It’s Sunday morning. I am sitting here in my oceanfront hotel room listening to and watching the waves crash against the shore, I’m breathing in the scent of the salted sea, and I’m basking in the comforting warmth of the fireplace against my arm.
Jesus and I have been on a date since yesterday morning, and my heart is in Heaven.
I know. It probably sounds a bit unusual, doesn’t it? Since I’m often asked about the depth of my relationship with the Lord, I thought it might be helpful to include (in addition to my Journey of Intimacy story), tips I’ve learned that have helped me build a greater intimacy with Him.
I started going on dates with Jesus about 16 years ago; right around the time I began to go deeper in my relationship with Him. I can’t even take credit for the idea. I heard about the concept, and thought it was rather brilliant. It’s not that much different than what you might do on an actual date – spending dedicated and purposeful time with the other person by getting to know them, talking, laughing, and just BEING together. The words “being together” are key.
When I go on dates with the Lord, I rarely bring my Bible. (I know, some of you are gasping in shock). That’s because they aren’t meant to be devotionals (which are just as important), rather, a time intentionally set apart to simply be in His Presence, interact with Him, and chat together. I love these times because there is absolutely no pressure to do anything. Every time I come home from a date with Him, I am restored, rejuvenated, and refreshed. And more in love with Him than ever.
So, what do dates with Jesus look like? While there isn’t one “right way,” below are a few things I’ve personally found to be helpful. And to my male readers: This isn’t just for women. Discover what works for you and learn together with Jesus. He loves spending time with you!
- Be intentional about setting aside at least 2-4 hours, or all day if you want, to go somewhere with Him. I’ll sometimes plan where I want to go, or sometimes I’ll leave it in God’s hands to spontaneously direct me. I don’t stay at home for my dates (unless out of necessity) because it’s too distracting.
- Because I feel closest to God in the outdoors, almost all my dates are out in nature. For me, this could be next to a river, a hike with a view, or a longer date like this weekend at the ocean. Find a place or a spot where you feel closest to Him.
- Put aside anything that would distract you from being with Him. It’s not a time to be on your phone, Facebook, or anything else. Remember, it’s a date. The whole point is to be alone with Him.
- While I rarely bring my Bible, I do bring my journal because it’s in these moments of stillness where He speaks to me very profoundly. I love going back and reading what He said to me during those times.
Most of all, let this be a time of discovery with Him! I love my times with Him. I worship, I talk to Him (admittedly, sometimes a lot if I need to “get it all out!”), and listen to Him speak to me. We walk and laugh together. I also love the way He surprises me on our dates. He’s given me flowers, sunshine; even room upgrades. He loves me better and more fully than anyone I know.
So, start enjoying dates with Jesus, and let me know what you discover!
In the meantime, my time here is almost wrapped up and He and I still have a long walk on the beach planned…