By: Erica Hunt
Consistency is a delicate discipline to have today. We are living in a world that demands flexibility, but it is evident that our daily lives need the stability of a routine and pattern. Finding motivation to be consistent in our daily life is hard, as is the challenge of creating a regular daily meeting with God.
I am a practical person. I do not like to waste my time on something that does not have a purpose. It is easier to see the physical daily tasks that need attended to, than the spiritual nurturing my soul needs. I have to make an effort to follow through on my quiet time. It is easy to wonder what the “point” is, as it often does not reap tangible results. Our time with the Lord can easily feel like an obligation or another item to check off the list. And (confession time) I want a deeper reason to spend time with God than, “It improves my mood.”
Over the years, I’ve learned some deeper motivations for having my quiet time. These motivations don’t necessarily make it easier to spend time with Christ; but they do remind and prompt me to act when I am struggling to commit to an arranged time with Christ.
A consistent quiet time helps keep you from sin
Believers often get tripped up on the idea that works and spiritual disciplines are bad because they lead to legalism. Though we must remember that it is by grace we are saved, we have to be careful not to view God’s commands as optional. Spiritual disciplines are not the means of our salvation, but they are commanded for a reason, one of them being for our protection. Spending time in God’s Word shows us our sin and our great need for a Savior. Sin and its consequences lead to death. When we are able to recognize sin in our lives, we are able to escape the pain and consequences of sin. Spending time in God’s Word helps us recognize our need for Christ and will keep us from desiring to following after our sin nature into a lifestyle of sin, pain and death.
A consistent quiet time lays a foundation for discipline
Recently, my sister was discussing potty training her toddler. She spoke of the difficulty of being consistent at the beginning, but as time went on it became easier, not only for her but for her son as well. Now you may not be potty training, but the principles of this important life skill still apply. How do you form a habit? How do you become good at something? Repetition. You do that thing over and over and over. The same concept applies to any spiritual discipline: daily quiet time, scripture memorization or fasting. Disciplining and training ourselves to form new habits is not easy. Another example is working out. (For those of us who are not in the season of potty training right now.) Just as disciplining our bodies to be active and healthy doesn’t come naturally, so it is with our spiritual life. We have to practice, train and push through some uncomfortable moments in order to live a life that is disciplined. As we work out spiritual muscles it will become easier and they will become stronger.
A consistent quiet time helps us become like Christ
Speaking of working out, we know that there is a purpose to the pain and inconvenience of a workout system: a healthy and working body. This motivates us to push through the pain or schedule conflicts or early mornings, because we know the prize that waits for us at some point in time is a healthy body. The purpose of a daily quiet time is to ultimately become like Christ. When we spend time studying Scripture we come to know Christ intimately and the Holy Spirit begins to mold us into His likeness. A believer’s reward at the end of this life on earth is Christ. One day we will see our Savior face to face and live with Him eternally. With every moment we spend with Him here on earth, we can look ahead to the day we will see our Prize and experience His holiness in a way that this sick and broken world hindered us from knowing.
And as we wait for that day, may these reminders to consistently seek Christ motivate you to run towards our prize. Jesus saves us from our sin and invites us to dig deep into His Word, which He uses to mold and conform us to His likeness as we press on towards the day when our training will be complete.
Erica grew up on the South Dakota prairie, along the Missouri River. Growing up her parents introduced her to Jesus and taught her to walk in His way. She keeps busy teaching 7th and 8th grade students who keep her laughing and humble. Along with her love of the land she enjoys traveling, learning fun facts and historical information, and is always up for coffee, ice cream and a good conversation with friends. She and her husband, Justin, have been married just over a year and live in eastern South Dakota.