Rooted in His Love
My quiet time each morning is not the piece of the day I set aside for Jesus; rather it is the beginning of a day owned by God, lived for Jesus, and spent with the Holy Spirit. God made me, so, He owns me. Jesus died for me, so, it’s right for me to live for Him.
Living for Jesus is not just my duty, it is also for my flourishing! I am directionless, hopeless, and just very dumb, if not for the presence of the Holy Spirit guiding me through each moment of my life. Christians are called to be a people who live all of life as an answer to the impossibly beautiful love of God shown in the God-man Jesus Christ. Practically this means that my work, my words, my entertainment, my relationships, my thoughts, my attitudes, and my desires, should center more and more around Jesus as I grow in understanding His love for me.
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31 NLT)
I believe this and yet, I can easily act as if I fit God into my life. As if giving Him 15 minutes of my day, going to church most weeks, and praying before I eat, is evidence that I’ve done my job as a Christian.
This is the danger of quiet time. We can start thinking of it as a duty to get done so that God is ok with us. (Maybe if you spend a whole hour of study God will even like you!)
We can think of it as a bargaining chip (I’ll give you ten minutes each morning and You give me three hours of Netflix).
We can act like quiet time covers a multitude of sins (and only spend time with Jesus when we feel extra guilty about something).
We can forget to pray until trouble comes along (as if our quiet time is the only way God knows what’s going on with us).
Lies tend to work the hardest in especially significant areas of life and our quiet time is significant; but not because it makes God like us, do what we want, or forgive our sins. And it is also not because God needs us to let Him in on our thoughts, feelings, and circumstances. He knows. your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him! (Matthew 6:8 NLT)
So why is having time (preferably quiet) spent reading the Bible, praying, singing, and/or journaling significant?
Throughout scripture, we read that people who have faith in God meditate on His Word (Psalm 1:2). We see that the word keeps us from sin (Psalm 119:11). Most compellingly, Jesus had a habit of withdrawing from the crowds and His disciples to spend time in prayer (Luke 5:16). I’ve also found that starting my day studying the Bible reminds me to live the rest of my day for Jesus and with His help.
The main benefit of a quiet time with Jesus is that by spending time with Him; worshiping Him, telling Him about our lives, asking for His help, and meditating on His written word, we remind ourselves of Who owns our life. We need this reminder every day, since we too easily forget that our life is His story and instead try to fit Him into (or shove Him out of) the story we’d like to write.
It used to be difficult for me to set aside time to read the Bible every day. Now, after working at this for many years, something strange has happened: each part of my life reminds me of something I’ve read in the Bible. My quiet time didn’t nicely stay in its part of my day, rather it’s grown to fill more and more of my life.
I used to be amazed when I found guidance and words for my life in the Bible; now, it’s more like the Bible is in me, shaping how I see all my relationships, feelings, and circumstances. By surrendering each morning to His will and meditating on His thoughts instead of being consumed by my own, I’ve leaned into the work the Holy Spirit is doing in all of us who are new creations in Christ.
So fellow Christian, are you following Christ or fitting Him in? If you’re like me, sometimes the answer to that question is a bit uncomfortable.
Do you know how deeply Jesus loves you? That you were the joy set before Him when He endured crucifixion? That He delights over you as a parent delights over the toes of their newborn child?
When we see how beautifully, deeply, and wisely Christ loves us, following him shifts from a crushing ideal that we can never live out, to a natural overflow of our deep security in Him. So, this is what I’ll be praying for us:
|Emily Miller began having a daily quiet time at the age of 13. This habit has been one of the few constants in her life as she transitioned from being a missionary kid in Mongolia to a barista in Oregon to a stay-at-home mom in central Florida. The Word of God has anchored Emily to Jesus through depression, struggles with doubt, health issues, and her son’s cystic fibrosis.|