Stop Doing Your Quiet Time

Those Who Walked with God
     Eve walked in the garden with God. Do you get much closer than that? Moses entered the tabernacle, saw God’s shoulder blade, and caught a case of “incandescent face” because he was in the presence of God. Solomon was brutally honest and humble with God that above power and riches, he’d need wisdom to rule God’s people – and received all three for that purpose.

     All three had incredible responsibilities for God and all three have been recorded in scripture as having a few major failures on their performance reviews. Moses was denied entry into the promised land, Solomon led the nation of Israel astray, and Eve… Eve, Eve, Eve…

     I don’t know what you’re called to, how much responsibility you have, or how closely you’ve walked with God, but I doubt anyone reading this post has more on the line than any of those three. I doubt anyone reading this post has a more direct connection with God than them, unless they have the Holy Spirit dwelling in them… Ooops… You get the point…

Those Who Walk with God & “QTG”
     We not only have the Spirit of God in us, but we have the full, inerrant, inspired written revelation to go back and refer to, which none of the above had… So, what’s the problem? QTG… The biggest source of embarrassment when I sit down and talk with guys weekly is “Quiet Time Guilt” or QTG:

  • I haven’t been in the word as much as I would like to…
  • I’ve been kinda… busy… this week.
  • Well, I’m kind of all over the place in my reading… But, I wish…

     It’s as if they (by they, I mean we; and, by we, I also mean me…) have a painful, throbbing case of “Gotta do my quiet time again” that flares up every time they look in the mirror.

Stealing Our Excuses & The Bait and Switch
     Every time I read the stories of Eve, Moses, and Solomon, I get this sort of “righteous indignation” and almost shout at my Bible: “You had personal experiences with God that most people would kill for – What were you thinking?!?!” Eve got to walk with God, Moses was chosen to lead Israeal out of Egypt, Solomon was born into nobility and somewhere along the line, they took God for granted… What do you think they might say if they read my story, though? Me, a bought-and-paid-for follower of Christ filled with the Holy Spirit, given the full canon of scripture…

    The issue at the heart of QTG is that somewhere along the line our “get to” has gotten infected with “have to” and our guilt gland has gone into overdrive. Do we ever imagine Eve waking up in the morning thinking, “Oh, dread, have to walk through a beautiful garden today with the Sovereign of the Universe again…”? I know Moses had justifiable beef with the stiff necked people he was in charge of, but did he ever approach the tent of meeting and think “Sheesh… Gotta go talk to the Lord, again. What a drag.”? After all that Solomon wrote, can you ever picture him saying “Another boring revelation from the Creator of all that is seen and unseen.”?

Upping the Ante – Trading in the Guilt
     Make no mistake, there should be a sense of urgency – if Eve walked with God and failed miserably to defend direct revelation to Satan, Moses saw God’s glory and still disobeyed, and Solomon got wisdom, riches, and power from God but still married foreign wives, multiplied horses, and gold and wound up worshiping rival gods – who are you and I to think we’ve got a snowball’s chance in hell without constant contact with the Word of Truth?

     Look, it’s a war out there. There is a battle for our hearts and minds no different than the competition Solomon fell prey to when he took a thousand wrong turns with foreign women and their gods – we’d better be in the word, right?

Freedom from the Swelling

   Yet, we must not allow our guilt gland to be overrun by the lie that Quiet Time is another chore to be added to the list, another thing to be “done”. Today, we have the stories of these three and many others to remind us that they got to walk with God, they got to enjoy His presence, and we get to, too. Furthermore, knowing that it’s a battle, we can cling to the word out of a guiltless “have to” and a grateful “get to” as we would a life raft in choppy seas following the sinking of the Titanic. How much guilt does a soldier have when the siren blares and he and his platoon run off to the chopper, the tank, or the Hum-V and it comes time to grab his rifle? Is he “too busy” to throw it over his shoulder? No, it’s my rifle and I must, I get to, I will bring it with me!

   Find any refreshment there? Yeah, me, too.

   Pray, today, that the Helper, the para-kletos comes along side you and I and ups our urgency to get in and stay in the Word not out of guilt or obligation, but out of crucial battle-readiness and love for the Lord whose presence is in us. Thank Him for the scriptures – worshiping the God of the Word, not the Word of the God. Let’s stop DOING our quiet time and embracing our lifeline to the Savior with freedom and confidence.

Soli Deo Gloria

AP

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