I often encounter people who want to begin a daily quiet time, but they aren’t sure how. It really isn’t as complicated as we often make it out to be.The main thing is simply to do something, but in case you are one of those still wanting to but not sure how…
Do you know what quiet time is? It is fellowship with a holy God. The reason that some people do not have a quiet time is that they feel uncomfortable. They don't want to look God in the face because there is unconfessed, unrepented sin in their life. Quiet time allows us to seek out God in a way that reveals truths.
What did Adam do after he sinned and God came walking in the Garden? Adam fled. Before that, Adam had quiet time alone with God, didn't he? They conversed, they communed. It was paradise. But when Adam sinned, he did not want to look God in the face.
When Moses went into God's presence, God said, "Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. Moreover He said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God." God cannot be in the presence of sin because He is holy.
If you find a reluctancy to go into the presence of God, there may be unconfessed, unrepented sin in your life. Part of your quiet time is to get your heart clean and pure. Each of us needs to take ourselves by the nap of our necks and confess and repent before we come into God's holy presence to fellowship. Psalm 66 verse 18 says, "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me. (excerpt provided by Adrian Rogers)
Here are 5 easy steps to begin a daily quiet time:
Pick a definite place where you’ll be everyday for your quiet time. Obviously if you travel frequently this is more difficult, but the more routine you can make this the better. It should be as free of distractions as possible. This place will soon become very comfortable to you.
Pick a reasonable amount of time and put it on your schedule. If you use an electronic calendar like I do, you can set it to repeat the appointment everyday. Start with 15 minutes, maybe even 10. The key at this point is consistency, so make sure you don’t burden yourself with something you will not do. By the way, it most likely will seem like a sacrifice at first, but keep the objective in mind. You need this. As you accomplish discipline in a little time it will be easier to increase the time you spend.
Decide basically how you will structure your quiet time. You may ask first what you hope to achieve and base your format around that. If developing intimacy with God in prayer is your goal, then certainly choose to spend more time in prayer. If Bible knowledge is your goal, then you may want to choose to do a Bible study. You can change the format over time and do combinations of each of these.
Decide what you will specifically do in your time. Will you do a Bible study or simply read Scripture and pray? If your time is 15 minutes, for example, you could spend 6 minutes reading the Bible; 3 minutes talking to God; 2 minutes in silence, asking God to speak to you; and 4 minutes writing your thoughts at the time. If you choose the structure of a Bible study, you may need to allow more time, but again, the key is that you decide before you start what you are going to do during this time. The goal is not to be mechanical or punch a clock here, but rather to provide structure, which will lead to productivity in your building your God relationship. Don’t worry as much about what activities you are doing at this point, just do something.
Commit to doing something consistently for at least 30 days. Every day… without exception… do it… whether you “feel” like it or not. If you miss the exact time, make it up later in the day. Again, it will require sacrifice. Habits and lifestyles form this way and you’ll need this discipline, because as soon as you attempt this dozens of obstacles will stand in your way.
Now I realize “easy” is not the best choice of words for this post, but I did want you to read it. Forming this time into your daily schedule will not be easy. Nothing of value is ever easy. The main objective for any of us, including pastors, is disciplining ourselves to do something everyday. Over time, it becomes a habit that is easily repeated. Even better, it will soon become the best and most productive part of your day.
Help my readers out. What tips do you have? When do you do your daily quiet time? What format are you using?
Photo Credit: © Unsplash/Nathan Dumlao