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4-Ways-to-Keep-a-Regular-Quiet-Time

4 Ways to Keep a Regular Quiet Time

Written By Noni Elina Kristiani, Indonesia, originally in Bahasa Indonesia

It was at a Christian retreat where I first learned about quiet time.

An older Christian gave me a devotional book, which taught me how to spend time every day building my relationship with God. Since then, I have tried to have quiet time every day.

I do not always succeed. When I was writing for my school magazine, for example, I did not get enough sleep. I had a hard time waking up early in the morning and would forget my quiet time then. Though I told myself I would do it later that night, I would end up falling asleep without reading my bible. However, God always reminded me of my commitment.

But keeping up my commitment to have regular quiet time is not always easy. Here are a few things I have found helpful in keeping a regular quiet time.

 

1. Remind yourself of what it’s about

Quiet time is a special time where I get to know God more. I worship Him through praising Him, praying to Him, and reading His word. I can tell Him all my burdens and talk to Him like a best friend.

Through quiet time, God rebukes or strengthens me with His words and gives us the wisdom and strength I need for the day. At one point, I realized that how my entire day goes is determined by how I start it together with God.

When I am tempted to sin, the Holy Spirit reminds me through my Bible reading. When my burdens become too much, I believe in God’s deliverance. The Scripture reminds me that God is always with me.

 

2. Set aside your best time and set a reminder

We can come to God anytime, but I think we should give God our best. Instead of a short couple minutes between daily activities, I try to spend my quiet time in the morning, before I start my day. What works best for you might be different from what works best for me, but the important thing is that you find the best time to enjoy your relationship with God.

I set an alarm on my phone to help me wake up early in the morning, so I can have quiet time before I start my day. You can also stick a note on your wall, asking yourself, “Have you had your quiet time today?” or reminding yourself, “Let’s start this day with God.”

 

3. Ask others to support you

One thing that really helps us establish a regular quiet time routine is asking others to remind us and pray for us. When in college, I joined a Christian peer group, and it really helped my spiritual growth. We need a community that helps us grow in God. I would encourage you to become involved in a community of believers, where we can grow together. When one is weak, others are strong.

Are you involved in a community of believers? If not, you can find on at your church, school fellowship, or college.

 

4. Don’t be discouraged when you fail

Have you tried, but failed, to have regular quiet time? When that happens, I feel like I have disappointed God and that really makes me sad. But then I remember that God showed His love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).

God does not expect us to be perfect in our love for Him. He will look at our hearts and forgive us when we confess our sins before Him. Our efforts to grow closer to Him make Him happy.

 

If you ever feel like you don’t deserve to meet God, that is the moment God longs to heal you. Come to Him, spend time with Him, and tell Him what’s on your heart. He longs to talk with you. He listens, and He answers your prayers in His own time and His own wonderful way.

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Are You Running on an Empty Tank?

Written By Joy-Ann Wood, West Indies

When I was getting ready to leave the house one day, my father said to me, “Better pump gas in the car, or else you might run out on the highway, you know . . .” I laughed at his comment and replied, “Nah, I got this covered. I’m sure there’s enough gas to take me to my destination and back.”

Despite this reassurance, he still insisted that I top up my fuel tank. Later, as I drove down the highway, I pondered his advice. Could I really make it to my destination and back before the fuel gauge indicator hit “empty”? I had heard stories from a few friends about running out of gas while driving. I could never understand how that could happen, since the indicator always warns you ahead of time that the gas is running out.

This experience parallels our Christian journey. Many times, we take this daring step of travelling on “empty.” Despite knowing we are “empty,” and that we need to spend more time with the Lord, we ignore the Holy Spirit’s nudging. We claim that “we’re okay,” and we tend to be “fine” once we are involved in Christian activities. However, if we lack daily time alone with Jesus, we’re like a car travelling on “empty”, in danger of coming to a sudden halt anytime.

Sometimes, it’s our busy schedules that lead us to running on “empty”. We get engrossed in teaching Sunday school or volunteering in Youth ministry, singing in the choir, or being involved in dance or drama ministry at church. We take the source of our strength for granted and busy ourselves with rushing from one event to another. We fall into the trap of spending less time with God while finding other ways to keep ourselves going. But suddenly, everything comes to a standstill when we burn out or lose sight of our purpose.

Jesus is calling us to spend time with Him, so that we may be strengthened through the power of the Holy Spirit to serve and give our ultimate best for Him. When a car is filled up with gas, it tends to go farther without having to stop suddenly for more gas. If we fill up our spiritual tank with time set aside for God, He will equip us with the power to serve humbly,  persevere through trials, and stay focused on Him for the rest of our lives.

