I'm writing this in the afternoon, and though only half the day is done, I'm so glad I had some quiet time alone with the Lord this morning. I'm not always faithful, but today I was. I didn't even know this morning how much I was going to need it today. "Quiet time" includes two "must haves" that are crucial to being steadfast:
When we spend time hearing from God through His Word and then responding to Him through prayer, something amazing happens: our relationship grows and we feel intimately acquainted with Him.
Time Listening to God
Today I needed to know where I could go for reliable truth that has not gotten muddled or changed by culture or time or people. The only place to find that is God's Word. It is the resource for understanding God's will about my relationships with those I care for, about my work, about my life in the church, about the way I interface with the world, about everything! His Word is truth, according to John 17:17, and it sets me apart for God's purposes in my life. Girl, without God's Word, the only will left is mine, and that's ugly and unstable! John 15:7 promises us that if His Word stays in us, we can ask of Him for help, and He will answer.
If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.
Time Responding to God
I'm not talking about "ordering on Amazon" kind of asking, but about a heart's desire to have His will unfold in and master my life. We can actually pray to God with confidence He will hear us and respond. I can fall into the trap of not praying with confidence or even talking myself OUT of praying, but when I listen to God through His Word, I am reminded of WHY I must be confident. This is a promise to people who have believed on God's name. TODAY I needed to be confident that God was hearing me, I needed to be reminded of what His will is, and I needed to be with Him in the quiet. Did you need that today? Not convinced? Read these verses (with a little commentary by yours truly) .... slowly, like you are reading directions for how to color your hair for the FIRST time and you don't want to miss a thing ... only MORE slowly, because this matters a LOT more than hair ;) ...
1 John 5:13-17I write these things to you who believe (That's me! I believe!) in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. This is the confidence (That means I need to be bold and certain!) we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, (And we know His will by getting in His Word) He hears us. (That was today, when I was crying out to Him! He was listening. Amazing!) And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him. (Now I can expect God to move, and my burden feels lighter.)
Call it by different names: having your quiet time, doing devotions, being with Jesus ... but when you boil it down, it involves communication from God to us and communication from us back to God. Relationships crumble from lack of communication, but first they usually go sour, get bitter, involve misunderstanding, and do damage ... then they crumble.
Yesterday I shared the top 10 reasons we came up with that we get off track from our quiet time. Here are the top 10 I can think of this afternoon for why I MUST get back on track when I fail and keep getting back on track with my quiet time:
- I know God's will when I read His Word
- His Word is true
- His Word sanctifies me
- God hears me
- I can be confident when I am with Him
- Staying in God's Word is the way to stay with Him
- I have more answers for my trials when I've spent time with God
- I'm going to have challenges today, so I'd better be ready
- There's a lot of temptation out there, and I need to be strong to face it
- Since I believe and have eternal life waiting, I need to walk with God now
Have you already got plans for the weekend? Me, too, but I'm going to make sure I plan for some "quiet time" with the Lord. He's waiting, and He and I both know I can't do without it. At the end of next week I'll look forward to taking some more time to talk about "Strengthening our QT." How will you plan to take some QT this weekend?