Every morning I wake up and say to myself that today’s distractions will not get in the way of my devotional time with God. Yet, as soon as I take my first step out of bed, I am immediately met with a million excuses as to why I have not taken the time to be in God’s presence. I run through different reasons such as I need coffee to wake me up, if I don’t eat then I am just going to focus on being hungry, I get caught up in conversation with my family as they are rushing out the door for work, or I myself am too pressed for time because I am also rushing out the door. Sometimes there is even the added excuse of there is just too much noise in the house for me to concentrate. Whatever the case may be, there is always a million excuses one can give not to have quiet time.
When I think of what it means to truly sit in God’s presence, it leads me to the conclusion that if spending my quiet time with God truly matters, then I will make time and be determined to stick with it. Not only will I stick with the allotted time slot but this will be something that I truly and joyfully desire to do. There is always going to be distractions, noise, excuses to put time off to spend time with God. However, if our desire is to truly grow more closer to Him and stronger in our walk with Christ each day, then we will actively pursue spending time in His presence on a daily basis.
Here are a few practical ways that one can pursue having quiet time with Christ and why it is vital to our Christian walk.
- Set aside time each day: this may seem trivial and straight forward but setting aside a goal and sticking with it often helps us make it a daily habit. Without having a schedule we would never know when things should take place. There would be chaos and disorganization in our day to day lives. Timing is key to practically getting things done. We are constantly plugging in meetings, dates, events, birthdays into our calendars. We set daily reminders about when certain tasks need to get done and we stick with them because if we don’t then we tend to fall behind. The same is true in our spiritual walk with Christ. Our time in God’s presence should be our top priority. Without spending time in God’s word we fall behind and plummet in our spiritual walk and it starts to affect our own personal growth. God’s word says that in 2 Timothy 3:16 “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,” Immersing and saturating ourselves in God’s word each day will bring about healthy and righteous desires to follow after God. Doing this each day at a set time will help spur on our love for Christ. Make Him a top priority.
- Pick a book of the Bible and stick with it: often times we find it hard to have our quiet time because we are not sure where to begin. We are sometimes confused or lost and that also becomes another excuse as to why we don’t spend quiet time with God. One thing that has often helped me is by picking a book of the Bible and sticking with it. I will usually just read a chapter a day or even split up the chapter into a few reads. Whatever the case may be, once you have picked a selected piece of scripture it gives you a focused goal each time you come to do your devotional time. God’s word is full of wisdom, lessons and truths that we are to apply to our hearts and lives each day. There is always something that God has in store to teach us from His word. Romans 15:4 says “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” God’s word is there to bring us instruction and encouragement. There is never an excuse to run away from reading His word. Pursue it, allow for God to teach you, encourage and change you.
- Devotionals are supplemental: I have nothing against reading a daily devotional. In fact, I write one for this blog so obviously I see no problem in following a series of devotionals each day. However, those devotionals should not be my main source of learning material. It should simply be a supplement or an addition to what I am learning in my own study of God’s word. There are many amazing resources out there that have been a major encouragement to my own life and walk with Christ. However, I have found that when I take the time to carefully examine God’s word on my own that is when I am truly convicted by what is being read. God wants to reach us on a personal level, and He can do that through studying His word which is a main form of communication to us. Back in Biblical times there were no added resources, there was just simply God’s word and again I am so thankful for the endless amount of Biblical authors who have taken the time to share their God given wisdom in devotionals and articles. However, all of that stems from having been taught, encouraged and convicted by God’s word. The underlying foundation to our growth is reading His word and allowing for what the Bible has to say to change us. I encourage you to use God’s word as a primary resource and devotionals as a secondary.
- Quiet time with God often helps protect us against temptation: This point again may seem straight forward, however when it comes to facing our everyday battles against our enemy, the number one weapon we have at our grasp is God’s word. When we take the time to read the Bible, pray and meditate on it, we are arming ourselves with the weapons we need to fight off the enemies lies that he throws at us each day. Hebrews 4:12 says “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” This is our ultimate weapon agains the enemy and our tool that is used to convict our hearts and lead us to living in obedience to Him. We are constantly being bombarded by the temptation to fall into sin. When we equip ourselves each day with God’s word, we are now carrying a shield against the lies and schemes of the enemy and are carrying the strength of our loving and protective heavenly Father.
- Quiet time should change you: Lastly, when we take the time to spend in God’s word it should be something that is daily convicting you and changing you. There should be evidence of Gods work in your life and truths being poured out in the way you act, speak and think. Your love for God should be strengthened and in turn so should your love for those around you. Your anxieties should be met with peace, your sadness met with joy, anger met with calmness and your hope for living in this world placed in God. Change is what truly marks the life of one who is being affected by what it is God is teaching them. One the main ways that happens is through personal quiet time with God. 2 Peter 1:3 says “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence” Being in God’s presence allows for us to have access to our Heavenly Father in getting to know Him more, learn more about what needs changing in our lives and ultimately increase in our love for Him.
God is always read to teach us and change us each day. It begins with a willing heart and ends with Him doing an amazing work in our lives to make us more like Him.