– Quiet Time –
It’s an unusual thought, I know, “finding the quiet…” but when we do, it affects every last detail of our lives. As Christians, we know what it means to have a quiet time but how often do we actually make time for one?
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Are we busy? Of course, who isn’t these days?! Do we have free time – ever? No. Or that’s how it feels but it’s not true.
We’re the author of our own stories, we choose how we spend our lives.Joanna Steele
Let’s chuck out this idea of “free time”
Every minute is a fraction of time that we use on what we decide to use it on. So, back to the question, do we have free time? No, we don’t have free time.
There is no such thing as free time, there is just time.
How did we ever come to the decision that a certain portion of time is designated as free? Because I’ve definitely never been given any of that!
Free-time, it’s just a great way of saying, one day I’ll get round to that if I ever have the time. But let’s be honest, we never will if we act as though time is dished out and we have no choice how we get to spend it.
I’m not saying the things we’re busy with aren’t important
Of course, we have to work, spend time with our families, look after kids. Naturally, our time is broken up in caring for things we don’t have an option not to. Great! Do the things you need to do.
But while you’re taking care of things, don’t forget to allow God to take care of your soul by opening the door. That’s all quiet time is – allowing God to take care of your soul.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake. Psalm 23:3
You don’t have to set aside an hour, sing ten songs, and read five chapters of Isaiah to say you’ve spent time with God. Goodness, we’d all hate that! And that’s definitely not something God requires of us!
Quiet time is not about the amount of time we spend,
or what we do during that time, it’s simply acting on the desire to spend time with the great and wonderful Artist who chose to paint us into existence.
“for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.” Acts 17:28
The bills we pay, the pressures we face at work, the family we care for, the losses we experience, the brokenness in our lives and the lives of those we love – these are burdens of life that we all face.
I don’t know about you but I can’t cope very well on my own with all of that. But when I make time to tell God about all the hurts He wipes my tears, reassures me, and then carries me through the tough times and turns them into good.
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28
So many times, I find myself busy and not making time for my Source of life and Soul Restorer. And yes, I still go on living and life is still good but there is a certain emptiness in my heart.
Of course, I have a level of peace in knowing God is in control of my life but the peace that surpasses all understanding becomes harder to find.
Because of our soul’s need for God, when we don’t quench that thirst it affects our joy. That’s where quiet time – time taken to focus on God, read His word and talk to Him – comes in.
What about when we can’t “hear” Him?
I totally get it. Sometimes it feels like a one-sided conversation and it’s easy to feel like we have better things to do. Especially when our quiet time feels like a whole lot of talking to ourselves.
I’ve felt like that many more times than I’d like to admit. I make time, find a quiet place and start talking to God. But it feels empty. So I talk some more, and still – nothing. Is God gone? Does He not have time for me? Is He far away? No. The Bible says,
Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
So then why can’t we “hear” Him?
Maybe He is replying to us but our ability to hear Him is not there. It’s almost like our spiritual ears have gone deaf.
So this is where finding the quiet comes in.
How do we fix our ability to hear God? Well, first of all, we need to work out what it is we are “hearing” and by that I mean, what thoughts fill our head during the day?
The conversations we have, the series on Netflix we’re bench watching or that work thing we need to get done?
It’s normal that our minds are full of those things. But notice something? All of those things are things we consciously and consistently spend time on.
The time and effort we put into relationships is what keeps them going. All the hours we dedicate to watching the series we love is why they fill our thoughts. And of course, we spend hours working every day which is why our minds are on work a lot of the time.
Are you starting to see a pattern?
Finding the quiet is not so much a place as a state of mind. A clarity to focus on God and to enjoy a familiarity in our relationship with Him that results from conscious and consistent time spent with Him.
I don’t know how it works for everyone but for me, God speaks through thoughts, and verses that come to mind and I can say without a doubt that my ability to hear Him becomes less and less the more I neglect spending time with Him.
As I said earlier, quiet time
is not about the amount of time or what we do, it’s just having the desire to spend time with Him and doing that! Just as we work on, and put effort into our relationships with people, we need to do the same with our relationship with God.
So find the quiet in your mind and consciously spend time talking to God, praising Him, thinking of His goodness.
Then you will find your ability to disengage from the distractions and busyness of life will grow stronger and your spiritual ears will be well-tuned to the sound of His still small voice encouraging, comforting, and guiding you.
Ten minutes today, five tomorrow, whatever it is, the more we work on our relationship with Him and fill our minds with His goodness and mercy the closer we will feel to Him and our ability to “hear” Him will sharpen.
As in any good relationship – communication is key.
Drawing close to God is an incredible gift. As we do, we gain, wholeness, unconditional love, confidence to be ourselves, reassurance, comfort, guidance, a friend who is always there, who always wants to spend time with us, who wants to share our joys, and who wipes away our tears. Why wouldn’t we want that!
I am astounded by God’s love for us and so grateful that the King of Kings is mindful of me!
So be encouraged to draw near to this wonderful God we serve!