Several years ago, I decided to get serious about spending daily time with God. I knew in order to do this I was going to have to make some big changes. I spent time with God occasionally. But it was very conditional, based on what I was feeling at any given moment. I’m a bit of a free bird at heart. I would naturally live my life with fluidity—going whichever way my desires and feelings take me. However, this most certainly does not produce spiritual fruit and righteousness. Therefore, I have had to learn how to exercise self-control and discipline.
A new year is the time I usually reflect on things I’d like to change. It was at a new year I decided to make changes in regard to my quiet time with God. I committed to having consistent and dedicated quiet times.
Here are a couple of ways I transformed my quiet time. I hope these simple changes help you as much as they did me.
1. Transform the way you think about quiet time.
My perspective of quiet times had to change. I had viewed it as icing on the cake so to speak, rather than thinking about it as abiding in Christ.
“Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. Yes, I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing…But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want and it will be granted.” (John 1:4-5, 7 NLT)
In order to change my thinking about my quiet time, I had to acknowledge the vast importance it holds. Jesus says in order for us to produce anything for Him, we must abide in Him! The way we do this is by spending time with Him daily. Therefore, I want to encourage you to reshape the way you think about quiet time. Is it a duty and obligation, or is it what you run to daily to sustain your life?
2. Transform the way you plan.
Before I made changes to my quiet time, I had no plan or commitment. I would sit down when I felt like it, read whatever moved me, and finish when I felt like it. This was very “me” centered and not focused on intimacy, knowledge, or relationship with God.
Planning ahead for your quiet time makes a huge difference. I didn’t really know what to do or study or even pray at times. So, I just wouldn’t do anything. When I came across Wholehearted years ago, they provided such clear, easy-to-follow resources for planning out my quiet time. The Quiet Time Companion is an amazing resource to help you structure your time with God to have more depth and longevity.
I encourage you to set a time and place and stick to it! Select a Bible reading plan, topic to study, or book of the Bible. This way you know exactly what you’re going to read ahead of time. Take the time to write out topics for prayer so you can stay focused when you pray!
3. Transform your commitment to prayer.
There were times I found myself concluding my quiet time without having truly prayed. I spent all the time journaling and reading. But I wasn’t really spending significant time talking to God. This is absolutely vital and crucial to our relationship with God. The intimacy we desire with God will never be met without a commitment to daily prayer. We cannot have a relationship with someone we don’t communicate with.
I encourage you, this new year, to set aside daily time to pray. Make a plan for your prayer so you can stay focused. If you do anything in your quiet time, talk with your God.
- Identify some ways you want to transform your quiet time with God. (Refer back to John 15.)
- Write out a plan for your quiet time. When? Where? What will you read? What will you pray about? (Wholehearted’s resources and freebies are an excellent place to start!)
- Make a commitment to daily prayer! (Try using Wholehearted’s Prayer List templates.)
|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.