THE HABIT OF A DAILY TIME WITH GOD
"The one who looks steadily at God's perfect law ... and makes that law his HABIT - not listening and then forgetting, but actively putting it into practice will be happy in all that he does." James 1:25 (Ph)
HOW TO HAVE A QUIET TIME
DEFINITION: "A quiet time is a daily time I set aside to be alone with God to get to know Him through the Bible and prayer."
I. THE IMPORTANCE OF A DAILY QUIET TIME
Your time alone with God should be the top priority in your schedule for five reasons:
1. We were CREATED to have fellowship with God.
"So God created man in his own image ..." (Genesis 1:27, 2:7, 3:8)
"Look! I've been standing at the door and constantly knocking. If anyone ... opens the door, I will come in and fellowship with him and he with me." (Rev. 3:20 LB)
2. Jesus DIED to make a relationship to God possible.
"God ... has invited you into this wonderful friendship with his Son, Christ our Lord." 1 Cor. 1:9 (LB)
3. Personal time alone with God was Jesus’ SOURCE OF STRENGTH.
"Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed." (Mark 1:35, Luke 22:39, Luke 5:16)
4. Every person who has been effective in SERVICE for God developed this habit.
(Abraham, Moses, David, Daniel, Paul, etc.)
5. You cannot be a HEALTHY Christian without it!
"Man cannot live on bread alone but on every word that God speaks." (Matt. 4:4 GN)
"... I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food." (Job 23:12 NAS)
"How can a young man cleanse his way? By keeping to your Word." (Ps. 119:9 Mof)
II. THE PURPOSE OF A DAILY QUIET TIME
1. TO GIVE DEVOTION TO GOD.
"Give to the Lord the glory due to his name. Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness." (Ps. 29:2)
"(Hezekiah) was successful, because everything he did... he did in a spirit of complete devotion to his God." (2 Ch. 31:21 GN)
God deserves our devotion! (Rev. 4:11) God desires our devotion! (John 4:23)
2. TO GET DIRECTION FROM GOD.
"Show me the path where I should go, O Lord; point out the right road for me to walk. Lead me ..." (Ps. 25:4 LB)
2 Things To Do In A Quiet Time
(1) Consider your way: "Ponder the path of your feet and let all your ways be established." (Pr. 4:26 KJV)
"In all your ways acknowledge Him, and he will direct your paths." (Pr. 3:6 KJV)
(2) Commit your day: "Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him to help you do it and he will." (Ps. 37:5 LB)
3. TO GAIN DELIGHT IN GOD.
"Delight yourself in the Lord; and he will give you the desires of your heart." (Ps. 37:4 KJV)
"... (God's) presence fills me with joy and brings me pleasure." (Ps. 16:11 GN)
FACT: The better I get to know Christ, the more ____I LOVE HIM_____.
The objective of your Quiet Time is not to study about Christ, but to actually spend time with him!
4. TO GROW MORE LIKE GOD.
“Jesus has the power of God, by which he has given us everything we need to live and to serve God. We have these things because we know him... With these gifts you can share in being like God.” (2 Pet 1:4 NCV)
"When the council saw the boldness of Peter and John ... they were amazed and realized what being with Jesus had done for them!" (Acts 4:13 LB)
HOW TO BEGIN A DAILY QUIET TIME
1. SELECT A SPECIFIC TIME.
The best time to have a quiet time is when I am ____AT MY BEST____!
Reasons for considering a early morning quiet time:
The example of Bible character. (Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Hannah, Job, Hezekiah, David, Daniel, Jesus.)
It seems logical to begin the day with it. "The best time to tune your instrument is before you play the concert, not after!”
It demonstrates that meeting with God is your first priority. You give him the first part of your day!
You are likely to be more rested, your mind is less cluttered, and it’s often the quietest time!
Whatever time you set, ____BE CONSISTENT____.
HOW LONG SHOULD A QUIET TIME BE (3 Guidelines)
Start with 15 minutes and let it grow.
