The Bible, quiet times spent with God, prayer—these are things we need when we embark on a relationship with God. We desire to connect with God, but there are so many things that get in the way or discourage us. Our schedules are jam‐packed and it seems impossible to squeeze God in. Everywhere we turn, there is someone vying for our
attention or needing something. But, what trips us up the most is not having a clear
picture of what it looks like to have a quiet time.
BIG IDEA: Being a Christian without reading the Bible is like being alive without eating.
Read the full text of the sermon or pass it along to someone.
How does one study the Bible in order to better understand God’s heart? When reading the Bible, a submissive heart and attentive ears are a must. Top this off with a heavy dose of vulnerability and transparency, and it is easy to see why some avoid reading the Bible and having quiet time. The invitation never says the process is going to be easy, but it does guarantee that it will be rewarding and life changing.
Let’s start with setting the tone for having a quiet time. Your environment sets the tone for what you will experience. A ringing phone, the drone of the television or constant interruptions set you up for distraction and prevent you from being able to focus. As much as possible, find a place that is quiet and set apart from the things that will demand your attention.
Another important step is finding a time that works for you and make it a priority. Blocking out the same timeframe each day transforms quiet time from an “if I can fit it in” mentality to a “will do” priority.
When you have your time and place set, you need to be prepared. Bring the things you’ll need: your Bible, a journal or notebook, and a pencil, pen or highlighter. Begin your time by inviting God to join you. Ask that He would speak to your heart and reveal Himself to you as you spend time studying His Word. We have to be willing to allow God to speak to us on His terms and according to His purposes.
As you begin your quiet time, you can follow a simple formula called
READ (what does it say?),
REFLECT (what does it mean?)
and RECORD (journaling on how it applies to your life).
Even though having a game plan to unlock the truths of scripture is important, it doesn’t stop there. As we approach scripture, we need to begin to practice reading scripture expectantly and actively. A willingness to be vulnerable allows us to wait expectantly for God to speak to us about the parts of our lives where we are struggling to give up control.
Hebrews 4 speaks of God’s word being living and active. It is more than a book of just words. It has the power to bring light to the depths of our heart. There will be times when we read scripture and it touches upon something we are wrestling with right now. It could be our relationship with God, marriage, finances, our future or a struggle over a certain sin. When we read the Bible actively God speaks to us and when He speaks to us He changes us. This means trusting what God says in scripture is true by doing what it says. This requires faith.