Be intentional about spending time with Jesus. Running on “empty” causes us to lose heart easily and prevents us from giving our best for Him.

“You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.” —Psalm 63:1

Do-We-Enjoy-God-

Do We Enjoy God?

For the past few days, I have been ploughing through the book of Isaiah trying my best to understand what the prophet means. But I have been growing increasingly anxious, because I don’t seem to be learning much; nothing applicable has really struck me. In fact, each day, I barely remember much of the passage for the rest of the day.

So instead of opening my Bible today, I sit and stare at my ceiling and at a little scribble on my bedside that says, “Jesus loves”.

I can’t hide the feelings of frustration at the lack of tangible results from Bible reading. I can’t hide the worry that God is not revealing something to me possibly because there is some unconfessed sin, or because I am not reading the Bible rightly.

I had thought that consistently setting aside time for Bible reading and praying meant that my Christian life was healthy and thriving. But now I wonder: have I missed out something crucial?

“We cannot glorify God, even if we are praying, if we don’t enjoy him.”—John Piper

I seek to be disciplined in my Christian life, which I see as spending an hour in the morning and at night reading God’s Word, being responsible and accountable for my ministry commitments, and leading a deeply believing and expectant prayer life that gives space for God to move and work in, through and around me. I believed these made for a “successful” Christian life.

All these are really good things, and it is good to put effort into growing and honing these disciplines. But as I struggled to reconcile the dissonance I felt while I followed these disciplines, I started to ask what I was truly seeking.

Did I see spending time with God as a daily to-do item to check off? Did I see my completion of “quiet time” as an indication that my relationship with God was “ok” for that day so that I could go on to do other things? I sought God’s peace, sense of satisfaction, and fulfilment that He had promised—but did I seek God?

In Jeremiah 2:13, God charges the Israelites with two sins: forsaking God and pursuing idols. He said: “My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.”

Had religiosity become my idol? Had I forgotten that God is my only spring of living water, and tried to build my own source of spiritual strength? Had I become so caught up with keeping the spiritual disciplines, that I forgot to simply delight in the LORD?

Enjoying my time with God is a privilege and is possible because of His grace. He will rebuke, correct, and train us, so that our hearts will be turned more and more to recognize how enjoyable He is.

Over the past few days, God has been rebuking me for my attitude as I embarked on my spiritual disciplines. I thank Him for showing me where I have gone awry in my walk of faith. What a faithful God we have, that He would provide for our growth from beginning to end! As we work out our salvation with fear and trembling, let’s remember to seek God first and foremost.

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ODB: Dealing With Distractions

A restaurant owner in the village of Abu Ghosh, just outside Jerusalem, offered a 50-percent discount for patrons who turned off their cell phones. Jawdat Ibrahim believes that smartphones have shifted the focus of meals from companionship and conversation to surfing, texting, and business calls. “Technology is very good,” Ibrahim says. “But . . . when you are with your family and your friends, you can just wait for half an hour and enjoy the food and enjoy the company.”

How easily we can be distracted by many things, whether in our relationship with others or with the Lord.

Jesus told His followers that spiritual distraction begins with hearts that have grown dull, ears that are hard of hearing, and eyes that are closed (Matt. 13:15). Using the illustration of a farmer scattering seed, Jesus compared the seed that fell among thorns to a person who hears God’s Word but whose heart is focused on other things. “The cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful” (v.22).

There is great value in having times throughout each day when we turn off the distractions of mind and heart and focus on the Lord.

— David C. McCasland

November 21, 2014 

READ: Matthew 13:14-22 

The cares of this world . . . choke the word. —Matthew 13:22 

A restaurant owner in the village of Abu Ghosh, just outside Jerusalem, offered a 50-percent discount for patrons who turned off their cell phones. Jawdat Ibrahim believes that smartphones have shifted the focus of meals from companionship and conversation to surfing, texting, and business calls. “Technology is very good,” Ibrahim says. “But . . . when you are with your family and your friends, you can just wait for half an hour and enjoy the food and enjoy the company.”

How easily we can be distracted by many things, whether in our relationship with others or with the Lord.

Jesus told His followers that spiritual distraction begins with hearts that have grown dull, ears that are hard of hearing, and eyes that are closed (Matt. 13:15). Using the illustration of a farmer scattering seed, Jesus compared the seed that fell among thorns to a person who hears God’s Word but whose heart is focused on other things. “The cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful” (v.22).

There is great value in having times throughout each day when we turn off the distractions of mind and heart and focus on the Lord.

— David C. McCasland

O Lord, help me to turn off all the
distractions around me and focus on You.
May my heart be good soil for the
seed of Your Word today.

Focusing on Christ puts everything else in perspective.