The Quiet Time

Of late i’ve been thinking alot about what we Christians call “a quiet time”… What does the Word of God have to say about having a quiet time? How do i or should i be spending time with God? Is it something i need to do every single day? And what if i skip a day, do i have to spend twice as long with God the next?

I remember shortly after Jesus saved me, i was given a Bible, told to read it and also told to spend time in prayer. But, no-one really showed me ‘how’ to do this… So i fumbled through Genesis, Exdodus and came to Leviticus… Mmmm, now what has all of this got to do with me? Sheesh, there are LOADS of laws in here! SO i skipped over to Matthew and then Mark and said to myself, “Where have i read this before?” Are these the same stories told four times over!? Why?

Coming back to have a ‘Quiet Time”, Jerry Bridges in his book “Discipline of Grace” offers some helpful thoughts:

A good day:

“You get up promptly when your alarm goes off and have a refreshing and profitable quiet time as you read your Bible and pray. Your plans for the day generally fall into place, and you somehow sense that presence of God with you. To top it off, you unexpectedly have an opportunity to share the gospel with someone who is truly searching. As you talk with the person, you silently pray for the Holy Spirit to help you and to also work in your friend’s heart.” We’ve all had days like that.

A bad day:

But we’ve also all had days like this: “You don’t arise at the first ring of your alarm. Instead, you shut it off and go back to sleep. When you awaken, it’s too late to have a quiet time. You hurriedly gulp down some breakfast and rush off to the day’s activities. You feel guilty about oversleeping and missing your quiet time, and things just generally go wrong all day. You become more and more irritable as the day wears on, and you certainly don’t sense God’s presence in your life. That evening, however, you unexpectedly have an opportunity to share the gospel with someone who is really interested in receiving Christ as Savior.”

Bridges then asks if you would enter into those two witnessing opportunities with a different degree of confidence. Think about it for a moment. If you’re like most Christians, I suspect you would feel less confident about witnessing on a bad day then on a good day. You would feel less confidence that God would speak in and through you and that you would be able to share your faith forcefully and with conviction.

Why is it that we tend to think this way? According to Bridges, we’ve come to believe that God’s blessing on our lives is somehow conditional upon our spiritual performance. In other words, if we’ve performed well and done our quiet time as we ought to have done, we have put ourselves in a place where God can bless us. We may not consciously articulate this, but we prove that we believe it when we have a bad day and are certain that on this day we are absolutely unworthy of God’s blessings. This attitude “reveals an all-too-common misconception of the Christian life: the thinking that, although we are saved by grace, we earn or forfeit God’s blessings in our daily lives by our performance.”

Makes you think doesn’t it?

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~ by jakesolivier on April 23, 2009.

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