i've been struggling lately with my quiet times. and by "lately" i mean i can remember a time in college where they were consistent and deep, but since then, they've been sporadic. i know. it's shameful. i am doing a kay arthur study on revelation which is really interesting and strengthening. but i need more. i have trouble studying my Bible during my quiet times. --which, by the way, seems to be a coined term. we should change it to be something like "rockin' out with my Jesus" time or something. or perhaps "becoming intricately intertwined with my Lord Jesus." or if you like, you could call it "meditating on the wholeness of one's self when completed by the Almighty Father in Heaven." choose your pick. i think my "intertwining" times with Jesus lack focus. i tend to just study from the surface level, pray passionately but briefly, and then try to keep those lines of communication open during the day.
now, i am NOT the kinda girl who thinks you must spend at least 15.2 minutes each day on your knees in prayer and at least 10.7 minutes reading and studying your Bible each day. but studying and praying are foundational. i would like it if i could check off a list. if Jesus would say, "hey there marge. in order to be holy, you'll need daily quiet times, including at least 1 chapter of the Bible plus 10 minutes of prayer daily. don't forget to floss. thanks!" but He doesn't give us a list, does He? then we'd be legalistic trying to do it all on our own.
i think sometimes we downplay how we are supposed to live. i think sometimes we use grace as an excuse instead of a reason to strive for God's best. "sure, i've sinned. but God will forgive me." --and this is true. but my man paul said it succinctly: "are we to continue to sin so that grace may increase? may it never be!" rom 6:1.
when i read that verse i'm like, "of COURSE we shouldn't sin more" but at times i find myself downplaying the sin in my life because Christ has paid the price. --may it never be.
so here's a few verses for me to contemplate. maybe they'll strengthen you too:
"how can a young man keep his way pure? by keeping it according to Your word. with all my heart i have sought You. do not let me wander from Your commandments. Your word i have treasured in my heart that i may not sin against You." psalm 119:9-11
"let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father." col 3:16, 17
feel free to hold me accountable when it comes to my relationship building and intimacy growing encounters with the Alpha and Omega. --"quiet times" is much shorter.