Remaining Faithful in Quiet Time When You Just Don’t Feel It
By Tiffany Layton
When we experience God, it can be exciting and exhilarating. In certain seasons the revelation of His Word, any comforting love from the Holy Spirit, and powerful experience in worship leave us eager to experience more. But what about the seasons when we aren’t feeling it? When sitting down to have a quiet time feels a lot more like a chore than infatuated bliss, what do we do?
For many years I lived entirely on my feelings. When I was in the mood to spend time with God, I was all in and would sit for hours reading the Word, playing my piano in worship, or praying. But when the dry seasons came, my quiet time took a backseat and I covered it up with a lot of excuses. Over the years, God has taught me a lot about my emotions and how to rule them instead of letting them rule me. Sometimes, we won’t feel like it. And that’s okay. I had to understand what it meant to offer a sacrifice of worship to the Lord. I have found that sacrificing my desires and feelings for what is eternal is infinitely more rewarding than doing what I feel like doing at the moment.
Here are a few tips I’ve learned that help me to remain faithful in my time with God when I just don’t feel like it.
1. Sacrificial worship means giving up what you want for what you need.
In Romans 7, Paul speaks about the inner struggle he had with sin. He said the things he should do he was not doing, and the things he shouldn’t do, he found himself doing. I think all of us can relate to this. However, later in 2 Corinthians 10, we can see Paul’s growth in this area when he talks about taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. If we truly desire to remain faithful to the Lord in seasons of not feeling it, we must deny ourselves and capture our desires/feelings to the obedience of Christ!
Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If any of you wants to be My follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for My sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?" (Matthew 16:24-26 NLT)
We display sacrificial worship to the Lord when we deny ourselves and follow Him in obedience.
2. Sacrificial worship means disciplining yourself in how you manage time.
Generally, I have not always managed my time well. Unfortunately, this lack of discipline enforced my tendency to live on my feelings. The simple act of managing time can help us become more disciplined in our quiet times. When I began to discipline myself to maintain a schedule when I just really wanted to veg out in front of the TV, I found it much easier to discipline myself to sit down with the Lord, even when I did not want to.
Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people). Making the very most of the time [buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5:15-16 AMPC)
We display sacrificial worship to the Lord when we choose to manage our time well, as He commands us to do in Scripture.
3. Sacrificial worship means choosing faith over feelings.
We must choose to have faith in God and His Word. In order to choose faith, we must have a better understanding of who God is. When we do not fully know God, it becomes much more difficult to choose His ways over our own. Romans 10 tells us that faith comes from hearing the Word of God. Therefore, we know from this verse that we will not be able to choose faith over our feelings if we are not putting the Word of God in our spirits.
James 1:3 says, “For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.” In this instance, our faith is tested when we are tempted to live on our feelings. Do we choose faith or feelings? I love the first phrase of the next verse, “… So let it grow.” So I too will say to you, let it grow!
We display sacrificial worship to the Lord when we choose faith in God over our desires and feelings.
- Identify some of the things you often choose instead of having a quiet time.
- Ask yourself some questions: What time of day are you best able to focus? Or most distracted? Find your areas of weakness and make a plan to manage your time accordingly so you make room for quiet time.
- Do a study on who God is in order to help build your faith in Him!
- PRAY! Ask God to give you the desires you should have. Ask Him to help you in your weakness and to help you build your faith in Him.
|About Tiffany: Lives in Alabama with her husband, Lex. She works at a local Credit Union and volunteers at her church, where she serves as a worship leader.|