Quiet time. You hear about it all the time in the Christian community. Everyone talks about its importance and how much it impacts their lives. Yet so many of us struggle with figuring out what it looks like on a practical level. We struggle with the discipline of sitting down, quieting our minds, and spending quality time with God.
As I’ve pursued this journey of quiet time, here are a few things I’ve discovered:
- Not everyone’s quiet time looks the same. Sure, sitting down, reading your Bible, and praying are standard. And we absolutely must read our Bibles and pray. Scripture is one of the most powerful tools we have against the enemy. How can we know what comes from God and what comes from the Enemy without Scripture? So it’s absolutely a must. However, your quiet time can have variety. You can read one verse and then go on a walk and meditate on that verse. You can read a book by a Christian author that helps you better worship God. You can go through a Bible study workbook. You can listen to worship music. You can get down on your knees and pray with your arms lifted to the Lord. You can dance before Him. You can paint, draw, sculpt as you pray and dwell in His presence. You can journal. You can talk to Him out loud. The list is unending- because as I’m learning from Jen Wilkin’s None Like Him, we serve an infinite God and therefore He is not bound by a single method of connection.
- Quiet time is a habit. Seriously, it doesn’t just become a habit on its own. You have to plan, prioritize, and repeat it daily. It takes 21 days for something to become a habit. We have to have the discipline to daily surrender our schedules and days before the Lord and commit to spending time with Him. This might sound harsh but, friend, you need to hear it: you cannot claim to have a relationship with someone you don’t spend time with. Let’s not kid ourselves. We must make tiny sacrifices to die to ourselves daily and choose God.
- Quiet time is not a prerequisite for God to love you. We don’t have to do anything to earn God’s love. We already have it. Jesus already died for our sins. Guilt has no power over us. If we miss a quiet time, God is not holding a grudge. He’s not mad. He’s waiting. He desires your time because He has the purest of loves for you. We must view quiet time as a beautiful gift to spend time with the one who loves us the most- and surrender our guilt when we’re not perfect.
- God is fun. No, really. Who do you think invented the idea? God wants to have fun with us during our quiet times. We can seriously let our imaginations run wild with Him. We can go on hikes and adventures. We can laugh with God and have private jokes. God is not serious all the time. He’s playful, delightful. He’s certainly not stuffy and boring.
- Our days have more joy and perspective when we spend time with Him. In reality, we are citizens of heaven, not this world. And because we’re citizens of heaven, this world can drain us and leave us feeling discouraged and empty. What if we looked at quiet time as a way to recharge and get perspective on our earthly lives? Things that loom large in daily life pale in comparison to eternity. Don’t get me wrong- pain is pain and I would never hope to diminish someone’s suffering. However, when we look to eternity with the Creator, we can realize that healing will come, this earth will be redeemed, and the battle has already been won- by Someone much bigger and more powerful than we could ever imagine.
Friends, let’s spend time with God, not out of obligation, but out of delight and joy. All good things come from Him. And when we give Him our stresses and worries, He will bring healing, refocus, and joy.
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.” -2 Timothy 3: 16-17
“But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.” -Philippians 3:20-21
“In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” -1 Peter 1:6-7