Here we are, a New Year. Did you resolve to have a consistent quiet time (maybe you call it a bible study)?
I did and do every year. Last year that didn’t happen. How about you?
Maybe you fell into one of these 4 simple mistakes that destroy a quiet time – every single time!
- Approaching the Bible like any other book.
- The Bible has to be read like the inspired letter it is or it won’t change my life.
- Trying to read too much of the Bible in one sitting & setting unrealistic goals.
- Me too – It’s easy to feel guilty about missed days and then try to “catch up”.
- Reading any random passage you put your finger on.
- I do this when I feel lost in how much of the Bible I haven’t read – I struggle to find the right place to read.
- Inconsistency in the schedule.
- If I am not intentional about scheduling time with God it just won’t happen!
Over the years as I have switched out these habits and find my Quiet Time is now something I look forward to and make time for!
How do you create a Quiet Time that will last a lifetime, nourish your soul and help you hear the Voice of God?
There are 4 easy, practical steps you can take today to start this lasting Quiet Time discipline.
Step 1 to Create a Quiet Time that will last –
Perspective Shift: The Bible is unlike any other Book!
For years I struggled to have a consistent Bible Study or Quiet Time. I remember when all that changed. The day I heard an answer to a specific prayer while reading my Bible.
I remember I had been
whining praying and feeling guilty for “wasting” God’s time with my little problems as I opened my Bible:
1 Peter 5:7-10 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
The passage just jumped off the page to me and spoke specifically into my struggle.
- God cares about what I care about. I’m not wasting His time praying. In fact, the enemy would like me to think that way so I stop praying and spending time! I have to resist that snake and lean into God because He has so much more for my life!
Perspective Shift: God’s word is God words to me, you, us – Everyone in every time! They are living words that speak to our specific needs.
Now I go into my quiet time with an expectation of hearing His voice again.
Another Word I have searched out is Anxiety – as I struggle with that. What about you?
I’d love to give you a 40 day Bible Reading and Journaling guide on that topic.
Step 2 to Create a Quiet Time that will last –
Slow Down and set realistic goals.
The Bible, the very inspired word of God, is not like any other book on this planet. It is living, breathing, active able to cut deeply into our soul and change everything!
To think you are going to consume it, understand it, have it change you, in 1 year is unrealistic for most of us non-bible-scholars.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love reading through the Bible (except maybe a few Old Testament books) – There is absolutely a time and place for that.
Reading through the entire Bible gives context and develops our understanding of God’s character. However, I prefer to take it on at my own pace.
There should never be guilt over missing a day in the word or “getting behind” in my studying! When there is guilt I am less likely to keep at it!
Galatians 6:9-10 Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.
Plus, God is not making me feel that guilt… so you know where it is coming from. Tell that snake “Not Today Jack!” and just get back to reading wherever you were!
Step 3 to Create a Quiet Time that will last –
Read about the real things in your life right now.
You are going through something right now. The Bible talks about that real thing.
- Google the thing.
- Pull a list of verses about it.
- Set about reading them.
- Studying them.
- Meditate on them.
- Applying them to your situation.
Try a Word Study. After you find a verse or 2 that apply to your situation – go to BlueLetterBible.org and search that verse. Look at each word that applies and see where it is used in other places in the bible.
Ask some key questions about the verse.
- What did it mean to the people of the time?
- What is the context it was set in?
- How did the people who heard it respond?
Using the example of 1 Peter 5 – there are other verses that talk about casting cares on God.
Does this mean you can never read the Bible in a year or join a group study?
You can study whatever, whenever, however, you want. God has used group studies to keep me accountable and grow me in surprising ways.
Just be sure to choose a study that is interesting to you, maybe that speaks to your current situation.
And feel free to step out of the study if it turned out to be something else. You have permission! 😉
Step 4 to Create a Quiet Time that will last –
Schedule time with God every day.
*The thief comes to Steal Kill and Destroy
We have a real enemy that would love to steal kill and destroy our Quiet Time! I have had to be intentional to set a scheduled time alone with God each day.
Time for prayer and study.
If I don’t set the time (literally schedule it in my calendar and set boundaries all around it) it just doesn’t happen. The more physically present needs in my life take over and before I realize it the day is done.
What I love about this scheduled time is that it sets the tone for the whole day. I find I hear from God more regularly… like He is there waiting for me each morning.
Morning works best for me, but it may be the evening for you. Find that time. Schedule it. Make it a priority and watch to see what God will do in that time and space!
Which of the 4 steps are you planning to take today? Comment below and I will be praying for you as you start down the road of this Spiritual Discipline.