Consciously keeping a daily appointment with God will help make observing your quiet time become an important part of your day. Little wonder I often meet people who want to begin a daily quiet time but aren’t sure how. Well, it really isn’t as complicated as we often make it out to be because the main thing is simply to do something.
From the Bible, we’ve been made to understand how to spend quiet time with God. Jesus gave us examples in the scriptures where He stepped away from the limelight, retreating to a quiet place to commune with His Father. These quiet times spent with God had some very important elements in common.
We, therefore, need to rid ourselves of the thought that the time we set aside for our “sacred habit” is one that must be monotonous and boring, because, having a quiet time should not be seen as a duty but as a delight. It takes discipline and should be guarded selfishly. The benefits of maintaining it far outweigh the effort.
When we spend time with God in this way, it helps us to know Him better, we learn more about His thoughts on issues bothering on love, friendship, business, marriage, purity, communication skills, priorities, money, and other matters relevant to our everyday life. It will reshape our view of life and people through His eyes, and our perspectives would mature as we freely allow His thoughts pervade ours.
Sometimes, I wonder if there are other people who feel guilty when they don’t “feel” like having a quiet time with God?
Yeah, we should spend time with God not just because our Pastors or Sunday school teachers say so but with the knowledge that we need to fill our hearts with God’s Word, and because we know it’s important for us to talk to God and listen to Him in prayer.
Let me use myself as an example, when my alarm clock screeches at 4:00 a.m. (the time I allocated for my daily quiet moment with the Lord) and my bed is warm and cosy, or when I come home from a crazy day at work and just want to watch a movie on TV, sincerely, my first desire is not always to open my Bible and start praying. And that usually makes me feel really bad.
So, which would you say is better – to have a quiet time when you’re not feeling it, or skip the quiet time altogether?
Irrespective of how we feel, I think we should come to God anyway. Even when it feels awkward, we can be honest with Him and tell Him how we’re feeling. Truth is, He already knows! The most beautiful thing is that we can ask God to change our hearts.
According to Psalm 37:4: “Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart” (ESV). God is willing and able to come into the messy places of our hearts and clean us out, equipping us to live the best life He’s created for us.
What if each day, you decided whether or not to go to work based on if you “felt” like it? Or what if you ate whatever foods you “felt” like eating, even if that turned out to be pizza five times a week? This way of living would not be sustainable for long. Because God has called us into fellowship with his son, Jesus Christ (1 Cor 1:9), we, therefore, have been called to “share our lives in common,” to “become friends” of the most intimate sort.
The thing is even if we don’t feel like prioritizing time with God over other areas of our life, doing so is an act of obedience that shows God we’re serious about seeking Him.
In order to worship God properly, we need strength and consolation in the Christian life. Strength to faithfully obey and consolation when we fail. In particular, we need strength to pray, to meditate on the Scripture in Christ’s presence, and to obey what God makes known to us. We need mercy in our times of wandering from the Lord.
The book of Jeremiah 29:13 says, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (ESV).
If you are going through a dry spell in your quiet time, think about different ways you can interact with God’s Word and worship Him in prayer. Establishing a daily quiet time with God is transforming, and it will do the same for all who pursue this discipline of delight.
Here are a few suggestions to get started and to keep your quiet time with Him vibrant:
- Go somewhere different, i.e., an area free of distraction;
- Create your own “sacred space”;
- God’s Word; try studying using a Bible version that’s easy to understand;
- Express yourself; pray aloud if that’s what your spirit yearns for;
- Listening to the Bible can be fun; you should consider getting the audio version of your preferred Bible version;
- Prayer and thanksgiving: play an instrument if you have one, just have fun in His presence!
In conclusion, your quiet time is not just another thing to do on top of the already overwhelming list of things to do, but as an opportunity to deepen your bond of love with an ultimate Friend.
As believers, we should look forward to it like we did Christmas mornings as youngsters.
I hope your quiet time with God from now will be a duty of sheer delight.