don’t really apply to you. Some of our readers may be single, others may be widows or widowers, and still others may be divorced. Probably many readers are in a spiritually “divided” marriage—with one member loving and serving the Lord and the other member hasn’t even come to Christ so far. And then there are some marriages in which a member did come to Christ in the past but presently they are not living for Him. Sadly, some devoted saints live in the same house with others who either are indifferent to the Lord and spiritual things or are actively opposed to anything having to do with God and the Scriptures.

Some readers must somehow endure worldly rock, rap, country, and other forms of music. Some have to put up with drunkenness, with drug abuse, with physical abuse, with junk food, with the air filled with smoke, and with filth everywhere. Certain readers may, of necessity, need to work two jobs and there is very little time to sleep. Also, in our modern world, some families may only have one or two children instead of a large family of perhaps six, eight, or ten. There are families with one member seriously disabled and unable to walk or work, and some families have one or more retarded children.

As you have read over our description on how to bring Christ Jesus and His Word into your life, some of you are lamenting, “I have never experienced this kind of life, and there is no possible way to implement such a life since I have an unbelieving or a disobedient husband or parents.” Since we are living in an unusual time, it seems like the majority of wives and mothers have a job away from home, with the children placed in child care or in the worldly and humanistic public school system. How can a wife and mother stay at home when the husband insists that she work? How can a family afford to exist in a situation where there is one wage earner and a huge mortgage? We must also remember that the chief bread winner may not earn $50,000 or $90,000 a year as a manager or engineer, but he may only earn $19,000 a year, with huge mortgage payments. We must address some of these questions and concerns in another article.

For now, it is good to at least focus on a more ideal situation, where the children are protected from worldly education, in which the children are taught in the ways of God, in which the family is thoroughly Christian and consistently devoted to the Scriptures. We must see the ideal before we seek to solve the numerous exceptions to the ideal.

Finally, let’s end with the words of the beloved song, “Happy the Home When
God is There,” by Henry Ware (1846):

Happy the home when God is there,

And love fills every breast;

When one their wish, and one their prayer,

And one their heavenly rest.

Happy the home where Jesus’ name

Is sweet to every ear;

Where children early speak His fame,

And parents hold Him dear.

Happy the home where prayer is heard,

And praise is wont to rise;

Where parents love the sacred Word

And all its wisdom prize.

Lord, let us in our homes agree

This blessed peace to gain;

Unite our hearts in love to Thee,

And love to all will reign.

Let us all seek to make our daily choices God-centered, Christ-centered, and Spirit-filled. Let us seek direction from God’s Word in all we do. Let’s live in the presence of the Lord at home, on the job, and anywhere else we may be. Let us, as parents, as children, as husband and wife, as employer and employee, as neighbor, and as single saints, allow God to be the focus of our life! Let us always choose the right way for the Lord!

Richard Hollerman

Comments are closed.