Search This Blog

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Quiet Time

I posted not too long ago that I wasn’t sure that in my version of a quiet time in the mornings I was really giving God my best. Yes, I’m working to make sure He gets my first of the day (well, most of the time anyways)… but is it my best?

Well, after last Wednesday, the answer is a resounding NO.

I attended a BSF Personal Quiet Time Seminar last Wednesday afternoon. It really challenged me and reinforced my thinking from the other day and my concern of whether what I was doing was really building my relationship with God.

The Lord really spoke to me about how I have approached my quiet time. For instance, how beneficial is it really to my relationship with the Lord if I read a passage and have little to no idea what I just read?

Honestly, I think it has been fine up to now. For one thing, what I have been doing has at least gotten me into the habit of getting up and getting into the Word first thing in the morning. I do believe He has blessed that time and has spoken to me in spite of myself. But as with the rest of our study of Matthew, He is challenging me to take the next step… to go deeper with Him.

One way that Tonya challenged us to look at it is not just getting through the book or getting a certain amount read. This is very difficult for my concrete goal-oriented personality. As I look back on my quiet time recently, I feel like the conversation has gone something like this…

Me: Ok. Reading Amos… good, I’ll be able to check that book off the list..
God: Ok, what did I tell you through Amos?
Me: I dunno. I’m reading.
God: But-
Me: Excuse me God…I’m reading. Let’s not interrupt.

This is a ground-breaking, head-turning, amazing concept. Are you ready? Here goes…
I am to measure my progress not by how much I’ve read or what I’ve done, but by my growth in my walk with Him. *GASP*

The other element of a quiet time that was discussed was prayer. I have an entirely different set of issues here. Most of which is simply attention span when talking about my early morning quiet times. Otherwise, I’m finding myself, like I think many of us do, in Peter’s shoes.

The main theme of our lecture last week was injustice. How do we respond to it? Do we respond like many characters in the Bible, like Peter for instance? Or do we respond rightly, like Jesus?

The Lord told Peter in Matthew 26:41, “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” And yet, what did Peter do? Did he pray as the Lord told him?

No. He slept. He slept right through the opportunity he had to become in tune with God the Father’s will for His Son. And what was the consequence of being out of tune with God’s will?

He needlessly fought back during Christ's arrest. He chopped off the ear of the high priest’s servant, which could have landed him on a cross next to Jesus were it not for Jesus healing the man.

Then what did he do? He denied association with or even knowing Jesus three times, just as Jesus predicted.

I do tend to have a knee-jerk reaction when faced with injustice. I am better than I used to be about this, but there’s always room for growth, right? And, I have learned through some personal struggles with temptation that prayer and reliance on God’s deliverance from it is really the only way out. But I have not encountered my last dealing with this. Remembering this fact will be the key here.

So, my plan? Because, you know, I am nothing if not a woman with a plan.

I am re-reading the Psalms for my quiet time. But not just reading them. As I read (sometimes only a few verses at a time) I am looking for and asking God to reveal His attributes to me. I am seeking to know Him more personally and more intimately through His revealed character in His Holy Word. I am also praying that scripture back to him and typing out my prayer to help keep me on task and keep my mind from wandering.

So, I am formulating a way to incorporate this new plan into my blog. Stay tuned. I may be doing a weekly thing with this.