Three Tips to Help You Grow in Your Relationship with Jesus
By: Katie Stone
Do you ever come to the end of your quiet time and wonder if you did it right? Does it ever feel like you’re just going through the motions and never getting anything out of it?
If so, you’re not alone. Every one of us has been there at some point. Here are a few things I’ve learned to help get the most out of your daily time with Jesus:
1. Begin with Prayer
Having a quiet time is about growing in our knowledge and love for Jesus. However, the Bible teaches that apart from the grace of God, we are unable even to do this!
“For it is God […] who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (II Corinthians 4:6)
This is a humbling reality. When you start your quiet time, begin by recognizing your need for Christ even in the process of seeking to know Him more. Ask Him to give you a deeper love for Jesus, to enlighten your eyes to the truth of His word, to teach you to pray. He delights to answer these prayers.
“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” (I John 5:14-15)
2. Confess Sin
“If I regard sin and baseness in my heart [that is, if I know it is there and do nothing about it], The Lord will not hear [me].” (Psalms 66:18 AMP)
As a believer, nothing can ultimately separate us from God. But if we allow sin to remain in our life unconfessed and unrepented of, it will hinder our growth in Christ.
When you begin your quiet time, allow the Holy Spirit to search your heart and see if there is any unconfessed sin standing between you and Jesus. (Psalm 139:23-24)
If the Holy Spirit brings unconfessed sin to mind, tell Him about it and ask forgiveness. Then take courage! The gospel deals with our sin, removing it from us, and clothes us in Christ’s righteousness. Jesus will forgive and cleanse you of all sin no matter how big or small. As 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
If you are sincere in allowing God to search you and no unconfessed sin comes to mind, praise the Lord! Scripture tells us, “Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God.” (I John 3:21) In other words, we can have complete assurance that sin is not hindering our ability to come before God in prayer and worship.
One note: there is no need to confess sins you have previously repented of. Cling to the promise that God is faithful to forgive our sins and cleanse us from them. We no longer bear the guilt of sin that has been confessed and repented of. “I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; And I will not remember your sins.” (Isaiah 43:25)
Corrie Ten Boom said, “When we confess our sins, God casts them into the deepest ocean, gone forever… I believe God then places a sign out there that says No Fishing Allowed.”
3. Remember, Fruit Takes Time to Grow
I do not believe that every time we open our Bible we need to “get something” out of it. We do not need to “hear from God” or find a specific application point for our quiet time to be worth it.
We live in a results-driven culture that places high value on methods and services that get fast results. This mindset affects everything from fitness to entertainment to how we shop. It’s also affecting our quiet time. We come to God’s word expecting to receive one verse that will instantly solve all our problems and remove all our worries.
Past generations instinctively understood a concept we need to be taught: fruit takes time to grow.
Farmers till the soil in the spring and fruit does not instantly grow up out of the hard ground. Then they plant seeds and water and weed for weeks without tasting any fruit. It’s only after much hard work and lots of waiting that fruit finally begins to grow and ripen.
When we open God’s word we are not opening the Amazon Prime app. When we pray we are not talking to Alexa. Quiet time is more like planting a garden.
Each time we show up, open our Bible, and spend time in prayer, we invest in our relationship with Jesus. Just as planting seeds, watering, and weeding the garden might not feel very productive or exciting, our quiet time might not feel productive or exciting some days.
However, God has promised, “So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11) And, “you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13)
As Amy Charmichael said, “Our feelings do not affect God’s facts.”
When you come to your quiet time, don’t spend it trying to get specific results instantly. Instead, come to spend time with Jesus and allow Him to faithfully take the truth you putting into your mind and produce the fruit of godliness in your life in His perfect time.
- Begin your Quiet Time by recognizing your need for Christ and asking Him to give you a deeper love for Jesus.
- Each day, confess any sin that you are aware of and receive Christ’s forgiveness.
- Remember that having a quiet time is like planting a garden. Be faithful and patient. God is using this discipline to produce fruit in your life.
Katie loves an urban cafe as much as the smell of campfire and pine. She works in communications while studying business and non-fiction writing, and is most happy when leading worship and discipling others.