Did you know that having “quiet time” is very important principle that Jesus Himself exemplified for us? In Matthew 14: 22-23 ESV, “22 Immediately, he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. 23 And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone.” Many of us gloss right by this as a transition between scenes. But this is no accidental inclusion into the gospel account. Also, by “quiet time”, I mean the time we intentionally spend in communion with God in prayer and the reading of Scripture.
There are many reasons we should spend quiet time with God. It would take a long series to cover all of the ways that we could teach the what’s and why’s to spending a devoted amount of time each day speaking to and building our relationships with God. However, since I have put a time stipulation on my posts, I will keep it to the top seven short and sweet points.
Firstly, it allows us to know God and His ways. God’s Word written down in the Bible is His own revelation of Himself to us. When we study the Bible, we are learning about His ways, His nature, and His character. We are learning our history and redemption. In Psalm 119:15, it says, “I will meditate on your precept and fix my eyes on your ways.” Psalm 119:33 says, “Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes; and I will keep it to the end.” It goes on to say in verse 37, “Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways.” We are turning to Him and following His ways when we stop looking at worthless things and fix our eyes on His ways.
This keeps our ways pure. The more we engage in communion with God and the Scripture, we look more and more like Christ and less and less like the world. Psalm 119:9-11 says, “How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wader from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” This goes on to say in verse 105, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” In James 4:8, it says, “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”
It renews our minds. As we spend time with God and begin to more and more understand the Scriptures, the lies of the world, the flesh and the devil are exposed, and the Truth of God is illuminated. By saturating our minds with the Truth, our minds are renewed and transformed. In Romans 12: 1-2, it says, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” And in Matthew 22:37, Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” Our minds are to be fixated on God. Our minds must be transformed from the worldly way of thinking to the Godly way of thinking.
This firmly roots us. When our lives are rooted in God’s Word, we are like a tree grounded in His love. Psalm 1: 1-5 says, “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of the sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does he prospers. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away.” When the winds of life’s storms come, we who are rooted in God will be stayed while the ones who have refused Him will be tossed to and from. Our only hope of survival and peace is to be firmly rooted in Him.
It helps us discern God’s Will. As we grow in God’s love and study His Word, we learn to understand His will and obey it. Hebrews 5:14 says, “But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.” Notice that it says trained by constant practice. We need to keep our quiet times with God as a regular occurrence in our day to day lives.
It provides us power in Spiritual Warfare. Knowing God and His Truth will enable us to ward off spiritual attacks and resist believing the lies of the enemy. Noting in Ephesians 6:10-20, this is the passage that goes over putting on the Armor of God. Verses 10 and 11 state, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.” Various flaming darts of the evil one are coming at us, and the whole armor of God helps to shield us in warfare. In this passage, our purpose is clearly stated and the enemy is trying to detour us from fulfilling our roles.
And last, but not least, it enables us to refute false doctrine. Christians are often bombarded with teaching that distorts God’s Truth and misrepresents His character. By spending time with Him and reading His Word, you will be able to stand up against such false teachings. In Ephesians 4:14, it says, “so that we may no longer be children tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.” We must know what we are to pass on and build upon when building the body of believers in Christ. And the more we know the truth, the less likely we will be swayed to the right or to the left of it. In Hebrews 13:9, it says, “Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited those devoted to them.” These diverse and strange teachings are the manipulations of the Scripture at the hands of another for personal gain. Those who do such things will be dealt with by God. But we need to search the Scriptures and seek God ourselves. We cannot have a relationship through anyone other than our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ with God Our Father. There is no other.
Daily time spent pursuing God is a spiritual discipline that is learned over time. As you continue with this discipline, you will find that when you miss a daily time, you long for it. You feel a bit off. And that is a good sign that you are missing Him. He wants a true and eternal relationship with you. We can begin by praying and asking God for the desire to spend time with Him in prayer and in reading His Word daily. Also, we can have someone hold us accountable to this. It helps to commit to a specific time each day, like in the morning or right before bedtime. I like to have my quiet time after my guys go off to school and work. The house is quiet and I am usually undisturbed between loads of laundry and household chores. However, on weekends, I usually wait until everyone else is in bed before I hold my quiet time meeting.
Most of the time, my quiet time involves about 20 minutes of reading His Word and reflecting on it. And then another 10 minutes in focused prayer. It says in 1 Thessalonians 5:17, “pray without ceasing”, which can seem daunting. However, it is more of staying linked to God, always receptive to Him and what instructions or words He has for us. The focused prayer usually is spent speaking to Him about the Scripture I just read and what I understand of it versus what I don’t understand. I add a specific person’s needs as He lays it on my heart during our quiet time. And then it is concluded with gratitude.
Hopefully, this helps you in the building of your personal relationship with God. I know that learning these things has really changed my life. I have seen my attitude and perspective change toward the eternal things of God and less on the things of the temporary.
Gotta go fill up my cup…..