'Not having enough time' is possibly the number one reason we give ourselves for not spending regular time alone with God. Why is it so hard to maintain any kind of habit? Our time will always try to fill with something, anything, other than quality time spent with God. Find out how you can join hundreds of women world wide who have learned how to reboot their devotional life...
A brand shiny new year is upon us. Thoughts naturally turn to what we want to achieve in the year ahead. Many of us have sought, or are still seeking a special Guiding Word, to carry us through the unknown 12 months ahead. [If your're still not sure what your Word should be, check out this post for inspiration.] However, coming up with an inspiring Word is only the very beginning....
We instinctively know how precious regular time alone with God is. It is our daily bread. It is our spiritual and emotional oxygen. Without that lifeline of intimate communion with our Father, we quickly run spiritually dry. Before January is even done, we are frazzled and overwhelmed - wondering whatever happened to that fizzy optimism of December 31st. We have let daily life, no matter how blessed, push aside that sweet call to come and sit a while. Come and just be. Come and dwell in the quiet presence of the One who knows you, formed you, destined you and adores you. Then we soon wonder why we haven't 'heard' God in a while. We break down all too easily. We find our church life starts to grate a little as our river of Grace has run low. Oh how we need Him. Not something that resembles Him. We need Him.
As with any relationship, how will it stay alive if we do not communicate? How would your husband, friend or colleagues feel if you just busily went about your day without so much as looking up at them with a warm smile? Yes, you would still have the semblance of a relationship. Yes they would stil refer to you as their friend, mother, daughter, sister. But the relationship becomes true in name only. There's no vibrancy, no spark, no life. And so too, with our relationship with the Holy Spirit, He awaits our attention, every moment of every day. He wills us to shut the world out a while, and just come.
Who can say they don't have time? We all have the very same 168 hours a week. Time is the great equaliser. And time will come to an end for us all. We cannot make more time. We can always make more money, more friends, buy more stuff, watch more TV. But we cannot create even one second more than God gives us. Only God Almighty has time in His hands - and His word is clear - spend your finite years, months, weeks, days, hours and minutes as wisely as you possibly can. Manage your time. Prioritise your time ruthlessly according to your values, not the demands made of you by others. Set your boundaries. This takes effort. This requires determination. No one writes your schedule but you, so master it, or it will rule you. This is the only anti-dote to eventually suffering with a paralysing regret.
'Not having enough time' is possibly the number one reason we give ourselves for not spending regular time alone with God - be it to pray, meditate, read or study the Bible, worship, or just be. All the things we say we want to do. All the things we know we need to do. Yet, why is it so hard to maintain any kind of habit? Could it be that the Father of Lies has perpetuated this myth we tell ourselves that we'll get around to spending time, reading the Bible, praying 'at some point', all the while knowing that our 168 hours is like a black hole - it will always try to fill with something, anything, other than quality time spent with God.
Even if we're disciplined enough to set time aside - have you ever found that just as you sit down, open your Bible and start to pray - the phone rings, notifications beeps, the doorbell goes, a child needs attention, a husband needs attention - and all that even before our own mind starts to distract us! No wonder Jesus often slipped away by Himself. He knew that the demands of others on Him were so great, so constant, that He had to physcially enforce some temporary distance between Himself and the rest of the world - to recharge, strengthen, focus and breathe in.
Just imagine the Holy Spirit walking/running/sleeping right alongside you - 24 hours a day - never leaving your side. He is whispering, 'come on, let's talk, I've so much to show you' and yet we ignore Him, day after day, week after week. Because we're too 'busy'.
We are all in this same struggle. Very few ever crack the code of creating and keeping a daily 'quiet time' with God. Yet if your heart yearns for it - it can be done. And there is so much we can do to help each other carve out the space and time we need to enjoy a deeper relationship with God.
No wonder Jesus often slipped away by Himself. He knew that the demands of others on Him were so great, so constant, that He had to physcially enforce some temporary distance between Himself and the rest of the world.
But doesn't that seem selfish? When all around you is need; from those you love dearly wanting your attention, from the deadline given by the boss who pays your wages, from the bank that needs to confirm a payment, the sick or troubled friend who needs to see you, the shopping that needs brought in, the unfulfilled gym membership that is scowling at you, the sink that needs unblocking, the laundry that needs tackled... It. Is. Endless.
Yet consider this - is it selfish to go out on a date with your husband? Absolutely not. Does it exclude all others? Hopefully! Will it take some planning? Yes. And if you have children, you'll probably make sure you leave the house to enjoy quality time together. Again, it's about enforcing physical space to 'get away' and be together.
How would your beloved react if you cancelled your long-awaited date at the last minute because a whole load of new Instagram notifications came flooding in crying at you for attention? You might think - 'I would ignore them! I wouldn't cancel my date!' Yet, we cancel our 'date' with God often. Perhaps it's because we know His love for us won't change (unlike a disgruntled husband who may just get fed-up with always being bottom of your list) but if we are truly in Love with Him, if we truly and earnestly desire to please Him, serve Him and know Him well - then we cannot excuse ourselves any longer from making space in our lives to be alone with Him.
Prioritise your time ruthlessly according to your true values, not the demands made of you by others.
So here's the nub of it - we need to make space. We must make a regular date with God - and keep it. We need to commit to and create a habit of meeting up with the Holy Spirit, until our quiet time with God is a preciously protected as our time with our spouse and children. The call to spend time alone with God is not only about strengthening your relationship, sharpening your spiritual senses and giving Him the worship and attention He is due - the beauty of it is that we come down from our mountain refreshed, more focused, stronger, bestowed with new spiritual and emotional energy - not only to face the day - but to conquer it.
We need accountability to start creating a habitual 'quiet time'. This is what FaithCamp17 is all about. We gather together to spur one another one. There's a 10-day programme of simple Bible study, focused on the very values of devotional activity itself, but it's so much more than a programme. It's all of us, admitting we need some support to battle off the demands of our lives and clamber up that mountain to breathe Him in.
Let's link arms and help one another. Let's give each other a lift up. Let's cheer one another on and be cheered on. Let's go.
Now it's time to start your own 10-day Devotional Study. Join the FREE FaithCamp17 accountability group now for access to all the support and inspiration you'll need to get 2017 off to the best possible start. You can also purchase an OPTIONAL keepsake Personal Workbook for the REBOOT in our SHOP.
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