As a mom of three boys, that phrase is a magical myth. Like unicorns, elves at the North Pole , and wizarding worlds, “quiet time” is up there in the La-La Land of “things I wish were real.”
In today’s world of constant connection, trying to find the time in the chaos of life to sit quietly and focus on God is nearly impossible for many, including me.
Quiet time– moments of peace and literal quiet set aside to spend with God while reading scripture, meditating on it, and praying.
I’ve never been any good at quiet time. While I’ve been a follower of Jesus for most of my life, I’ve spend the majority of my adult life listening to other women talk about “quiet time,” resulting mostly in me feeling jealous and guilty. They had time set aside for God, I didn’t. That was convicting.
But I justified my lack of regular quiet time with the fact that I’ve always been insanely busy– the kind of gal with too many irons in the fire at any given time.
It wasn’t until this past school year began that I finally established a routine of regular, daily quiet time. That’s right– it’s only been a recent addition to my life.
And I have to say, I wish I’d done it years ago. I know now what I’ve been missing. I’ve become a quiet time junkie. I crave it.
That’s right– I crave it.
Now, don’t get me wrong– it is a sacrifice. It’s often difficult to rearrange my time to “make time” for God.
But (and not to dump a ton of conviction on you, but…), the sacrifice that Jesus made for me, the sacrifice God made in sending His only son into this world to take on the ugliness of my sin–it is so huge that the “sacrifice” of my time is nothing NOTHING nothing.
Quiet time becomes my number one priority when I remember that I am God’s number one priority. So are you. Number one.
Why do we need quiet time?
— In this demanding world of instant gratification, we’re glued to our cell phones, computers, tablets, and TV screens. We desperately need time to just sit, connected only to God, which means disconnecting from everyone else. Yes, even our family members. We need to be alone with God, even if just for a few moments. We need to be still. God commands it.
Be still and know that I am God… Psalm 46:10
— Quiet time gives us the opportunity to talk to God uninterrupted, and even more, to listen to God–uninterrupted.
— Quiet time forces devotion and helps us learn dedication.
— It gives us the opportunity to show God that we truly value Him and his word. We make him a priority.
— We need quiet time to help us focus on the things of God, not on the things of this world. When we neglect alone time with God, it is much easier for us to fill that time with things that, in the grand scheme of life and eternity, mean nothing.
— When we feel far away from God, like He can’t hear us or He doesn’t care, quiet time before Him–with Him– is the best way for use to draw closer to Him.
— Dedicating yourself to daily quiet time is worship.
— If we really want to know God, we have to spend time with him. Think about your significant other. How did you get to know this person? Most likely it was by spending one-on-one time with him or her. That one-on-one time was invaluable to your relationship and brought you close together. It’s the same with God. We won’t know him if we don’t spend time with him.
So why do it? What are the benefits?
— Focusing on God first thing in the morning gives us the proper frame of mind to handle whatever comes our way throughout the busy day.
— God rejuvenates. Better than a cup of coffee or a protein bar, quiet time focuses our thoughts and our hearts to accomplish everything on our to-do lists. He is our source of energy and strength.
— Peace and trust: the two things we long for most. When we take time to be still before God, we establish that kind of relationship with him. We get to know Him so well that peace and trust become easier for us. Not easy, but easier.
— We focus on discerning God’s voice. When we shut off all of the other voices in our lives, hearing God’s voice becomes much easier.
— We learn and study scripture. We get into God’s word which not only helps us to know God, but helps us to know who we are in Jesus.
— We make time to pray. All those things we tell other people we’ll pray about– make time to do it.
— God honors and loves obedience. When you are obedient to spending time with Him, he blesses that.
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. Romans 12:1 (The Message, emphasis mine.)
But the most important reason we should have daily quiet time, or alone time with God, or whatever you want to call it– is because God WANTS us.
He wants all of us. Every part.
Jesus gave every part of Himself for us. The least we can do is give some daily time to Him.