Tips For Establishing A Quiet Time

quiet time

My friend, if there is something so very essential to our walks with the Lord — it is having a quiet time every day, letting go of the things of the world and just be still before Him, to read His Word and to hear His voice. This is how we grow spiritually. But this is also the very grounds where we fight some of the hardest spiritual warfare, where the enemy comes in to discourage us and pull us away from spending time with our Lord.

1. Plan a time for your quiet time

Honestly? Responsibilities weigh heavy on our shoulders, and life has a tendency to get busy very fast. The quiet time will not happen, unless we make the time. So do just that: schedule a time to spend with the Lord. Plan the time, and stick with it no matter what. Make it short in the beginning, as it is easier to commit this way. Even 15 minutes is enough — although soon you might just find yourself wanting more time with the Lord.

When is the best time to have a quiet time? I believe it is in the morning, as we have examples in the Scriptures of the Psalmist seeking the Lord early or of Jesus going up the mountain to pray before the day. For me, the routine of it helps me to have a quiet time every morning. For some, though, mornings might just be plain difficult. So pray about this; ask the Lord for His guidance. He will certainly provide a time every day for you to spend time with Him.

“O God, You are my God;
Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land
Where there is no water.
So I have looked for You in the sanctuary,
To see Your power and Your glory.” (Psalm 63:1-2)

2. Decide on a book of the Bible to study

If you are new in the faith, the Gospel of John is a great book to read. If you are new to having a quiet time with the Lord, the Gospel of Mark is good for it is the shortest of the Gospels, yet contains so much. I love reading through the Psalms, reading one Psalm every morning for great encouragement. The Epistles of Paul contain so much wisdom, hope, and encouragement. The book of James is great for putting our faith into action.

3. Study the book of the Bible

First, pray for the Holy Spirit to teach you and to reveal more of Jesus to you during your daily quiet time.

Depending on the book you have chosen, the time you have, and even your motivation, choose whether you are going to read a verse, a passage, or a chapter every day. Then, reading the Scripture for the day, seek answers to what you can learn about:

  1. God the Father
  2. Jesus
  3. the Holy Spirit
  4. yourself as a believer in Christ
  5. sins to avoid
  6. commandments to obey
  7. love and Christian living

4. Keep a journal

I am not much for keeping a diary on a daily basis, but I do keep a spiritual journal. In the journal, I write the things I learn while studying the Scriptures and reading His Word. I write the things I hear from the Lord, and also the things I am saying to Him. I write down prayers and wishes, and I record answers to prayers — although I need to get better at keeping a prayer journal. I also write down the worries and concerns I have, pour out the hurt from my heart, put my anxiety into words, and dot down the meltdowns I have. I keep a gratitude list, as well.

The reason I love keeping a journal is that it allows me to look back and see God’s faithfulness in every season of my life. Prayers are always answered, which means the Lord hears even the quiet cries of my heart. He blesses me so greatly with so much more than I ever have dared to ask for. When I have been faithless, He has remained faithful.

5. Share what you have learned, in words and in action

I have found that the best way I learn, is to share what I have learned — whether it is in words or in action. Our love for God changes the way we love others, and applying these things to our lives will be a great blessing — especially to us. I have also been inspired so many times when a friend has shared about what they have been reading during their devotions and how they have seen God in the midst of the everyday life.

Another benefit of sharing what we have learned, especially by telling others, is that we process the same thing over and over again. This, I have found, might just enable us to apply what we have learned even deeper as we think of it in different places and in different context.

What has helped you to establish a daily quiet time with the Lord? Share in the comments below!

Linking up: Good Morning MondaysMonday’s Musings

glimpses of grace, vol. 9

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It is almost the beginning of the Advent season, which is somehow unbelievable because this fall has seemed to fly by in some ways and stretch beyond what I thought I could take in other ways. But this time is the perfect time to stop and willfully make ourselves see the glimpses of grace in the here and now, that are around us all the time. Here are some great reads, to touch hearts and souls, to transform us for the better.

Lori Ferguson Wilbert wrote about walking in shame and this is the best post I have read in a while. Every part of my soul relates to walking in shame, no matter what season I am in right now.

