Thursday

Why Is It So Hard to Have a Quiet Time?

If you are like me,  you've heard all your Christian life about the importance of having a quiet time. We've heard stories about giants of the faith like Martin Luther, who prayed for two or three hours each morning. We've heard about Susannah Wesley, mother of fifteen, who desired a quiet time with God so much that she would throw her apron over her head to create a place to have a conversation with the Lord. We've heard contemporary speakers and writers like Becky Tirabassi challenge us with her testimony of spending an hour a day in Bible study and prayer.

Why then, is it still so hard to consistently spend time with God in Bible reading and prayer?

After almost thirty years of walking with God, I still struggle with having a consistent quiet time.

What is especially curious to me is that although I have built the discipline of Bible reading and prayer into my life, and it is a rare day when I miss my time with the Lord,  I still feel the pull to do other things instead.  Do you have this struggle too?

As I pondered this phenomena of this divided heart, I arrived at a conclusion.  I think we struggle with consistently spending time with God because we are not convinced that it is the best use of our time.  It sounds sacrilegious, doesn't it? It is hard to admit. I feel ashamed even typing these words, since I have included myself in the "we" of the above statement, but I believe it is true.

We make time for what we think is important.  We can look back through our daytimer for proof. We believe getting our teeth cleaned will benefit our health, so we go to the dentist twice a year. We believe exercise will enhance our quality and length of life, so we sweat away at the gym. We believe helping our children with homework will enable them to perform better academically, so we carve out time each day to work with them. We believe eating three meals a day is essential, so we shop, and prepare, and cook.

If we truly believe that time with God each day is essential to the quality of our lives, our relationships, and our effectiveness in ministry and at work, wouldn't we ensure that we never miss an appointment?

E. M. Bounds, one of the world's greatest proponents of prayer, had these discerning words to say,

"The little estimate we put on prayer is evidence from the little time we give to it."
 
Bounds believed that spending time with God was the wisest investment of our time that a believer could make. He said this:

"The men who have done the most for God in this world have been early on their knees. He who fritters away the early morning, its opportunity and freshness, in other pursuits than seeking God will make poor headway seeking Him the rest of the day. If God is not first in our thoughts and efforts in the morning, He will be in the last place the remainder of the day."
 
Despite the the busyness of house guests and meal preparations, Mary, the sister of Martha, chose to spend time at Jesus' feet.  He commended her forever in Luke 10 when He said, "Mary has chosen what is better. . ." 

I ask you today, do you really believe that there is anything more important than spending time with the God of the universe?

Me either.

May God richly bless us as we spend time at His feet.





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