Don't watch the clock!
Emphasize quality, not quantity!
2. CHOOSE A SPECIAL PLACE.
"Jesus left the city and went, as he usually did, to the Mount of Olives ... to pray." (Luke 22:39 GN)
The Important Factor: "Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went to a solitary place,
where he prayed." (Mark 1:35)
3. GATHER THE RESOURCES YOU'LL NEED.
A Bible - with readable print.
A Notebook - to write down what the Lord speaks to you about, and to keep your prayer list.
A Songbook - if you want to sing.
4. BEGIN WITH THE RIGHT ATTITUDES
"Be still, and know that I am God." (Ps. 46:10)
"Open my eyes to see wonderful things in your Word." (Ps. 119:18 LB)
____ OBEDIENCE _____
“The thing you should want most is God’s kingdom and doing what God wants” (Mat 6:33 NCV)
5. FOLLOW A SIMPLE PLAN
"FIFTEEN MINUTES WITH GOD"
(A Plan To Get You Started)
(1) _____RELAX_____. (1 Minute) Be still and quiet! Slow down! Prepare your heart. Take a few deep breaths and wait on God.
(2) _____READ A VERSE______. (4 Minutes) Begin reading where you left off the day before. Read until you feel God has told you something. Then stop and think about it.
(3) _____REFLECT ON THE VERSE_____. (4 Minutes)
(4) _____RECORD WHAT GOD DID_____. (2 Minutes) Write out a personal application statement that is practical, passable, and measurable. "Thoughts disentangle themselves when they pass through the lips and the fingertips."
(5) _____REQUEST______. (4 Minutes) Conclude our Quiet Time by talking to God about what He has shown you and making your requests from our prayer list.
III. HOW TO OVERCOME THE PROBLEMS WITH YOUR QUIET TIME
1. THE PROBLEM OF DISCIPLINE
Your first problem in establishing a quiet time will face you the moment you wake each morning:
Am I going to get out of bed? ("The Battle of the Blankets")
Go to bed _____ON TIME_____.
Get up _____ IMMEDIATELY _____.
Be aware of quiet time ____ROBBERS_____.
Fall asleep thinking ____SPIRITUAL THOUGHTS_____.
2. THE PROBLEM OF DISTRACTIONS
Satan will try to use anything to get your mind to wander during a quiet time.
Get out of ______BED______.
Get thoroughly _____AWAKE_____.
Read and pray _____ALOUD______.
___WALK____ during your prayer time.
Keep a ____JOURNAL_____.
3. THE PROBLEM OF DRYNESS
Sometimes you will feel like you're not getting anything out of your quiet time. (“The Battle of the Blahs")
Never judge your quiet time by your ____FEELINGS_____.
Possible Causes of Spiritual Dryness
Your physical condition.
Disobedience to God.
Rushing your quiet time.
Getting in a rut.
Not sharing insights with others.
4. THE PROBLEM OF DILIGENCE
Your greatest problem will be your struggle to stay consistent. I find Satan fights nothing harder than my quiet time.
Make a covenant or vow to God.
Schedule it on your daily calendar.
Be prepared for Satan's excuses.
Leave your Bible open at night to the passage for the next day!
What if I miss a day?
Don't ______BECOME GUILTY_______.
Don't ______BECOME LEGALISTIC________.
Don't ______GIVE UP_______.
It takes __THREE__ weeks for you to become familiar with a new task.
Then it takes another ___THREE___ weeks before it becomes a comfortable habit.
"Let us not get tired of doing what is right, for after a while we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don't get discouraged and give up." Gal. 6:9 (LB)
A PRAYER OF COMMITMENT
"Father, I realize that I was created to have fellowship with you. Thank you for making this privilege possible through Jesus' death. I know that daily fellowship with You is to be the most important thing in my life. I now want to commit myself to spending at least some time every day with you in a quiet time of Bible reading and prayer. I'm trusting in your strength to help me be consistent. In Jesus' name, Amen."