Last week we talked about the boomerang principle and how our perseverance in good works will always be rewarded.
But changing habits, especially ingrained ones that we’ve practiced for years, is often harder than simply deciding we want to be different. We need to tap into the deeper motivation that will help us choose discipline over comfort.
Specifically when it comes to being consistent in spending quiet time with God, we need to get a clear understanding of why we should spend time with God and how that will impact our lives if we want to overcome those obstacles we talked about in Week 2.
So ask yourself: Why do you want to be consistent in your quiet time with God?
- Do you feel guilty?
- Think it’s expected of you?
- Want to impress God with your obedience?
- Trying to reassure God He chose well when He adopted you as a child?
- Want to set an example for your husband or children?
I could put a checkmark next to each one of those reasons, and plenty more; but they won’t keep us motivated in the long run, because they all miss the point. God doesn't want us to spend time with Him to fulfill a duty or make Him feel better. God wants us to spend time with Him because in His presence we discover the fullness of joy and we become transformed into the very people He created us to be.
Being consistent in our quiet time helps us
- discover life as God meant us to live,
- experience the depths of intimacy with Him,
- grow in our love and knowledge of Him, and
- walk in step with His Spirit inside us.
In other words, the reason God wants us to be consistent in our quiet time is to find more joy and satisfaction in life with Him. If our motivation is anything less than that, we will soon abandon our good intentions and lapse back into complacency. As one theologian says, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.” His glory and our enjoyment of Him are intertwined.
David says, “Earnestly I seek you. My soul thirsts for you” (Psalm 63:1). And later “Because your love is better than life, my lips will praise you” (Psalm 63:3). And elsewhere: “In your presence is fullness of joy. At your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11). What David writes about isn’t a stale exercise in religion; it’s the rich, abundant, satisfying reality of God’s own presence.
If this sounds too good to be true, I encourage you to talk to God about it. Ask Him if it’s possible to experience this kind of joy, intimacy, and purpose in life. And He will gladly and tenderly show you the fullness of joy found at the feet of Jesus today and every day.
Monday: Read Psalm 16:11. What does David say God does for him? What does this say about God’s character and His attitude toward His children? Have you experienced what David describes here in this passage? If yes, when and where? If no, why not? Today, spend a few minutes expressing praise, thanks, and adoration for God’s faithfulness, His goodness, and the ways He has personally shown you love in your life.
Tuesday: Read Psalm 63:1-8. How does David describe his feelings toward God? Could you honestly say the same things are true of your life? Open your heart toward God, and tell Him how you really feel about Him. If you’re bored with your quiet time, tell Him. If you’re angry with God, tell Him. If you’re in a slump, tell Him. (Be honest with the Lord. He knows your heart already.) And then ask Him to begin stirring in you a hunger and a longing for Him. Even our desire to draw close to God comes from God, so if you don’t have that desire, then ask Him for it.
Wednesday: Read Psalm 131:1-3. How does David describe his soul in the presence of God in verse 2? How does a weaned child differ from a nursing child in his or her mother’s arms? What are the implications about what the child wants from the mother? How does this picture help you visualize finding stillness in God’s presence? Today, picture yourself as a little child, climbing up in God’s lap, putting your head on His shoulder, and just listening to His heart. Rest there. Let go of all expectations, wants, or longings. Spend a few minutes just enjoying His embrace and let His presence quiet your soul within you.
Thursday: Read Hebrews 11:6 and James 4:8. What do these passages say about God’s response to those who seek Him? What do they imply are our responsibilities in our relationship with God? Do you believe God wants you to enjoy Him? Why or why not? What kinds of “rewards” have you sought from your quiet time in the past? Based on the passages you’ve studied this week, what kinds of rewards can you expect from spending time with God?
Friday: Read Psalm 118:14-16. What’s the tone of this passage? In other words, what are the primary emotions expressed here? What does this passage say the righteous do? What kinds of “mighty things” have you seen God do in your own life today? This last week? This past month? Today, turn your quiet time into a time of joyful celebration. Allow God’s power and might to lift your spirit as you praise Him for what He’s done for you personally and in the lives of those around you. Have fun with this—turn it into a party! Think confetti, cupcakes, dancing, singing, fist pumping, and hollering for joy. God enjoys a good party even more than we do. Let His presence fill you with joy, and may your worship bring a smile to His lips as well.