More and Nothing Less than a Habit

Posted by Naomi Vacaro on

Three Tips for Creating a Quiet Time
Katie Stone

Darkness invites me to linger under the blankets and the alarm calls me to get up, make coffee, and open my Bible. My alarm eventually wins. Minutes later I find myself cradling a mug of caffeine in one hand and a Bible in my lap. 
Even though I don’t always love listening to my alarm, I do usually get up and spend time in the Word each day. It has become part of my morning routine in the same way I take a shower and apply makeup daily. 
Over the years, I’ve occasionally sat down with my coffee and Bible and realized I’m simply going through the motions. What is supposed to be a rich time of fellowship with God has slipped into just a habit.  
At this point, I know something needs to change. 

Nothing Less than a Habit.
I’ve heard people say that forming a habit of daily quiet time is legalistic and therefore wrong. This mindset would lead me to believe that my problem was my habit. According to this logic, I should stop disciplining myself to get up out of bed early to sit down with my Bible when I’m just doing it out of routine.
We know that spending time with Jesus should be so much more than just a good habit. However, it shouldn’t be anything less than a daily habit.
James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits, says, “Habits are the small decisions you make and actions you perform every day.” A quiet time habit is simply making the decision each day to spend intentional time with Jesus.
When we don’t intentionally choose to focus on our Lord every day, our relationship with Christ is weak and filled with emotional highs and lows.
If we’ve hesitated to develop the habit of quiet time because it feels legalistic, we need to change our perspective. Spending time with Jesus is not legalism. It is our necessary food and drink and source of life. 
When I’ve faced the realization that my quiet time is lacking that sweet fellowship with Christ and feeling more like a routine, I know something needs to change. However, what needs to change isn’t my habit.
Instead, here are three practical ways I’ve changed up my quiet time to foster greater intimacy with Jesus without ditching the routine. 

Choose to believe His word.
“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, NKJV)
When we read Scripture, we are reading the Word of God going forth from His mouth into our hearts. Therefore, this is a promise that it will prosper in our lives whether we feel like it’s doing anything at that moment or not.
We all walk through seasons where God’s Word feels dry or prayer is especially difficult. But through those seasons God’s truth remains unchanged. He didn’t say “My word is effective when you feel encouraged after reading it.” He said it is effective. Period.
When you feel discouraged with your quiet time, don’t give up! Have faith that in the dry days, this habit of reading God’s word is still working for your sanctification and growth. Thank the Lord for the work He is doing in you through His word! Praise Him for His promises and glorify Him that even when you don’t feel anything, He is still working through His word and your obedience.

Commit your Quiet Time to the Lord
I often forget the incredible truth that unless the Lord opens my understanding and awakens my spirit, I can’t know Him intimately or know the delight in His Word. The good news is, He will always give wisdom and understanding to those who ask. He will always draw near to those who draw near to Him (James 1:5, 4:8)
Ask the Lord to open your ears to His truth, convict your heart of sin, and give you wisdom and grace for the day. He desires to answer these prayers. Often, when we find ourselves experiencing the dryness of habit, it’s because we have not intentionally listened to His Spirit and asked for understanding. (John 16:24) Maybe we are just opening our Bible and rushing through without taking the time to listen and ask the Lord to speak. I’ve found that many times my quiet time can become rich again simply by beginning my time in the Word with a prayer that commits my time to Christ.

Change up Elements of your Quiet Time
Other times it really does help to change things up a little! If you always have your quiet time in the same place, try a new location in your home. Start a different Bible reading plan, listen to an audio Bible, or sing along to worship music before you begin reading the Word. Sometimes it’s not the entire habit that needs to change, just an element of it. 

Our quiet time should be more than just a good habit. However, it is never anything less than the decisions and actions we make to spend time with the Lord daily.
If you’re struggling just to form the habit, commit your desire to the Lord and start small. If you’re struggling to find joy in the habit, start by praising the Lord for His work in you even though you can’t feel it! Then ask Him to breathe life into your quiet time and consider what elements might need to be adjusted.

  Katie Stone loves an urban cafe as much as the smell of campfire and pine.
Katie works in communications while studying business and non-fiction writing and is most happy when leading worship and discipling others.
Bible Reading Discipline Faith habits

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  • New to the website and products -a friend from my old church shared a link about her journal .
    This is the first blog I read and it was spot on what the Lord has been dealing with me on. I’m going to buy a lamp, cozy blanket and change up my quiet time corner which has become vacant lately :(
    Thank you for the post!
    Blessings
    Teresa

    Teresa Koontz on

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