Why most of us don’t have a daily devotion or personal quiet time is obvious. The fix is also really obvious. The question is are we willing to be honest about our excuses? Will we make a change? What time will I set aside to start meeting God and tending to my soul?
Here are a few of the excuses we use to avoid having a daily quiet time with God.
1) “I don’t know how to have a quiet time.”
I understand this excuse. I watched my parents have a quiet time but they never showed me how. It is like watching Jennifer’s Grandma Godbey bake the best apple pie ever but not knowing how to do it yourself. You can see how good it is but when you make it is just not the same. Then I read Ordering Your Private World by Gordon McDonald in college. I started talking with friends about their quiet times. In talking, I learned how others removed distractions in order to be more open and honest with God. Jennifer and I teach people these 4 easy steps: 1) Be STILL 2) Be Sincere 3) Be Simple and 4) Believe God will Answer. Take a notebook and Bible and sit with God. Share your day with him in words on paper and verbally.
2) “I’m just not good at that sort of thing.”
This is usually from the guys but I know women too who are hiding behind this lame excuse. This for me is like saying, “Yeah, I’m just not a bath sort of person. I gave up deodorant too. You’ll just have to put up with my poor hygiene.” A quiet time is like good hygiene for the soul. This is not optional for Christians. Jesus said “when you pray” and “when you fast.” He says, “If you are going to be my disciple (intern), you will have to take up your cross daily deny yourself and follow me.” Jesus’ words in Luke 9:23ff., are telling us “no wimps or stinkers allowed!” Denial of self is part of “the way” Jesus wants us to live. The whole point of a daily meeting with the boss is to keep your heart and soul clean before him. It’s time to man up, boys and girls, and take a spiritual soul shower daily. Use some deodorant too!
3) “What will others say?“
Third excuse is usually something like this, I don’t want others to think I have gone overboard or gone too far. This is the simplest one of all. Keep your big mouth shut. This is between you and God. This a relationship with God. I don’t tell everyone everything about my personal life, just those who I let inside those boundaries. (If this is a real problem you should read the book Boundaries, too.) What we are really worried about is the change we know that will come. You will stop being the selfish, rude, and obnoxious person you have always been. Your friends will talk. They will say I like him so much better. Those that don’t say that need you to have a prayer life so that you can pray them out of the dangerous road they are on. You might need to send a thank you text to they guy who invited you to church or sent you this blog.
4) “I just don’t have time.”
The fourth and final big excuse, and I’m guilty of this too. It may feel that way but in reality our emotions are broken. Your emotions are part of your soul. Daily quiet time is the number one thing we are hungry for as a nation. If being quiet in God’s presence is water to the soul, we are a nation that is severely dehydrated. I watch California burn every year because of lack of water. Every day people are burning up Twitter and the news is full of anger. One of the key factors is a dry soul. Jesus said you and I were to be salt and light for this dark world (see Matthew 13-16). When we have spent time with God, we have more grace to share because we become salty. When our soul is well watered, we can share light with those around us. When we have spent time with God, our life has eternal perspective. Time is less the is less of an issue because Godliness is the cure. Jesus said we are useless to the world if we lose this battle to spend time with Him. I honestly have learned I can’t afford to live without God cleaning and watering my soul every day.