For years I was told by my pastors, my Sunday School teachers and my mentors that I needed to have a dedicated Quiet Time with God if I wanted to grow as a Christian and learn to hear God’s voice.
And I believed it.
So, I used to schedule time every morning to spend with God. For the first few days, maybe even a week, I’d wake up early, pour some coffee, sit down on the sofa with my Bible and a Journal, and put in my 30 minutes of “God Time.”
It never worked.
For the first few days it was fine. I felt spiritual. I sensed God’s approval. Here I was, the good boy, giving up an extra half hour of sleep to suffer through a Daily Bread devotional, or a chapter of the Psalms, and jot down a few profound observations in my journal. Spiritual maturity, here I come!
But then reality set in. Inevitably I’d sleep in one morning, promise myself to spend an hour the next day, and then skip that day too.
The end result was, I’d feel like a loser and heap all sorts of guilt upon myself. The only scripture that would come to my mind was “Could you not tarry with me one hour?” and eventually I’d just give up and go back to life as usual.
But, what if that’s the whole point? I mean, why do we think that God only wants 30 minutes of our day? Why do we feel like God requires this artificial corner of space and time where we interact with Him?
Honestly, I think this Quiet Time mentality creates the opposite of the intended effect. Instead of drawing us nearer to God, I think it allows us to put God into a box where we engage with Him on our terms, when it’s most convenient to us, and it prevents us from recognizing that God is alive within us and never leaves us or forsakes us – ever!
My time with God is at work, in the car, at the grocery store, in the elevator, in the waiting room, at the party, watching the movie, eating ice cream alone at 2am, etc.
This is what God has always wanted: All of us, all of the time.
This is also what God has given to us in advance: All of Himself, all of the time.
Don’t try to squeeze the infinite into a square on your calendar, or that corner of your sofa. God is always with us. Learn to listen to God’s voice every moment of every day. Ask God what work is being done in the lives of people you encounter every day and allow God to invite you into that.
We have been given fullness in Christ. Let’s start living that way.
Keith Giles new book “Jesus Unbound: Liberating the Word of God from the Bible”, is available now on Amazon and features a Foreword by author Brian Zahnd.
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I also co-host the Heretic Happy Hour Podcast on iTunes and Podbean and I live in Orange, CA with my wife of 28 years and our two sons.
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