by Mike Lutz
There is no quick fix for the struggling Christian. There are no spiritual supplements that a person can take that will deliver the Godly nutrient needed to grow strong in the faith. In order to hear God speak, learn His will and His ways, move on into maturity, and survive the storms of life then a person must invest the time and be committed to a daily quiet time with God.
This indispensable practice is something many believers already know should be a regular part of their daily life, but sadly, many, even those in ministry, do not consistently set aside quality time with God. I wish this were not the case; but unfortunately, it is a pattern I have seen in counseling session after counseling session and in conversation after conversation. Conversations that usually result in me hearing something like this:
“Yes, I know I haven’t been praying or spending time in God’s Word, but. . . .”
How we love to make excuses. Believe me, I know many people are juggling kids, work demands, family and school responsibilities, not to mention the health issues you or someone close to you may be facing. But the bottom line is there is no excuse you can give that justifies not regularly spending time with God. You may be saying, “But you just don’t understand my situation.”
Honestly, I don’t have to. Whatever your situation the fact of the matter is you have the time. Yes, it may require sacrifice, rearranging your schedule, and changing your priorities. Something may need to be taken off your plate, or you may have to scratch something off your to-do list. If you feel that it is totally impossible, then it may take a little extra effort, a little more creativity, or simply a little more diligence to fit it into your already full schedule. And let me just say if your schedule is too full for God, then something needs to go. And don’t fool yourself, you can even keep yourself so busy serving God that you do not spend any personal time with the God you are serving, and that will eventually lead to big problems.
Certainly emergencies come up, unexpected interruptions happen from time to time, and other real life difficulties arise that may force a person to miss or reschedule their quite time for a while but those examples should be the exception and should never be allowed to define your regular time with God.
So how can you cultivate a quality quiet time?
First, this is time between you and God alone—no distractions. When possible, seek out a time and place where no one else will be around. It should be a place where you give God your complete and undivided attention. This is a must. Have you ever had one of those conversations where there was too much noise or too many people around? It became hard to hear the person you were speaking with because of all the noise. Maybe it was so distracting that it was hard to hear yourself think. What did you do? You probably sought out a quieter location so you could continue your conversation.
It is the same when it comes to spending time with God. If you have distractions, it is hard to hear God speak. And if your environment is filled with noise, then it can be hard to stay focused. Whether you sit, stand, or go for a walk, it doesn’t matter. You can be inside in a comfy chair or at your desk, you can be on your computer, or you can be outside under a tree. Position and location do not matter. What is important is that your surroundings are not a distraction and do not detract from giving God your full attention. Quiet is essential in the quiet time.
Communication is important
Quiet goes a long way in the next aspect of our time with God, which is communication. In any relationship, communication is important because it is the mode by which we share ideas, information, and emotions. Without communication, relationships are destined for difficulties, headed for misunderstandings, filled with frequent frustrations, and, in the worst of cases, they can even face failure.
Your relationship with God is no different, and communication is of the utmost importance. Communication is a two way street where we communicate with God through prayer and by allowing God to communicate to us through the Bible. Without these two important aspect of communication our relationship with God and others will be destined for difficulties, headed for misunderstandings, filled with frustrations, and in some cases, will face the risk of failure. There is no other single area that is more directly related to a person’s ability to live in the center of God’s will than through their personal time with Him. Neglect it, and you are flying blind. Nurture it, and the world is at your feet with God lighting the way.
I have yet to meet someone who doesn’t want a blessed marriage, a successful career, an effective ministry, or fruitful life; the fact of the matter is God wants your life to be abundantly blessed too! The key to walking in the fullness of what God has for you can be directly tied to your time with God and your obedience to His word.
“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” (Joshua 1:8)
Is your ministry struggling, is your life a wreck, are you having trouble discovering God’s will? Is your walk with God a little lack luster and in need of some revitalization? Then do not waste another day, start now and cultivate a quality quiet time with God.
About the Writer
Mike Lutz has been in pastoral ministry for over a decade and is dedicated to the practical and accurate teaching of God’s Word. Mike’s heart is to see people grow deeper in their relationship with God and to live lives that reflect the love of God. Mike Lutz is the author of the newly released daily devotional “God Every Day: 365 Life Application Devotions.” Mike also has authored the inspirational book “Discovering God’s Will for Your Life: Your Journey with God.” He lives in southern California with his wife, Colette, where he continues to write and speak. For more information visit www.mikelutz.org.