Quiet Time

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14

 

Today’s Scripture comes to you courtesy of “Time with God” devotionals, you can read the full email devotion here (it’s very short but very enlightening). The past few devotions I have received from them in my email have been talking about making time for personal, quiet time with the Lord. Not “finding” time, “making” time. Today’s message was talking about the difference between meditating on His word and personal prayer time. Both are vital for spiritual growth, but they are not the same thing. In one devotion the writer even suggest locking yourself in the bathroom if that is the only place you can be guaranteed solitude for a few moments (how often have we heard the “mommy jokes” about doing just that for some peace and quiet?).

 

So I have been trying to do just that (quiet time, not locking myself in the bathroom). I know that for me, in order to have the quiet time I long for and need, I have to deny myself one of my favorite things in the world………..sleep. I cannot sleep in until my son wakes me up, I must get up at 5:00 am with my husband, no matter how well or poorly I slept the night before. And I must be consistent with this routine. After all, my son will not be going to school at 10:00 am, and I doubt I will find a job that doesn’t start until 11:00 am, so I might as well get used to early mornings now, right?

 

This desire for changing from a “night owl” to an “early bird” reminds me once again of 2 Timothy 1:7,

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline (NIV)

 

Self discipline…..a God given spirit of self discipline. Time and time again I am reminded, I do not need to gain self discipline, it was instilled in me at my creation. While He was working the miracle of my life inside my mother’s womb, making my fingers and toes, eyes, ears, hair…he included self-discipline. For me to say “I don’t have the self discipline to get up at 5:00 am every morning” or “I wish I had the self discipline So-and-so had for working out regularly” is not of Christ. I truly believe it is a trick the devil uses to sidetrack me on my daily walk with my Saviour. I have started praying at night as I go to sleep, that God would help me use the self discipline he instilled in me to get up even if I don’t feel like it. Guess what? It worked.

I should not be surprised, I know that He wants to spend time with me even more than I can realize. He is the one calling out saying “I’m here, won’t you have a morning cup of coffee with Me?” and I am the one saying “I’m too tired…..I’m too busy”.

 

So, my food for thought for you today my reader(s) is this, instead of asking for self discipline, ask that you would use the self discipline He already gave you. It will not be easy, but then again how does that phrase go “Nothing ever worth having was gotten easily”?

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True Worship and Hope

“A time will come, however, indeed it is already here, when the true (genuine) worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth (reality); for the Father is seeking just such people as these as His worshipers.” John 4: 23 Amplified

Genuine….that is the word  which draws my attention. Not only is this Scripture saying true worship in the sense of actual worship and not “playing church” as the phrase goes, but genuine, authentic worship that reflects who we are as an individual in Christ. It it possible that some people may think that if you are in a Sunday morning service singing along with the songs and you are not raising your hands with eyes closed and face raised upward, then you are not fully worshiping. That is because they are not realizing that THEY worship in that manner and are right to do so, but not everyone is. Some people, like myself, have on occasion embraced that abandoned worship, focusing solely on Christ alone. However, more often than not, I am uncomfortable being so open in that manner.

It is not because I want to be secretive in my singing worship, but rather this particular style does not match who I am. If I raise my hands I am more concerned with what others are thinking (which is silly because they aren’t looking at me, they are worshiping our Saviour). This is a work in progress between me and my Lord. When I am alone and listening to the radio during the quite times in my home (albeit a bit rare my home is completely quiet), I am more likely to express my joy in this way. There are no distractions. I know that I should not care what other people think, or what I think other people think. Like I said, a work in progress.

This particular translation encouraged me that I was not wrong to feel this way. You see, my particular style of singing worship during church over the past few years has been a gentle, subtle dance. My worship is quiet. Right now, for me to try and worship any other way would not be genuine. It would not be me. It would be an imitation of what I perceived to be “correct” worship, when in reality there is no one and only “correct” worship style. My meeting with Christ can only be expressed accurately, authentically, and genuinely if I am honest.

Perhaps one day I will grow in my confidence in Him to be able to have utter abandon. I truly hope I will. But until that day comes, I will not believe the lie that I am not a good Christian if I don’t worship like everyone else in my congregation, in a family member or friend’s congregation, or a televised congregation.