I hope this was interesting to you!
Quiet Time, oh how I had hated quiet time so very much when I first started doing it. For those of you who are unfamiliar as to what quiet time is, it’s basically time you spend alone with God. As an extrovert the idea of spending an entire hour of my day alone praying and reading the bible felt like complete torture.
I love being a part of group discussions, being around people and sharing ideas- but being alone? No, thank you. Because being alone means spending time with me and God. Just the two of us together with nothing else to really distract me from his presence. All of a sudden those early mornings I would dedicate to God would be interrupted because my bed looked extra comfy.
It wasn’t until I listened to a Francis Chan Sermon earlier a few days ago that it dawned on me why I hated quiet time so very much. Quiet time requires me to spend time with God alone and God sees right through me. I can very well fool everyone I come in contact with on a daily basis; I can even fool myself. But the one person who sees right through me is God.
That’s so intimidating! The entire creator of the universe wants to spend time with us! He knows our innermost thoughts and can see right through every word that we speak. I remember a friend of mine asked me when was the last time I spent just immersed in God’s presence; I had no good answer to give. The problem lies in the fact that at the end of the day I didn’t want to spend time in God’s presence. I wasn’t hungering after him in a way that made me want to spend time with him.
I remember back when I was younger I would spend time in church and our pastor would tell us how important it was to read the bible daily. My parents sounded like a broken rec was ridiculous. I lacked a personal relationship with God and the extent of my relationship to my father lasted for 3 hours on Sunday mornings.
It was because I didn’t really want to know God that I failed to realize the importance in pursuing him and spending time with him. The thing is that when we start really developing meaningful relationships with people- we want to spend time with them. It’s not a chore and it shouldn’t feel like work. When you like being around someone, you will make time for him or her. Why can’t the same go for our relationship with God?
When I think about quiet time the first bible character that comes to mind is Daniel. For those of you who may not know why Daniel was, he was a bad a$$! When he was in the king’s presence and expected to eat the King’s food- he didn’t. He only ate things that were pleasing to God and he was actually healthier and plumper than everyone else around him. It’s kind of funny that being “plump” was seen as such a positive back then!
But back on topic, I want to specifically look at Daniel in the lion’s den though. A decree was published saying that no one would be allowed to pray to anyone other than the king. But, how did Daniel, someone so passionate and in love with God respond to this?
In Daniel 6:10 it reads, “…when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.”
He didn’t stop praying to God just because other people told him that he was not allowed to. In fact he prayed with his window opened, because he was unashamed of his beliefs. He knew his relationship with God and he knew that God was much more powerful than the King who told him not to pray. What I find so funny and even a little bit sad is the fact that if this had happened to me today, I probably wouldn’t have even notice the decree at first. Sometimes I don’t pray when I am encouraged, how I can pray knowing that I will be persecuted for doing so?
We need to become the Daniels of our generation. We need to be so passionate and in love with God that we are confident of him and what we believe in. And the only way we can achieve this is by making time daily for God in our lives.
I found myself thinking about this on the last night of my christian retreat, I realized that I had not once thought about God. At my christian retreat. Ironic, or pathetic? You choose.
And I feel like this has become an epidemic that is plaguing our nation, or more so our churches. Meetings, conferences,retreats and God somehow comes last. God is a burden or an after thought. God doesn’t even come second, he comes last.
It’s sad and its heartbreaking because when God’s not in the equation, everything else just crumbles and falls apart. I’ve heard of conferences where the “norm” was skipping out on the main meetings to hang out with friends. Where people go for the sole reason of bonding with their friends.
I believe that there is nothing wrong with wanting to spend time with people you love. Even taking time out to do so is fine. But when a conference is centered around God, and somehow he’s put last? Something is wrong.
The sad part was I believed I didn’t have a choice, but I did. In life we always have a choice. And I realized that when I did pray, you could just feel the power of God move so greatly.
Psalm 107:28-30 Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven