Friendship with Jesus: Enjoy Your Daily Bread

Billie Jo YoumansBy Billie Jo Youmans8 Minutes

When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray, He brought up the need to ask for “daily bread.” This wasn’t the first time Jesus mentioned bread to the disciples, and they surely understood that asking for daily bread meant asking for Jesus Himself.

And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst” (John 6:35).

They were already all in on spending time with Jesus – their choice to leave everything else behind confirmed that. The disciples understood that daily time with Jesus meant their every need would be met – and when you and I believe that, we’ll make time with Jesus a daily priority, too.

Prepare to Enjoy!

When you choose to spend daily time with Jesus, you will:

    • feel His presence
    • experience the awe of His glory
    • share His griefs
    • celebrate His joys
    • sense His movement
    • glimpse His plans and purposes
    • hear personal words of both conviction and encouragement.

Isn’t it stunning to think that the Creator of the Universe – the One who spoke the world into being – longs for your friendship? He wants to share what’s on His heart, talk about what concerns you – and work together to bring goodness and love into all things on earth.  What a mind-boggling privilege to be called a friend of God. Jesus said it:

I have called you friends (John 15:15).

Make your plans now: choose a time and designate a place where you will meet with Jesus every day. Then honor your commitment. Start small and trust God to meet you – press through the discomfort to discover the incredible joy of friendship with Jesus.

Begin with Praise.

Begin by focusing on who God is, what He’s like, and how He works. Unity with the Father, Son and Holy spirit is the essence of life (John 17:3). Getting to know God softens and humbles your heart and allows you to rejoice in your friendship with Him.

God doesn’t tell you to praise because He’s an egomaniac who needs your words of affirmation. He knows praise and thanksgiving prepare your heart to hear His voice! The world is a noisy place, and Satan is a formidable enemy who talks a lot. It’s easy to be deaf to God or attribute words to Him that He never said. Praise protects you from spiritual hearing problems.

Choosing to step away from the chaos and concerns of life requires a mental plan as well as a time and place. When I struggle to separate myself from worries, any one of these thought trails will bring me to praise and worship.

    • Nature’s beauty: Turning my thoughts toward mountains, pastures, lakes, horses, or wildlife fills my heart with awe at the power, creativity, and generosity of God
    • God’s character: Using a list of God’s Names quickly reminds me of His amazing attributes and abilities.
    • Music: Hymns, praise music, and instrumental pieces often quiet my mind and lift burdens from my soul.

With my ears (and my heart) open to God, I’m ready to enjoy His company! Pause for a moment and consider the things that help you feel close to God.

Listen to Your Loving God

God speaks to you all the time – but He never says anything contrary to the written Word of God. So, spending time in the Word is an absolute necessity. The Bible is God’s revelation of His own character and His will for your life.  He’s complex, supernatural, and as CS Lewis says, “He is not a tame lion.” God does not always say what you want to hear – but He will always meet with you in His Word.

Learning to tune into His voice is a critical part of your friendship with Him, because the conversation takes place in your mind – and the mind can be a busy place!  Keep in mind this wonderful old advice: “Don’t believe everything you think.”

The thoughts racing through your head come from one of three places:

    • Self & surroundings
    • Satan
    • Spirit of God

God speaks to nourish your spirit and strengthen your soul, and the thoughts that come from Him always lead toward abundant life. Your own thoughts aren’t always based on truth, and the world definitely doesn’t proclaim God’s truth. Of course, there’s Satan. He talks a really good game, and if you don’t know what God says, the devil will deceive and derail you. You aren’t smarter than him, and he knows the Bible very well. Listening to God every day by feasting on the Word protects you from the enemy of your soul.

Talk to Jesus

Intimacy can’t be built without listening and sharing. Spending time in Scripture helps you hear His voice, but God wants to hear your voice, too. Yes, He already knows everything in your heart – better than you do. But sharing it is an act of trust that brings Him joy and often clarifies things for you.

Some people enjoy writing out their prayers as a letter to God. Others take notes on the Scripture they read, record questions, write Scriptures, or keep lists of requests. The goal is to improve your vision of God’s activity in your life by keeping a record of your conversations with Him. God is always speaking and working – but often we fail to hear and see Him. Journaling helps you notice His faithful presence, which leads to greater faith.

When you put these pieces together your time with Jesus begins a daily feast you won’t want to miss. Enjoying your daily bread gives life to you – and to others. Friendship with Jesus is the best adventure of life and our exploration continues with deeper looks at prayer journals, bible studies and more.