Saturday, October 4, 2008

Spending some Quiet Time with God

What is a quiet time?
Time spent daily with God through His Word & Prayer.

Why have a Quiet Time?
-To enjoy fellowship with God and Get to know Him better

Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith-- that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death
(Philippians 3:8-10)

And he said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.
(Matthew 22:37-38)

-To delight God

the prayer of the upright is acceptable to him. (Proverbs 15:8)

-To discover principles to direct our lives

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105)

-To develop perspectives on life from God's point of view

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
(Romans 12:2)

Steps to develop quiet time:-

1] Make a COMMITMENT to observe a quiet time daily
No one can force you!
You have to make a willful choice

2] Develop a plan to observe your quiet time daily

A] Have A Definite Time
- Pick a suitable time
- It must become a regular part of your daily activity - CONSISTENCY
- Don't give God your leftover time
- Don't find time, make time & make it a priority
- Ideal time : early in the day ( you don't take the trip and then read the map! do you? )
Psalm 5:3 says ...

O LORD, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch. (Psalm 5:3)

B] Have a definite Place
- Pick a suitable location
- Somewhere free from distractions & interruptions

And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. (Mark 1:35)

But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. (Matthew 6:6)

C] Have the Right Tools
- a readable Bible: If you can invest in one with pleanty of room to jot notes in the margins, that will be great! A simple Bible would do great too!
- optional - quiet time aids: eg Daily Bread or Everyday with Jesus etc
- a prayer journal / list: use it to record things yo're praying about.
- a notepad - to write down thoughts, points or assignments.

D] Have The Right Attitude
- REVERENCE : be always aware that you are having fellowship with a Holy God!
- An OPEN HEART & MIND : be prepared for God to minister to you!
- BE HONEST & OPEN with God: Confess & admit your faults, sins, things you should've done but didn't,...
- BE FOCUSED : Don't let your mind wander to other things (distractions)

Suggested Procedures

Get still and quiet."Be still, and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)

- FOCUS your mind on Him. Calm down, relax, and recognize His Presence. Take a deep breath and focus your thoughts on the Lord.

Have a time of Thanksgiving and Praise.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! (Psalm 100:4)

-You can read a Psalm, sing song or even listen to a worship chorus as you begin to praise Him!

A Preparatory Prayer
- Ask God to search your hear ( Psalm 139:23-24) to reveal your state.

Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!
(Psalm 139:23-24)

- Confess your sins ( 1 John 1:9)

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1John 1:9)

- Ask God to open your heart & mind to His Word!

Get into God's Word
- Remember: Quality is more important Quantity
- You can use a system eg. : read through the Bible / New Testament / Gospel etc
- You can use Devotional Aids eg: Daily Bread etc

As you focus on the Word of God and Meditate, let it permeate you!
- Is there a command to obey?
- Is there a promise to claim?
- Is there a sin to avoid?
- Is there a lesson to learn?
- Is there a new truth to carry with me?

Record what God has give you - Write down what God says to you and what He tells you to do. It doesn't have to be flowery. You're not writing it for publication or to impress other people.

Now you're ready to Pray! - When you pray, pour out your soul. Be natural and honest with God, when you speak to Him. Tell Him how you feel! Pray out lout! It keeps your mind on track and enables you to stay focused.

Begin to share out of your quiet time - God did not make us to be reservoirs; He made us to be conduits. Tell others what is God showing you!

Finally, obey what God tells you - Your spiritual train is running on two rails. One is REVELATION and the other is OBEDIENCE. And if ether rail stops, your train stops! Learn to obey the Word of God!.

Luke 10: 38- 42 - Spending time at the Lord's Feet!

Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, "Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me." But the Lord answered her, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her."
(Luke 10:38-42)

Most people spend time too busy preparing for the Service of the King, than simply just spending time with the King. Mary Magdalene made the right choice!

This sharing was done by Ponraj Navamani at MYF on 28th September 2008.

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