What is a Quiet Time? Here’s the simple explanation. Any relationship worth having — friend, family, lover — requires work. If you want the relationship to grow you need to invest time and energy into the process. These are things you typically do to get to know someone:
- spend time focusing on that person.
- ask questions about that person and actually listen.
- tell that person about yourself.
- spend time doing things together — working, laughing, playing, crying.
The more time you spend, the more focused energy you invest in the relationship, the deeper the friendship and/or love will grow.
It is no different with God. If you want to grow deeper in your relationship with God you have to spend focused time in conversation and activity. Here are five basic components that can help you cultivate the one-on-one aspect of your relationship with God. I specify one-on-one because a very important way that you develop a relationship with God is by interacting with people. But, that is a different topic. For now, let’s just focus on the mono a mono, shall we?
Quiet — find a quiet space, away from gadgets and distractions. All you need is your Bible and something to write with. Shhhhhhhhh.
Trust — just like Mr. Miagi told the Karate Kid…wax on wax off. At first it doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t feel like anything is happening. Just trust the process. Trust that God is real and will meet you in that space as you learn to listen and hear God’s voice.
Investigate — Ask questions about God, yourself, the world. Where do you find the answers? The first place to look is in the Bible. Here we read the stories about how God interacted with real people in real places and how they responded and grew as the result. The Holy Spirit meets us in these stories and reveals the nature of God to us as we earnestly soak in this book. Beyond the Bible, there are many great devotionals and books that will help you proces the big questions. When our finite mind seeks to engage with the infinite we will never stop learning and growing.
Meditate — In the Hebrew language, the word literally means to growl, grumble, or rumble around. To meditate is to take an idea and rumble it around in your brain. A great picture for this is to think about how a cow eats. She swallows the grass quickly, then she plops down under a tree and – burp – brings up a cud into her mouth and slowly chews on it. When we spend time with God we should take a small piece of scripture, read it once or twice, and then slowly turn it over in our mind until its depth and meaning soaks deep into our soul. Mmmm, tasty.
Express Yourself — Talk back to God. Be honest. If you’re happy, then sing praise, dance, shout. If you’re mad, then clench your fist and speak your mind. If you’re sad, then cry your heart out. God loves you and wants to hear whatever you want to say. God wants to meet you in your emotion and help you transform it into something deep and rich. Perhaps you are moved to create a piece of visual art, or write a poem. God would love to participate as you do this. After all, God is the creator and we are created in God’s image. Go wild!
It’s that simple.
You don’t have to do it. God didn’t say “Thou shalt have a Quiet Time!” You also don’t have to take your girlfriend out on a date, or remember your boyfriend’s birthday. But what happens if you don’t? You simply don’t grow deeper in the relationship.
I hope you can make some space this week to fall deeper in love with God.