For many the serenity of an outdoor experience offers numerous opportunities to think through problems, relax your mind, get caught up on prayers, and listen to God. Scripture tells us that Christ spent many hours in quietness. His meditation experiences were special and allowed Him time to commune with His Heavenly Father.
The Psalmist said, “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). If we are to listen to God, we must be quiet and let Him do the talking. Too many of us, when we pray, simply read off a list of requests, get up, and walk off. Instead of listening to God, we only report our requests to Him. How can God speak to us if we don’t take time to listen?
Quietness is essential to listening. If we are too busy to listen, we won’t hear. If we spend all our time doing instead of being (Acts 1:8), we will find our minds jammed with carnal interference. In this hectic, fast-pace world we live in we need to prepare our hearts by reading His Word, so we can listen to God. “My soul, wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him” (Psalm 62:5).
That is why so many people through the centuries have sought seclusion in the deserts, mountains, or monasteries. There, the noise of civilization vanishes, and the Voice of God doesn’t have quite so much competition. Such silence, however, can be found in the quiet of a living-room late at night or at the kitchen table early in the morning. The place isn’t important. The decibel scale is. God’s Voice is still and quiet and easily buried under an avalanche of clamor.
Communication with God takes time. If you’re like me, it seems like there is never enough time to do the things that are most important. But what I’ve discovered is that the key to spending time with God is not time management, but adjusting our affections. Let me illustrate this with the following.
When I was dating my wife Louise, nothing could keep me from spending time with her! My love and affection for her was stronger than any other pull or priority in my life.
In a similar way, I seek to cultivate my love and affection for Christ, so that nothing else in my life can keep me from spending time with Him. We need to see Christ as that “pearl of great price,” or that “treasure hidden in a field” that we forfeit all else to obtain.
The Apostle Paul expressed his love for Christ like this, “I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him” (Philippians 3:8–9).
Let me encourage you to fan your affections for Christ into flame. Then, you’ll long to spend time with Him in His Word, in prayer, and in solitude.
Check out these Ten Things God Won’t Ask and instead think what He might ask us about how we used our resources — especially our time.
Ten Things God Won’t Ask
- God won’t ask what kind of car you drove,
He’ll ask how many people you drove who didn’t have transportation.
- God won’t ask the square footage of your house,
He’ll ask how many people you welcomed into your home.
- God won’t ask about the clothes you had in your closet,
He’ll ask how many you helped to clothe.
- God won’t ask what your highest salary was,
He’ll ask if you compromised your character to obtain it.
- God won’t ask what your job title was,
He’ll ask if you performed your job to the best of our ability.
- God won’t ask how many friends you had,
He’ll ask how many people to whom you were a friend.
- God won’t ask in what neighborhood you lived,
He’ll ask how you treated your neighbors.
- God won’t ask about the color of your skin,
He’ll ask about the content of your character.
- God won’t ask why it took you so long to seek Salvation,
He’ll lovingly take you into heaven, and not to the gates of Hell.
- God won’t ask how many people you forwarded this to,
He’ll ask if you were ashamed to pass it on to your friends.
Why not ask others to be a part of our weekly devotional mail list? Encourage them to sign up for the free Weekly Devotionals.
Take note of how important it was for Jesus to spend time with His heavenly Father in Luke 5:15–16.
How can you lean into this promise?:
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be fearful.”
Jim Grassi, D. Min.