Sunday, October 14, 2007

Daily Quiet Time

The alarm clock rings.

Fifteen minutes later you roll out of bed; late again. With toothbrush in hand you stumble into the shower, which is where you have your morning "devotions"; really nothing more than a hasty, "Good morning, Lord."

While getting dressed you spot your Bible laying on the bedside table, facing you like a leather-bound judgment. "One of these days..." you promise yourself again, "One of these days I'll get my act together and have a real, regular quiet time."

In our days of fast paced living and busy schedules many things are pushed aside and lost in the shuffle. Everyone one of us must determine what our priorities will be. After all, decisions determine directions. Where are your decisions directing you?

I believe that every Christian should have a daily quiet time. Call it a daily devotion, daily study time, daily prayer and reading time; regardless of one's chosen designation, the need for such a time is great.

A daily quiet time is time spent each day with God reading scripture, praying, and reflecting on what was read. It is a time established to silence everything else in life; a time to free yourself from the "tyranny of the urgent." This is a portion of time that you have devoted to being alone with God.

Examples of DQT

  • David - Psalms 5:3; 63:1-8, 92:1-2; 143:8
  • Daniel - Daniel 6:10
  • Jesus - Mark 1:35 - "And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed."

If Jesus Christ valued His morning alone with the Father, how much more should we see its necessity?!

Enemies of DQT

  • The Adversary - Satan does not like the idea of a believer who is serious about his relationship with God the Father, and Satan will fight against you as you endeavor to establish and be faithful to a daily quiet time.
  • The Urgent vs. the Important - Do not get so busy living that you neglect the One who gives you life.
  • Habit without Heart - This enemy stalks every meaningful relationship in life, including marriage. Don't go through the motions; no performance without passion allowed! Observe a DQT to draw closer to God, not to fulfill an obligation.

Elements of DQT

Relationship - To have a relationship with Jesus Christ means that you have, "Confessed with your mouth the Lord Jesus Christ and believed in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead." If by grace through faith you come to Christ as your Lord and Savior, you will be saved. He said, "him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out".

Reading - Christ said "man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." That's the Bible! Peter said the Christians should "desire the sincere milk of the word" like a newborn desires his mother's milk. The simple fact of the matter is this: God has written a Book. Christians must develop the holy habit and discipline of daily being in God's book! Follow a disciplined pattern for reading God's word. Don't just read here, there, and anywhere. Start in a particular book (John's gospel for instance) and read it through. You don't have to read it through all at once, but read through the entire book before you go on to another one. Form that holy habit now, and help develop it in others.

Reflection - goes hand-in-hand with reading. Do not read God's word absent mindedly. This means that you will concentrate on what your reading instead of thinking about the day that stretches out before you, or what you're going to have for breakfast, or anything else. Give your whole attention to what your reading. Meditate and reflect on what God's word is communicating. The Psalmist wrote "Blessed is the man whose delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night."

Requests - Part of your daily quiet time is prayer. Here again you must guard yourself against the habit without heart enemy. Too often we pray the same words every prayer. It's like asking someone on the street, "How you doing?" We never wait for a reply because we don't really care; we asked out of a heartless habit.

There is nothing ordinary about being before the throne of God! Pray intelligently, specifically, and to the honor and glory of Jesus Christ, and in His name boldly make your requests made known unto the Father!

Essentials for DQT

Be Regular - Your habit should be to daily search the scriptures. Sadly, the word "habit" has received a bad rap in many Christian circles, but there are many habits that are good for you; like, bathing, eating, brushing your teeth! There are also many spiritual habits that are good for you; the key is in not allowing your holy habits to become heartless.

Be Restful - There is an old navy saying, “When ships readjust their compass, they drop anchor in a quiet spot.” Find a place that is devoid of distractions and nagging responsibilites for your daily quiet time. This is not strictly a physical place, but a mental place as well.

Be Realistic - Don't commit to more than you handle. Many people become excited about beginning a daily quiet time and commit to an unrealistic time frame. Be real, set aside an amount of time that you can handle, and with faithfulness to this holy discipline, that time will naturallty increase, and beome increasingly rich.

Be Relentless - Did you miss a day? Don't quit, just start again tomorrow.

Be Rewarded - Spending time at Jesus' feet is choosing the good part which can never be taken from you! Drawing near to God is a rewarding experience, and establishing a daily quiet time will create a conduit of connectedness to Christ.

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