HAVE A DAWG … A Day Away With God
About once a month I have a DAWG, no its not a playmate for Ava, but a Day Away With God. I thought I would explain to you what its all about and maybe encourage you to consider having a DAWG or a half day DAWG, or even an evening with God.
WHERE TO GO
Currently I have my DAWG at home in my study with prayer walks in the forest. In the past I have had DAWGs at retreat centres, picnic areas, church buildings etc. Where ever you can be “alone” with God. I have a friend who regularly has their DAWG in their car. Being alone doesn’t necessarily mean that no one else is around, but that you have a place that allows you to give undivided and uninterrupted attention to God
WHAT TO DO
1. READ THE BIBLE.
A DAWG is the perfect time to read bigger blocks of Scripture. Most of the time in our daily Bible reading we read fairly short passages but a DAWG gives us the chance to read entire books of the Bible, which is how they were meant to be read. During a day you can usually read a book through several times in one day, allowing its message and truth to saturate you in such a way as “snippet reading” never will.
Recently as well as reading whatever book of the Bible I am focusing on I have been listening to it being read from a Bible App I have on my phone. I highly recommend this as of course most of Scripture was written to be heard rather than read.
I usually use my wide margined bible on these times with God so if I get an insight I want to keep on a verse I can highlight it and write in the margin. I also have an APP on my phone called EVERNOTE and I create a note for the day to record my thoughts and prayers. A notebook would do the same thing, the advantage is that EVERNOTE can be easily searched so I can find my thoughts quickly in the future.
Fasting? fast if it helps don’t if it distracts you. If you are having more visions of food than God or listening to your stomach rumble then you probably wont have many spiritually significant thoughts.
I put together a worship play list on my phone so that I can have worship music and I usually read a couple of Psalms. I then spend some time in worship, praising God for who He is and what he has done. No agenda, just adoration.
I have a couple of these worship “sessions” and intersperse them Scripture reading and prayer.
I take some notes with me about things I need to pray for especially, people, situations, problems and opportunities I need help and guidance with. I also try and make this a time of honesty with God, confessing my sins and short comings, being authentic with the Lord about what is happening in my life and any frustrations I might be experiencing.
As I said earlier, I use EVERNOTE to record things through my DAWG. Sometimes this will be insights that come to me from Scripture, thoughts that come to me during prayer and at other times what I will call “promptings.” I will write down anything that I think the Lord might be prompting me to do so I can pray about it further, put more thought into them and if it’s a very significant thing so I can share it with people I trust to get their reactions.
I also sometimes write honestly to myself about what temptations I am struggling with and how I might overcome them
5. MEMORIZE SCRIPTURE.
I choose a verse or couple of verses that have been particularly significant to me during my DAWG and try and memorize it. This means I am kind of wiring the message I feel God has for me from the DAWG into my memory. I am always surprised how in later situations the Lord brings into my memory verses I have memorized on a DAWG.
No I don’t mean bend your legs underneath you, chant a mantra and empty your mind. I mean what the old Puritans meant by meditation, meditating on Scripture. That is turning it over and over in your mind thinking about. This is the spiritual equivalent of chewing the cud. I also make time for silence so I can be open to God speaking to me. Its during these times of reflection on Scripture and quiet listening that God often reveals His will to me.
SUMMING IT ALL UP
A DAWG can be a spiritual dynamo in your life. A day, half day or even just a couple of hours devoted to developing that close relationship with God, recharging your spiritual batteries is a great secret to keeping your spiritual edge.
If you have your own DAWG let me know how you get on