Desiring to keep the group small for obvious reasons, the call-out was limited to the first twenty-five people to respond. I was timid but determined to set my introverted ways aside and join this community — so I responded, and my life has been forever changed by this group that has held together, led by Lori, for five years.
Lori’s first book, Running from a Crazy Man (and other adventures traveling with Jesus), continues to impact my life. If you’re expecting a comfortable feel-good read, this isn’t the book for you — but if you’re ready to be challenged and spurred on by a woman who knows, loves, and follows her God with a tangible passion, you will want a copy of this book, trust me.
So, thank you, Lori, for allowing us a glimpse into your quiet time today. I’m excited — let’s get started.
If we were to join you during your one-on-one times with God, what might we observe?
I’ve never been able to confine myself to one daily quiet time with God. As a young person, I spent hours with God – back in the days when kids were sent out to play until the street lights came on. I’d put my Bible, my hymnal, and my journal in my bike basket and sit under a tree reading, praying, singing, and writing several times a day. In college, I was impressed by Brother Lawrence’s practicing the presence of God concept and so I continue to incorporate time with God throughout my day. On work days, I read a passage before I’m out of bed and usually pray through my current needs before my feet hit the floor. I then listen to the Bible on CD in my car. At odd times through the day, I’ll google an image from the morning’s passage or look up a definition to deepen my understanding of what’s going through my mind. After work, I generally process what God’s been bringing to mind by writing it out (often resulting in a blog post but not always.) I generally get caught up in a story or concept for days at a time and God seems happy to supply object lessons as I go about my day to reinforce what I’m reading. When I have a weekend or vacation, I’ll spend longer periods of time with God alone in the morning, reading, taking notes, praying, and looking up cross-references or Hebrew/Greek stuff.
Other than the Bible, what is your one go-to “tool” you use during your time with the Lord?
Probably my laptop. I like to type out my thoughts, it’s how I process, and love being able to look up different translations, images, or definitions on the Internet.
What’s one of the most unique experiences you’ve had during your one-on-one times with God?
I spent six months away from home at a job I didn’t like and where I didn’t feel accepted by the people. I decided to devote hours every night being alone with the Lord and asking Him to direct my quiet time. I was very afraid of what would happen. What if I didn’t sense any direction from Him? I started every evening by praying and then opening my Bible to a passage – reading and following references as I read. The sense of God’s presence was very powerful for me and I felt an incredible peace sort of leaving my burning questions aside and allowing Him to direct my thoughts. The first week, I was concerned about how I would know it was God leading my time but He confirmed it in a powerful way. At the time, I was visiting churches as one does when living in a new place. Over six weeks, I visited six different churches and every week, the sermon was on the theme that God led me to study in my quiet hours that week. It remains one of the most significant times of calling and formation in my life.
Is there anything else you would like to add about your one-on-one time with the Lord?
As have most long-term believers, I’ve experienced times when reading His Word and praying felt dry and I couldn’t sense His presence. When that happens, I’ve learned not to agonize. I ask Him if I’m putting up barriers such as cherishing sin in my life or being too distracted and I wait for an answer. Sometimes one comes but at other times, I’ve learned to just be patient and not try to force things. Just as the shore couldn’t handle the sea being at high tide all the time, so we even need a rest, a low tide, in our relationship with God. I’ve come to trust that the intensity of His presence will return in due season if I continue to show up. I don’t abandon my time with Him during these periods but I don’t agonize or try to force the issue, either.
What word of encouragement would you like to share with the readers in regard to spending time with the Lord?
Show up messy. We worry too much about having mixed motives when we spend time with God. I used to put off meeting with Him when I knew I really was just showing up because I wanted something. Now, I just admit that right away and ask Him to cleanse me of impure motives. It’s a much better process than me trying to do it without Him. Show up messy, show up late, show up inconsistently at first but whatever you do, keep showing up with Him.
Thank you for sharing your heart with us today, Lori. God bless you!
Is there one particular part of Lori’s interview that resonated with you today? If so, please share! I would love to hear from you.
Lori Stanley Roeleveld is a disturber of hobbits who enjoys making comfortable Christians late for dinner. She’s authored an unsettling blog since 2009; a pursuit that eventually resulted in her first book, Running from a Crazy Man (and other adventures traveling with Jesus). Her new release is a Christmas novella, Red Pen Redemption, available now and she’s currently working on her next release, Jesus and the Beanstalk. Though she has degrees in Psychology and Biblical Studies, Lori learned the most important things from studying her Bible in life’s trenches. You’ll find her at her website www.loriroeleveld.com. If not, know she’s off somewhere slaying dragons. Not available for children’s parties.
(Lori’s site was recently voted one of the top 100 Christian blogs. Congrats, Lori!)
If you missed last week’s post with Marcia Moston, you can view it here.