By: Erica Hunt
“I just can’t sit still.”
“There is too much noise! I can’t concentrate!”
“How am I to enjoy a ‘quiet time’ when I cannot stand silence?”
“When I see the piles of dishes or laundry or homework, I have to get them done.”
Our surroundings really do matter when we are trying to accomplish the many tasks we do. As we grow up, we learn to develop ways to cope with distractions and interruptions. Why, then, do we allow distractions to interfere with our times of Bible study and prayer?
We can’t let our quiet time be dependent on our surroundings, because our surroundings and circumstances will change. Throughout the different seasons of life, our time with God will vary in length. Illnesses, family demands, schoolwork, retirement, and life in general gives us new opportunities to navigate the use of our time. Choosing to prioritize God’s Word in our life takes effort. There will be times it might not be as difficult to schedule extended periods of time in Scripture. Other times, it will call for creativity and sacrifice.
If we truly prioritized our relationship with Christ, shouldn’t we do whatever it takes to spend time with him?
In Old Testament times people were required to go to the temple to worship God. Before they could even enter, they had to be physically and spiritually cleansed. But because of Christ’s death on the cross, Christians are free to worship at any time, in any place, and in any state we find ourselves. Through Christ, we can be in the most beautiful church building or in the darkest prison and still have access to the throne room of God.
Though Christ has opened the door for us to worship God, there is an atmosphere in which we can’t meet with God. It’s when we’re hindered by sin in our life and our hearts are not in a posture of seeking Him. The terrifying truth is it’s only our own sin and pride which hinder our relationship with Christ and keep us from meeting with God. (Isaiah 59:1-2). But the championing truth it is if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)
Keeping our hearts in right standing with God is vital in our relationship with him. When we are right with God spiritually, we have no hindrance of meeting him physically. We enjoy the freedom to worship God publicly, but in many countries it’s illegal for Christians even to read the Bible. Nevertheless, believers risk their lives to worship together and read Scripture. They don’t let anything stop them from planning ways to meet with God. When we realize the freedoms we have, it seems a petty thing to allow our surroundings to dictate our time with God.
So, what if I really can’t make it work? What if I really do need my conditions to be right before I can give my best time to God?
There are true and legitimate duties and accommodations needed for some of us to study the Bible. Ask God to help you discover how to incorporate Him into your life. He is so ready and able to help you. The Holy Spirit is the best problem solver there is!
If you are waiting for peace and quiet, all your chores to be done, or the kids to nap, in order to have your quiet time, you may be waiting a long time.
The purpose of slipping away to meet with God is to be with him. We do not have to have a clean house and our life in order before we can schedule a time for God. In fact, He invites us to put aside these things for better things, His presence. (Luke 10:38-42) And when we’ve been in His presence, the gifts He gives spill over into the other responsibilities of our day.
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.