Could it be lack of QUIET TIME and QUALITY TIME?
I love me some quality time. I have come to the realization that my primary love language is quality time. I have also come to believe If you don’t spend enough time with someone, you really don’t know them. You may know of them but never really know them. People grow, outgrow one another, evolve and change daily. To know someone is to spend time with them. The more time you spend together, the more you create a bond and an intimate relationship with that person. The lesser time you spend together, you grow apart and that relationship dies over a period of time.
Well, the same goes for our relationship with God. The more time you spend in His presence the more you know who He is. The more you grown in Him. Can you say that you know God or you know of Him? Do you take time out of your busy schedule to spend a few minutes in His Presence to hear from Him? Like that best friend you desire to hear from, get her/his opinion, do you make time to hear from Him in your day to day life?
Quiet Time is a term used to describe regular individual sessions of Christian spiritual activities, such as prayer, private meditation, worship of a deity, or study of the Bible.
I remember as a little girl how my Godly praying mother would gather all of my 8 siblings around for prayer. My Dad would gather us every First of a new year in our family room for prayer. He taught us the importance prayer. He encouraged us to set our hearts, minds, our plans to Our God, thank Him for the years that had just passed and the years ahead. I remembered how some of us would rebel against it. Starting with me. LOL Of course I didn’t understand its importance because all I would pray for was for God not to let this family prayer time be too long😦 Both Momm and Dad can pray for long time. My mother had a list and a plan.
In fact all praying moms/grandma tends to pray long Like any child, I need to get to the next thing/games or whatever else I felt that was more importance or engaging in the moment….today, my children asked me not to pray too long… :)
I personally remember my mother has specific time set apart every day to read scriptures and pray not just for her family but for everyone she was connected with. I have learned over the years to practice those same small steps in my own prayer routine with my family daily. It worked! I have seen the hands of God in everything that I do or go through in life. He has been faithful through it all. His promises are true and living in His presence is the best way to live.
Now I look back over my life and see what The Lord had delivered me from, if It had not been for the Lord on my side through prayer and the intimacy developed during quite time, I would have lost my mind. I can testify to how important it is to build that closeness relationship with God. Not only this a requirement for us Christian but prayer is the most effective weapon to fight the enemy. “ For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” – Ephesians 6:12
I have never thought I would be where I am in my life today and still find time to be still in His presence. In fact, I had more time to pray when I had a spouse, working full time with one child than losing a spouse, working full time, serving faithfully at my local church, serving at my own ministry and raising two children….. It’s all about discipline and where you set your set your heart in. See, the enemy will make you look at things through your own lenses and remind you how busy you are, put things in front of you to get you distracted to not make time to be intimate with The Lord. He longs to have relationship with you. He wants you to depend on Him. Don’t get In the mindset of thinking you can handle everything with your strengths, knowledge and power. Allow His to be your strength. You wake up every day, instead of looking up Him for strengths, insights, wisdom, guidance and living by faith, you begin to live by sight. You look to your own calendar, your job, your bank account, your own knowledge and understanding.
Some things with God are so personal, so intimate, that they cannot be described with words, they can only be felt with the heart. This is how true intimacy with God is; we feel that no one else can really understand the special bond that we share with Him because it’s altogether personal.
This describes my relationship with Christ. He has comforted me as I have cried, directed me, taught me, rebuked me, guided me and loved me. There have been times when I have thought that my heart would burst with emotion for Him. Who could understand the depth of my relationship with Him but me and my Savior? This is true intimacy with God: when we feel that no one else would totally understand, even if we tried to explain, because relationship with God is personal.
Looking back, I see all the struggles we overcame, the won battles and the truly the importance of quiet time with God through my mother. The truth is The Lord desires for us to grow in Him and to have a close relationship with Him and that can only develop through spending time with Him.
Last week, I had the pleasure of seating under the teachings of Pastor Paul Thomas – Lead Pastor of Evengel Temple in Columbus, Georgia for my Evengelism Class at the Georgia School of Ministry. His lecture was from the book “Becoming a contagious Christian” by Mark Mittelberg….
One of his quote from his lecture that resignated with me: ” There is no substitute for not being the word of God!!! I repeat, There is no substitute for not being in the word of God!!! Study, read, meditate on the word every single day.”
I can tell you it is not going to be easy when you first started but every steps count. Be opened to hear from God. Schedule your time, be consistent and don’t give up. God knows and sees your heart and will honor your obedience. Before you know it, you will not want to ever miss your appointment with your King!
