“I just can’t get it going. I know it’s important. I really do. But I just can’t maintain a consistent quiet time. I get bored or I oversleep or I fall asleep before I can do it at night. I give up.”
I sat there with my friend, trying to come up with something to say. I knew what she meant. I’ve felt those same things, had those same thoughts. I’ve even given up a time or two myself.
If you’ve been in church or women’s Bible study for very long, you’ve heard the admonishments and encouragement about having a daily quiet time. And most likely, you’ve also been told why it’s so important and why it’s best to have your quiet time in the morning. And, if you were in a Bible study I taught over the past twenty-ish years, you’ve likely heard all of that from me.
A quiet time matters. It really does. It’s important and it needs to be a priority in the life of a believer.
But here’s the thing — you already know that and you probably agree with that. The problem isn’t knowledge, it’s application. HOW do we make it happen? And how do we KEEP it going for the long haul?
How to Develop a Consistent Quiet Time Once and For All
First, let’s do a little defining of terms. Because sometimes the problem is, we are using the same words but our definitions don’t match. When I talk about a quiet time this is what I mean:
A quiet time is an opportunity to spend time listening to God, through His Word and prayer.
Maybe not what you were expecting me to say? I know. Somehow, the idea of a quiet time has become another weight we carry. An expectation of profound study and hours of prayer. Y’all, from my heart to yours, let. that. go. It’s not biblical. It’s not useful.
Here’s what Jesus says,
“Remain in Me, and I in you. Just as a branch is unable to produce fruit by itself unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in Me.” John 15:4 HCSB
Remain. Stay. Other translations use the word “abide.”
Jesus says the key to our growth isn’t about more Bible studies or reading the Bible through every year or how many needs are in your prayer journal or the way you are counting the gifts if your life. All of those things are wonderful — but they are not THE thing.
Jesus is what matters.Struggling with your quiet time? Remember, Jesus is what matters. He's THE thing. Click To Tweet
And we can get so distracted by all the other stuff, we miss out on Him.
I know, because it’s happened to me. And it’s happened to countless others I know. We’re more concerned with methods than meeting Him. We get caught up in joining all the studies, doing all the homework, saying all the right words … and we miss out on Jesus.
Do you want to know what changes everything once and for all?
He does! When you get to the end of yourself and you realize Jesus is there, arms open wide, longing for you. Not for your checklists and finished Bible studies — He wants YOU. And He wants you to want Him.
How do we develop a consistent quiet time once and for all?
Here’s what I’ve found: a consistent quiet time comes when, and only when, we realize we need Him more than anything else. When we come to the point where we admit we are desperately hopeless outside of Him, that’s when everything changes — when our quiet time becomes a beautiful thing of sacrifice instead of a dutiful thing of obligation.
When we stop trying to do it “right” and instead choose to remain in Him, to open the Word with a desire to encounter Him, to pray with a heart to hear him, that’s when our quiet time becomes the very thing we’ve longed for — a heart connection with the Lord.
I spoke with my friend again a couple of weeks ago. I asked her how her quiet time has been going. She smiled and said, “It’s good. When I stopped trying to make it about me, and let it be all about Jesus, everything fell into place.”
Let it be all about Jesus.
That’s how to develop a consistent quiet time once and for all.
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My current quiet time resources: