Step Towards Transformation
“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 more like the Lord Jesus Christ. It is Jesus Himself Who makes you like Him. But you need to spend time with Him.
So it’s good to offer up hasty prayers as we go through our busy day, but just as human lovers long to be alone with each other, so your Divine Lover longs for your undivided attention. If every day you set time aside to be alone with him to talk with him and read his Word (the Bible), you will spend the rest of eternity congratulating yourself of your wise choice. If you are too busy for this, you are too busy.
Illustration: A man desperate for work finally got a job chopping down huge trees for a timber company. Knowing that retaining the job depended upon his output, he enthusiastically set to work. After just a few days he was told he was no longer needed.
He was devastated. ‘Why?’ he stammered. You started off excellently but each day you’ve been doing less and less until now your output is way too low,’ replied the foreman. ‘That can’t be!’ protested the man, disbelief written all over his face, ‘I’m the first to arrive in the morning and the last to leave at night. I work through all my breaks. No one could work harder!’The foreman stared at him, puzzled. ‘Have you been sharpening your ax?’ he finally asked. ‘No!’ come the reply, ‘I’m working much too hard to take time out for that!’
Devoting quality time to God is like sharpening your ax.
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 left overs. 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.
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:
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.
Meditate. As you focus on the Word of God and meditate, let it permeate you. Ask:
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