DAILY QUIET TIME
“The Source of Spiritual Strength”
In lesson number one we learned when we were “born again” we exited Adam’s family and entered God’s family. Upon salvation we did not merely come to a new understanding of God; we became His children! Not only redeemed by God – but supernaturally RELATED to God.
However, it is quite possible to be related to someone without having a RELATIONSHIP. Herein lies one of the greatest pitfalls of the Christian life. Due to the continuance of our sinful nature and the constant pull of the world, the natural tendency is to drift away from God; a constant tugging in the wrong direction. In this lesson, we will learn how to impair this negative force by maintaining a close relationship with our Heavenly Father, through the means of intimate daily fellowship. “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.” (James 4:8)
What do we mean by quiet time?
Quiet time is a daily period of time spent alone with the Lord in a quiet setting; learning to retreat from the noise of the physical world and enter into the Lord’s presence by the means of silence, prayer the Word: obeying Jesus’ command in, (John 15:4-5).
Abiding in daily fellowship with the Lord has all to do with the Word of God, (John 14:23, Proverbs 4:20-21). “Let them not depart from thine eyes…” we are to make the Word of God our daily focus. Compare (Proverbs 4:21 with Proverbs 8:34). Prayer is another essential element of quiet time, (Mark 1:35, Matthew 6:6).
What is the purpose of quiet time?
The purpose of quiet time is to daily renew and strengthen our RELATIONSHIP with God. Quiet time involves two key elements of relationship:
Association or fellowship: Time spent alone together enhances a relationship. When we love someone we never tire of spending time with them. Our Heavenly Father’s highest desire is not that we might achieve some great work for Him, but that we would daily seek His presence in our lives. One of the main things that God desires of us is our attention. Consider David’s attitude toward the Scriptures in (Psalm 63:1, Psalm 27:8).
Communication: This is the means by which we express and exchange thoughts and feelings. A relationship is both sustained and strengthened by mutual communication. God speaks to our hearts through His Word and we speak to Him in prayer. Just as we need our daily food for physical strength and health, we require daily time alone with God for spiritual strength and growth. (1 Peter 2:2, Job 23:12, Matthew 4:4).
Daily Renewal: We are constantly affected by the pull of our “old nature” and tempted by the negative influence of this “present evil world.”Therefore, we need to be cleansed, strengthened and renewed every day (2 Corinthians 4:16, Ephesians 3:16)
In order for real spiritual growth to take place, old thoughts and habits must be replaced with God’s truth, so that over time our thinking is restructured and renewed according to God’s principles, Psalm 119:11 & Romans 12:2). Quiet time also helps to establish the very important principle of self-discipline, (1 Corinthians 9:27, Proverbs 25:28).
A word of caution, don’t allow discipline to become a duty. Quiet time should not be a daily obligation to fulfill, but a daily opportunity to be filled. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…” (Colossians 3:16). The idea is to get to know the Person of Christ.
What are the essentials of quiet time?
A place of solitude: The modern world is a noisy place and the silence necessary for spiritual receptivity is rare. Seek out a location that is conducive to meet with the Lord. It should be a quiet place free of distractions. Of necessity, it may have to be a humble “closet”, but find that “secret place” where you can truly be alone with your Heavenly Father, (Matthew 6:6, Psalm 46:10)
Lasting spiritual growth is not the result of a multitude of religious activities, but the fruit of times of solitude; abiding alone with God and His Word.
“One of the blessings of the old-time Sabbath was its calm, its restfulness, its holy peace. There is a strange strength conceived in solitude. Crows go in flocks and wolves in packs, but the lion and the eagle are solitaires.
“Strength is not in bluster and noise. Strength is in quietness. The lake must be calm if the heavens are to be reflected on its surface. Our Lord loved the people, but how often we read of His going away for a brief season. He tried every little while to withdraw from the crowd. He was always stealing away at evening to the hills. Most of His ministry was carried on in the towns and cities by the seashore, but He loved the hills the best, and oftentimes when night fell He would plunge into their peaceful depths.
The one thing needed above all others today is that we shall go apart with our Lord, and sit at His feet in the sacred privacy of His blessed presence. Oh for the lost art of mediation! Oh, for the culture of the secret place! Oh, for the tonic of waiting upon God!” Unknown
Proper attitude: Our attitude should be one of concentration and expectancy; he who expects nothing will receive nothing. We must enter into God’s Word seeking to hear from Him, (Psalm 119:18, 27, 33, and 34).
Commitment: It is vitally important that we make a definite commitment to spend time alone with the Lord daily. Make a decision and stick by it, don’t allow the flesh or the world to dictate and control your time. Our priorities reveal the things that are most important to us.
We are as close to the Lord as we choose to be, “I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways, I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word.” (Psalm 119:15-16).
Regular appointment: Establish a regular time to meet with your Heavenly Father, preferably in the early morning before you hit the pressures of the day, (Psalm 5:3, Psalm 143:8, Lamentations 3:22-23).
The most important time of the day is the time we spend alone with God!
Suggested Steps for Quiet Time
Start with prayer. Thank God for His Word and for what He has shown you; ask the Lord for illumination, guidance, and understanding, (Ephesians 1:17-18, Psalm 119:73). If you are aware of any sin that may hinder your fellowship with the Lord, confess and forsake it beforehand (1 John 1:9 & Acts 24:16).
As you read and meditate on God’s Word, make a note of any verse that seems to speak to your heart. Ask the Lord to grant you the understanding and grace to apply the underlying principle in your life. When a verse has been a special blessing to you, make every effort to hide it in your heart through memorization. Always keep in mind that your goal in this is not so much to gather or store information, but to gain strength, guidance, and wisdom by applying that which the Lord has revealed to you, (Proverbs 2:1-6, James 1:22-25).
Highlight your Bible as you read. Make a habit of cross-referencing verses that parallel one another in thought or principle, (1 Corinthians 2:13) Example: (Romans 7:23 with Galatians 5:17).
Expect opposition “Quiet Time” is at the very heart of your spiritual life and contains the potential for unlimited growth, and thereby, usefulness for the cause of Christ. Therefore, expect daily, unrelenting opposition from the enemy of your soul.
Even though Jesus Christ lives in us (“Christ in you, the hope of glory…” Colossians 1:27) we can not, at this time, be in His physical presence. Yet, there is much we can do to experience Him in our daily lives; to be in fellowship with Him through communication and closeness. To enjoy a daily ongoing relationship with Him, this is the heartbeat of genuine Christianity.
Life is empty and meaningless without Christ (unsaved), yet this is also true in the life of the saved that live outside daily fellowship with God (believer’s who “abide” in the world and themselves). The strength, joy, and consistency of our spiritual lives will be in direct proportion to the amount and quality of quiet time we spend alone with our Heavenly Father.
“See then that ye walk circumspectly [cautiously], not as fools, but wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:15-16)