I used to think that daily quiet times were only for the Super-Christians. I remember hearing about people who would wake up at the crack of dawn to sit at their kitchen table just to read their Bible. For years, this was a complete mystery to me.
As I matured in my faith, I began to understand that those early morning times with Jesus were not only for pastors or theologians, but for me and for anyone who wanted to grow their relationship with the Lord. Still, the thought was foreign to me, I didn’t know how this could fit into my life and I didn’t know what to do.
Getting in the Word has been something I’ve struggled with well into my Christian maturity. I’ve tried a million different things, reading plans, books, commentaries and I always seemed to slide away into the same place, a place of confusion and irregularity.
This summer I decided to try something new: prayer. I went before my Father and confessed my wandering mind, my lack of discipline and my overall confusion. I prayed for an insatiable desire to read His Word and I prayed to see more than words on a page when I read, I prayed for my times in the Word to be exciting, encouraging, and transformational.
This week, I began a reading plan on the App She Reads Truth that taught through the book of Hosea. In today’s lesson (Hosea 4), God condemns the Israelites for turning their back on Him, why did they do that you may ask? Because they forgot the goodness of God and the things that He did for them. This is why we read His Word! We, like the Israelites have wandering hearts that easily forget what God has done for us and who He is. When we read His Word, He shows up. He takes us by the hand and reminds us of His goodness, His power, and His sacrifice.
As I read this chapter, tears filled my eyes because in that moment I could see God answering my prayer. I felt so much joy being with Him in that moment. He gave me a desire to meet Him in His Word and there I found grace and love and oh, how exciting it was!
I’m telling you this because I want you to know that waking up every morning to sit and read is hard. It takes discipline and there are some days where it won’t feel worth it, but I am here to tell you all IT IS. Your Father sees your sacrifice, He sees your discipline and He will make it worth it! He will reward you by pulling you closer into Him- and friends, that is the best reward there is.
Psalm 42:1 says, “As a deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God”. If our bodies require food and drink everyday what makes us think that our souls don’t? My prayer if that you will encounter Jesus in His Word and discover your daily need for Him.
How can we be faithful sheep if we don’t know the voice of our Shepherd? And how can we know His voice if we don’t listen for it?
For those of you who struggle with this like I did, here are some of my favorite tools and tips for developing a daily quiet time:
- PRAY. Pray and ask the Lord to meet you and reveal Himself to you. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you and give you understanding. Ask the Lord to apply His truth to your life. Pray before, pray during, pray after, PRAY!
- Make it a daily discipline. You can’t wait until you feel like opening your Bible. If you want to see transformation and grow closer to The Lord, it’s going to take work. Somedays, it won’t feel exciting and warm and fuzzy. Keep going, I promise it will be worth it!
- Find yourself a spot in your house that is your quiet time spot! For me, it’s at my kitchen counter with a cup of coffee. Regularity will help!
- Take notes! This is a big one for me. Some people need to listen to learn, I need to write things down. This has dramatically transformed my quiet times. Sometimes just reading doesn’t stick in my brain.
- Download the App She Reads Truth (mentioned above) I love the hearts of the women who developed this app! It guides you through the Bible with an organized plan and fabulous commentaries.
- Download the App First Five. This App acts as your alarm in the morning and helps you dedicate the first five minutes of your morning to The Lord. Instead of scrolling though Instagram as you lay in bed, you can read God’s word! They also have more detailed, longer plans to follow on their website! I bought their Exodus study book and loved it!
- Take Tim Keller’s advice (he’s obviously way smarter than me) He says:
- Take a passage or a paragraph and read it 3-4 times
- Then make a list of everything it says about God (Father, Son, and Spirit)
- List anything it says about you (humanity)
- List any commandments, rules, things to obey, or things to be avoided
- Meditate on what you read
I hope these tips helped you out, I’m not an expert, just a sinner who’s captivated by the love of Jesus and has been fortunate to learn and grow closer to Him by using some of these tips! If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please feel free to leave comments!
In His love,