Sometimes when we set out to have a quiet time with the Lord, things don’t go as planned and we’re left feeling empty. We didn’t get out of it what we thought we would.
This is a good time to evaluate what you’re doing during your quiet time. Sometimes all God asks is that we show up. So, if we’re not meeting Him there, it won’t be fulfilling.
How do we meet Him in our secret place? What elements make it meaningful?
Obviously there are some things we need to take action on. But God is quite simple. Just show up. By showing up, I don’t mean to only get up early for God. You need to actually meet with Him. Don’t grab a book or hop on the computer and call that your quiet time.
Meeting with God requires that you bring your mind into submission to focus that time with Him. So, you could have all the “right plans” to get up, get coffee, journal, and pray out–yet your heart still be far from Him. All because you didn’t bring your heart and mind into submission to focus on Him.
We could read the Bible, pray, worship and still be far from God. If we only focus on the words we say, not the words He says, we miss Him. If we focus on all our wants and not His desires, we miss Him. If we focus on all the things we’re doing and not what He did, we completely miss Him.
He has created us all unique and sometimes this plays a factor into how we connect with Him. For some it’s done best through song. For others, they connect with Him through writing or painting or running. But these are merely tools, and not required to meet with God. Take all these away and God still remains.
The question is – will we continue seeking Him without the comforts of our gifts? We must understand what it means to connect with God. And at times that requires laying everything aside and it just being us and Him.
So, if your goal is to always meet with Him on your terms, you’re going to have some rare, less than meaningful times with Jesus.
When we miss our “planned/scheduled” time with Him in the morning, do we just leave it at that? Or do we rearrange our agenda to make up that missed time?
If this scenario happens consistently, and we consistently miss time with Jesus and are rarely filled to full, it’s harder to come to Jesus when we’re emptied. Often, that emptiness fills up with shame. The goal is to not allow ourselves to become that empty.
So, how do you make your quiet time meaningful?
1. Have a plan.
You will get nowhere if you don’t have some kind of direction. However, be prepared for the Holy Spirit to lead you away from your plan. But if we aim for nothing, we’ll hit it every time.
2. Have all your tools in one place.
Your Bible, journal, highlighter, pencil/pen, and anything else you will need during this time. You don’t want to be constantly getting up to find items and waste this precious time with the Lord.
3. Focus more in His word than in the wisdom of men (or other books).
That’s not to say other books or men don’t carry wisdom beyond our own understanding. But we should always go to His word first and pray for understanding and discernment. Discernment is just a fancy word for
4. Submit your mind and emotions to God.
Don’t just ask for a bunch of things. I mean, I know we all need strength and wisdom from God. But, sometimes our quiet time needs to be a place to empty ourselves so He can fill us. Sometimes, this requires that we be still and just wait on Him.
5. Walk away with something to meditate on.
When we take a truth away from our time and carry it with us throughout the day, turning it over in our head and praying it into our heart, it helps us believe and understand that truth and make it grow into fruition in our lives.