As much as I hate to say it, summer is speeding by. For me personally, with the children out of school on summer break, my days require more flexibility. This includes my quiet time with the Lord. I still do my best to start each day with a few verses from the Bible reading challenge and a few moments of prayer, but I find myself snatching verses a couple other times during the day. Or sometimes I do a little Bible study or journaling right after lunch or late in the evening after my 2 youngest children are in bed. As I began to think about the daily schedule changing soon, I wrote down 7 points to consider when scheduling time with God. Because I’m guessing that you may be transitioning or even struggling with a regular quiet time, I wanted to share these thoughts with you. Ready?
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven Ecclesiastes 3:1
When my children were younger, I considered the weather to indicate seasonal changes. But when I mention “season” in this point, I’m really talking about the life stages all of us go through, whether in parenting, career changes, or health changes. Maybe you recently moved homes and you’re still trying to adjust. Consider that when you evaluate a schedule for your daily quiet time. Don’t let your current season of life discourage you from making the effort, but don’t let it dictate over your priorities either. The daily time I had available to spend studying the Bible is not the same now as it was when I had a special needs child who was age 10 and three little ones who were ages 4, 2, and 4 months. Seasons change and result in daily adjustments. The point is that I want to continue to pursue God through those changing seasons with whatever time he provides.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Matthew 5:6
Sometimes I say to my husband “I’m hungry.” And he will reply, “There’s a cure for that. Eat something.” Then I laugh because it’s true. God gave us hunger as an indication to eat. In a spiritually ideal world, we should be hungry for God’s Word all the time. But since none of us are spiritually ideal and won’t be until we get to heaven, let’s look at the reality of spiritual hunger. There have been times in my life when God had me digging into his word deeply and I knew that I was on a specific spiritual journey. I hope you won’t miss the point here. The Lord causes spiritual hungers in our lives at certain points because we need the principles associated with them. If you feel the need for God’s Word, don’t sit there hungry. Go get it!
3. Daily and Weekly Rhythm
Give us this day our daily bread. Matthew 6:11
What does your daily rhythm to life look like? Do you get up at 4 am every day for work? Is that really the best time to read God’s Word for you or would lunch break be better? Are you required to take a full hour for lunch every day? What would happen if you spent some of that time praying and reading your Bible? Do you wait in a child pickup line every day for 1o minutes? Could that time be used for purposeful reading or prayer?
Are there days of the week that are different than others? Are you up at 6 am every morning except for the weekend? So if you schedule time with God at 7 am every morning, then what happens on the weekend? Just like most of us have daily habits or routines for showering, eating meals, cooking, working, and all our typical activities, developing a routine for God & me time enhances our ability to sustain it through the daily and weekly rhythms of life.
4. Ongoing Evaluation
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Psalm 51:10
Over the years, I’ve sometimes focused so much on trying to get my scheduled time with God just right that I wound up missing the focus of the time. I really want to have quality time and not just a quantity of time scheduled for the Lord. For that reason, I’ve chosen not to get “locked in” to a certain daily time with God. I know folks who have been reading their Bible at the same time every day for years upon years. And I admire their faithfulness and consistency, but I also know that when something never changes, it can become a stale, ritualistic event rather than a beautiful, meaningful enjoyment. For that reason, thinking about my schedule and time with God is an ongoing evaluation. I set and develop a pattern and then determine if it needs changed up after a few weeks or sometimes only a week to keep it fresh.
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15
For me, quiet time consists of Bible reading and prayer, as well as some form of journaling. Whether I write in my prayer journal, type a few notes into my phone, or work on Bible journaling, those forms of enhancing my quiet time are the most personal to me. There are many other forms of study that can really add to your quiet time experience. Devotionals, Bible apps, small group studies, and personal Bible studies are all wonderful ways to increase the quality of your quiet time experience.
And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:19
What is that one thing that you’ve really been struggling with? What are your fears and what failures are paralyzing you? I believe God longs to meet with us in our journeys right where we are. He often uses the circumstances in our lives and the emotions in our hearts to stir us toward him. This is one reason I love our monthly topical Bible reading challenges. When fear is an issue, I can take a month and read what the Bible says about it. When I’m struggling to trust God through crazy circumstances, I can take 30 days and remember that when things seem out of control, God is always in control. When you have a day that is making you feel like wanting to give up, then you can grab on to a list of verses that specifically remind you your strength is from the Lord.
Be still, and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10
It’s easy to want to be a multi-tasker when so much of life seems to demand the ability to do more than one thing at a time. But I am not good at having two conversations at once. I get a little lost with which person I’m supposed to be listening to and which person I’m supposed to be talking to. The same holds true for time with God. I want to be with him alone so that I can enjoy our conversation and hear what he is saying to my heart. Creating an environment for time with God is truly important to me, but I also love that he is always with me. I can choose to tune out the world and tune in to his word anywhere on the planet at any time.
Like any other relationship, our relationship with God must be fostered and nurtured in the various seasons of life. Taking our hunger for God’s Word and the daily/ weekly rhythm of our lives into consideration will help us wisely choose scheduled time with God. When the schedule doesn’t go as planned, don’t get discouraged! Consider the studies and tools you might use to make the most of your quiet time with the Lord and the needs He longs to fulfill in your life. Most of all, be all in! Know that he is a personal, intimate God who longs to be in relationship with you, his child.
Which point above hits home with you the most?
By his grace,