What does your quiet time mean to you? How do you go about it? What things do you study? Do you read? Journal? Memorize scripture? Do you let a Christian song take you somewhere special? Do you meet for accountability with a fellow brother or sister in Christ? Or do you tackle Biblical truths through small group studies? Maybe you mix up your location, from the comfort of your living room chair to the back porch to enjoy the beauty of God’s creation. Maybe you get your exercise in on a walk, jog, or even at the gym, listening to Christian music to power you through. Whatever you do for your quiet time, know these two simple truths. One, God expects you to do it (Matthew 6:6); and two, since we’re all different, everyone’s quiet time will look a little different (Romans 12: 6-8). The beauty of the summer for a Christian teacher is that we can tweak this time, try something new, and feel God pull us even closer to His presence.
For me, my quiet time has always been in the morning. I am one of those crazies that rolls out of bed a little after 5:00 am, sipping on a hot cup of coffee, devoting the first moments of my day to our Creator. Once my boys are up, things get a bit crazy, and suddenly I am reading them stories, fixing them breakfast, shuttling them around to activities, and playing Legos with them. My morning quiet time is the only moment of my day that I can actually hear the ticking of the clock on the wall. It is quiet. Serene. Peaceful. I fill up on devotionals, writing, book studies, memorizing scripture, you name it. That time is God’s. Not my own. I try to do what I feel He needs me to do, not what I want to do. If I miss that time for any reason, which is extremely rare, I feel incomplete. I begin thinking about my day and when I can squeeze it in. It has gotten to the point where my quiet time is my daily routine. Just like brushing my teeth. I don’t say these things to brag but rather to prove that I am a sinner and need that time as much as anyone!
It was the other week when I was meeting with the men in my small group at Starbucks that we began sharing about our quiet times. My buddy Mark, a busy and overworked engineer, admitted his quiet time was difficult for him to devote more than five minutes at a time. His solution? He chunks it. Five minutes here. Five minutes there. When he needs a break from the stresses of work, he pulls up his e-mail where he subscribes to daily devotions and scriptures that are automatically sent to him. He reads blogs from friends. He prays. These moments come sporadically through his day, helping him focus more on God when he needs it most. It made me think … why does my quiet time have to end at 7:00 am? Why can’t I be more like Mark and slip in a little bit here, a little bit there, throughout my day? The results have been astounding since we met. Not only am I filling up on God before sunrise; I am filling up on Him throughout my day!
Quiet times should be inserted into your schedule. Yes, they should be planned ahead of time. Otherwise life happens and you miss out! The beauty of a relationship with God, however, is that He is available at the drop of a hat. If you come across a moment where you have a free five or ten minutes, pull out a devotional. Study some scripture. Read a book with short one to two page chapters like the one I am reading now It’s Great Being a Dad. Pray for a friend. Even listening to Christian music can soothe your aching soul. I like free stuff—honestly, who doesn’t!—so, I enjoy utilizing Youversion, the free Bible app on my iPad. Check it out if you’ve never downloaded it. You can subscribe to thoughts for the day, devotions, Bible reading plans, and more, all while gaining accountability with friends. If you’ve never heard of it, check it out on any mobile device. For Free! (I’ll stop there. I’m sounding like an infomercial.)
If you read the gospels, take note of how Jesus does His quiet time. Highlight the different parts of His day that he goes to God. As holy as He is, He knows He needs to get away to be in constant communion with God. These scriptures are easy to skip over because they seem to be ordinary. Luke 6: 12 states, “In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God.” Praying all night? Sheesh! Way to set the standard high there, Jesus. Hey, if the Son of Man, the most perfect human ever, the only living being ever without sin, if he needs God that much, shouldn’t we all? Make use of the down time in your day. Instead of checking the latest sports standings or dinking around on Facebook, utilize those opportunities with solid, foundational quiet time moments. Your soul will be filled. Your knowledge of Christ will deepen. And best of all, you will realize that we shouldn’t just be giving Jesus our hearts only during the morning. Being a Christian is a way of life. To make way for the fruits of the spirit to shine through your every essence, give God your best.
All day. Every day.
So, what about you? Do you have any tips or pointers on how to make your quiet time more unique? Please, I beg you. Sound off! Reply to this blog below and share your wisdom. When we as Christians rally around each other with inspirational words, the body of the church grows stronger. Who knows? You may give a brother or sister in Christ the right trick to revolutionize their quiet time.
(I watched a Matt Chandler sermon earlier this week that referenced Psalm 63 where David is yearning for God. Do you yearn for God? Do you look forward to meeting with Him daily? When you miss that time, does your day seem incomplete? It should. Seek Him out daily so His beauty, His truth, His power, His passion can be seen in your everyday life, flowing through you and out to others like a river. It reminds me of Third Day’s “Your Love is Like a River.” Let that river of love flow through you today.)