Why is something that brings so much joy and peace so hard to do? Even when we know how important and foundational it is. Our personal quiet times with God should be at the top of our priorities: before leading others, before the things we get paid to complete, before other wonderful relationships. This isn’t anything new, I’ve heard it many times before, and each and every time I am humbled, rebuked and ashamed at how easy it is to let my times alone with God become fewer and further between. And even worse is that every week at bible study, it’s one of my prayer points that I desire God’s word and to pray more. The only way that prayer is going to be answered is simply by praying and reading God’s word. Thankfully, a close friend of mine has made it her goal to ask the hard question, “how is your bible reading and prayer?”
I think it’s helpful, as well, to think of quiet times as actually working on your relationship with God. Like any close friendship/relationship we have on earth, we put time and effort into meeting with them regularly, talking to them about what’s going on in life, asking for advice, appreciating the person that they are, and working at the relationship, even if it means apologising for not putting more effort in, or for letting them down. How much more should we seek to spend time with God, especially seeing that He is the great gift of our salvation? Eternity is about relationship with God, and as our eternity with Him begins as soon as the Holy Spirit gives us faith, so the life we expect to live in heaven should begin to shine through in our life now.
I know that, especially after a long time away, reading my bible is refreshing and satisfying and I wonder why I didn’t do it more often. At the same time, it leaves me wanting more, tasting how good God is and feeling like the 20 minutes I had before work, the half hour every day set into the timetable at Beach mission, isn’t enough. (On a side note, occasionally I, and others, wonder how eternity in heaven couldn’t become boring- this experience of wanting more time with God must be a tiny taste of what heaven must be like. Very assuring). Perhaps that’s part of the problem- that I feel like, if I can’t set aside a good amount of quality time to spend prayer, it’s not going to be good enough to do, and I should wait until later when I have time to spend it properly. It’s seriously flawed, and in my sin, I fall for it all the time.
We should feel much more pain at the way we justify and lessen the impact of not spending time with God. It seems like a more acceptable sin because we know that everyone struggles with it. But we should feel the need to fall at God’s feet and cry out for forgiveness for forgetting and ignoring Him so often and for so long. By ignoring Him so often, we’re trusting in ourselves and not in God, at all, which is really the ‘original sin’ of the Fall of creation. Even in this big, long ramble I’ve only now realised that I actually haven’t mentioned, or even really thought about, Jesus. Wow.
I’m going to go and pray and read my bible now and stop procrastinating.