I am not sure if it is just me and my family that calls personal time with God “quiet time” or if this is a more universal term. Either way, quiet time, God time, devotional time, or personal time can all turn into “selfish time.” What God has recently been revealing to me is that I, and so many of us, tend to be the most consistent and thorough with our time with God when we get something out of it. You know what I mean, those times you finish with the warm and fuzzies, or feel closer to God than ever before. These times are great, but cannot be the focus. There can be a long streak where our time with God is so deep and feels so beneficial. In these times we desire and treasure our time spent with God because we feel so good during and after. This can be followed by a dry period where during and after our time we feel as though nothing came out of it. If you’re like me, in this time we tend to do an obligatory prayer and tell ourselves “ok just read a few chapters and then I can *insert small reward*”. In these times you simply check God time off the to-do list, and then forget about it for the day.
First of all, the fact that we feel the need to reward ourselves after spending time with our greatest reward? Yuck! What’s wrong with that picture? Everything, that’s what. This time should be something that we deeply desire and can’t get enough of. Second of all, when did this precious time with God become all about us? We need to remind ourselves that our time with God is not all about us, it is a way we worship our God. If we looked at it more as an act of worship and less of a time about us, it would be the way God intended it to be. Most importantly, our time with Him is a way that we seek the plan God has for us.
John 17:4 “I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do.”
I know many times when we are in the dry periods, our time with God can feel nearly meaningless as we skim around His word and walk away barely remembering what we just read. Let me assure you that spending time with Christ when you don’t feel His presence is a big act of faith in trusting that He is there and He has purpose in it. We need to continue to persevere and make it a priority no matter what that days outcome is, because I promise you, the bigger outcome is much much greater. If we always sensed His presence and felt on cloud 9 after our quiet time, would it really be a selfless act for the Lord? Wouldn’t that continue to make it all about us no matter how hard we tried not to? Our sinful natures could not make right of the situation. Pursuing Him when we don’t feel Him? Now that’s truly an incredible way to glorify Him; and live out our faith in such an intentional and meaningful way.
Romans 10:7 “ So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”
Let’s change our mindsets on what our time with God is. It’s not a time with the purpose of feeling good about ourselves, and it’s definitely not a time that should be nodded off when we don’t get that warm and fuzzy feeling. Our time with God should be a time of desire, worship, and growth, all with the purpose of glorifying our Creator. Let’s start focusing on who we are making our time with God all about.