Life is hard, but God is good. The simple truth is, life is hard. But our God is good and there is always hope. Jason Helveston writes here about four reasons why life is hard because, as he says, we usually want to find deeper meaning in our hardships. Here are also specific ways to respond to our difficulties, and there is wisdom in these words for all of us.

Here, Christel Humfrey writes a beautiful post on our current pain that reminds us of future gloryWe were made for eternity, and God’s blessings in the here and now remind us of that beautiful future. Yet it is so easy to forget this, which is why our current pain reminds us of our future glory.

So often, we turn away from others and from God — because of fear, shame, or most likely — pride. We do not want others to see the ugly side of our hearts, of our lives, so we limp forward, pretending that we are fine. Francine Rivers writes beautifully on what happens when we allow things to entangle us.

Here is an absolutely beautiful post from Ann Voskamp, on how to live when the breaking waves of life, stress, fears, or sorrows come. “When tough things keep coming at you — you think you have to get tougher. I say it quietly, not sure she hears me over the waves? “Hearts that get tougher — leave you with nothing of value to give.” Love is what we have to give —- and love comes from places that are vulnerable and soft and tender enough to feel — to break. Only those who are really vulnerable enough to be broken —  get to be the ones who really love. Only those who are really vulnerable enough to be broken —  get to be the ones who really love. It can be that when you feel broken — it’s proof that you’ve given.”

Gavin Ortlund writes about 3 ways to respond when slandered. Slander, like gossip, is something that I think we are bound to face when we are in ministry and going about the ways of the Lord. So here are some wise, grace-full tips on responding to slander in a way that it honors God.

what hinders our thanksgiving

I keep coming around to the same end point, that giving thanks will always be only good for us. It costs us, that is a sure thing — it costs us our hearts, lost as the Lord transforms them into something more beautiful. It costs us our comfort, as we need to lift our eyes from ourselves into the things of God. It will be painful, too, knowing our sinful hearts and praising our God, the One who gives and takes away.

It might just be the hardest thing in this season, giving thanks when everything reminds us of just how much we are missing. The elections, this pain, these broken relationships, the lost job, the house lost, these never-changing circumstances — it is painful to find gratitude in us. Yet, in our brokenness, we find our meaning as we find our Lord in every moment and in every place.

You Still Matter

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Dear one — I hear the fears running through your mind, I feel the iron grip that your strongholds have on you. It hurts, beloved. It hurts so much, I know. Those words, they cut so deep and the wound just does not heal. That person having left and gone, it hurts and your soul echoes with the condemnation that you could have done something more. This silence, it shouts that you are not worthy and you cannot help but agree.

But that is not the truth, beloved.

Your spouse walking away? Your friend telling you she no longer wants to be in contact with you? Your child leaving with all that bent anger, walking away from you and the Lord? Your parent telling you once again that you are not enough, that you will never be enough? Your sibling refusing to talk to you at all, to take your calls? Your church family wounding you every time you go to church?

“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 1:6-7)

That is not the truth, beloved. You are not what these people, what these circumstances deem you to be. Though it feels real, it is not the reality. Because you matter. Oh beloved, you still matter. You are still loved.

I know this moment, these circumstances do not leave you feeling like you are loved, by anyone at all. It feels like you do not matter anymore. But that is not the truth, my friend. You are loved by a good Father, One who gave His everything to save your heart. You are loved by the God With Us, by Him who knows your heart inside out and decides to stay. You are loved by the Almighty God, who parts the Red Sea to make a way where there is no way.

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)

This is not the end, beloved. You are loved. You are a chosen vessel of God. You are being refined for now, for a glorious purpose coming along the way as you bring glory to God. You are His masterpiece, beautifully and wonderfully made, and your story is being written like the great poem it is. The Lord is not done with you yet, He is creating beauty out of ashes and it will all become something glorious.

And I know, it is not easy to leave these things behind, to let go of all this that feels so real because the pain is real, because the hurt is written in the scars of your heart and because you carry the weight of it all on your shoulders. But in this moment, for this small period of time — let these words of truth be engraved on your heart: you still matter. You are loved. You belong. You have been chosen.

“Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:19-22)

Linking up: Tell His Story, Christian Blogger Linkup, Coffee and Conversation, Works For Me Wednesday, Coffee For Your HeartWise Woman LinkupFrom House to HomeFaith Filled FridayGrace at HomeGrace & TruthDance With JesusSpiritual Sundays