“Oh how love I Thy law! it is my meditation all the day.” Psalm 119:97
Christianity is not a legal relationship, it is a love relationship. Ten thousand “don’ts” will never make you one iota more like the Lord Jesus Christ. It is Jesus Himself Who makes you like Him. But you need to spend time with Him. I want to give you five factors for spending some quiet time with Him each day.
The Proper Period
You must find the right time. Your quiet time should last at least half an hour. But some time is better than no time, so if you can’t start at thirty minutes, begin with ten. It should be your very best time. Don’t give the Lord your leftovers. And don’t try to find time – make time, and make it a priority. Also find time early in the day. Psalm 5:3 says, “… in the morning will I direct my prayer unto Thee, and will look up.” You don’t take the trip and then read the map, do you? Spend time alone with God to begin your day.
The Proper Preparation
A quiet time is fellowship with a holy God. There are a few things you can do to be prepared for this time. First, be physically alert. Find a time when the cobwebs are out of your mind and you can think clearly. Second, be mentally aware. Be focused, and know He’s there. Emotion doesn’t really have all that much to do with it. And third, be morally pure and clean. Some people don’t have a quiet time because they feel uncomfortable looking God in the face with sin in their lives.
The Proper Place
Find a place where you can focus. Jesus said enter into your closet and pray (see Matthew 6:6). That simply means find a place of isolation where you can shut the door on the world and open the windows to heaven. Jesus sought out places where He could be alone, and so should you.
The Proper Provisions
In order to have an effective quiet time, you need the right tools. Here are some tools I use:
- A readable Bible – Invest in one with plenty of room to jot notes in the margins. I love the Single Column Journaling Bible in the ESV version. Whatever works best for.
- A prayer journal – Expect God to give you something and write it down. Also use it to record things you’re praying about. There are plenty to choose from at any Christian Book Stores by Joyce Meyer…
- A notepad – Write down your daily assignments.
I have learned if you don’t take notes or write things down, you may may not stay focus on your goals and monitor your progress. There are so many things I prayed for over the years and things God told me to do over the years that I wish I had written down. It’s good to reflex in His mercy and faithfulness sometimes. It reminds me that I He did it before therefore He can do it again. Writing down specific assignment helps you stay on track and focus on the effectiveness of the assignment.
The Proper Procedure
Finally, may I recommend some procedures to follow in your quiet time?
Get still and quiet. The Bible says in Psalm 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God.” Focus your mind on Him. Calm down, relax, and recognize His presence. Take a deep breath and focus your thoughts on the Lord.
Get into the Word of God. It’s better to start by reading the Bible than it is to start in prayer. It is more important for you to hear from God, even than for God to hear from you. God already knows all about you, but you need to know a lot more about Him.
Read the Bible for quality and not quantity. It’s good to have a goal to read the Bible through in a year, or a similar goal; but that’s not the purpose of your quiet time. Also, devotional books are wonderful. But again, this is not the place for them. This is the time when you simply read the Bible with an open mind. That is only way your faith will be strengthened. Stay in the word. Going to church on Sunday morning and listening to a message once in a while isn’t enough. Don’t just wait to be feed instead feed yourself. Studying the word isn’t only for those in leadership or ministry positions. It’s for every Christian beleiver. You can’t be just a baby Christian forever. Becoming a mature Christian with solid foundation of faith “growing up” into Christ. What you feed must grow and will bear fruit in due season.
“For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.”
As you focus on the Word of God and meditate, let it permeate you.
- Is there a command to obey?
- Is there a promise to claim?
- Is there a sin to avoid?
- Is there a lesson to learn?
- Is there a new truth to carry with me?
Record what God has given you. Write down what God says to you and what He tells you to do. It doesn’t have to be flowery. You’re not writing it for publication or to impress other people.
Now you’re ready to pray. When you pray, pour out your soul. Be natural and honest with God. Tell Him how you feel. Pray out loud. It keeps your mind on track and enables you to stay focused.
Begin to share out of your quiet time. God did not make us to be reservoirs; He made us to be conduits. Tell others what is God is showing you.
Finally, obey what God tells you. Your spiritual train is running on two rails. One is revelation and the other is obedience. And if either rail stops, your train stops. Learn to obey the Word of God.
I pray these simple suggestions will help you have a daily quiet time in the presence of our loving, almighty, powerful God.