I set out on a journey several months ago to write one blog per week until I turn forty. The reason for this exercise was to seek God’s purpose for me as I come up to a new stage in life. If you have been following my blogs, you might have noticed that I have not kept up with my one per week. This time, it wasn’t out of discouragement or a defeatist mindset. During my weeks of disciplined writing coupled with my continued daily time with the Lord, I was led to some pretty big endeavors. One of which is starting seminary. I am working toward an Mdiv in Christian Ministry. It will take me a long time to finish due of finances, but I must start somewhere. God opened a huge opportunity that I just could not walk away from. So, I jumped in the deep end, and I am loving it! God has also given me an idea for a devotional book series. It is not at all what I wanted my first published work to be, but when it is from God you can’t ignore it. Due to the workload of these two new endeavors, I have simply not had the time to write a blog post every week.
I do want to share with you my passion for this upcoming devotional series. I speak with men and women every day about their relationship with the Lord. I enjoy hearing what fellow believers are learning about in Bible Study. I am not afraid to start a conversation about God or the Bible with anyone. Over the years, God has allowed for some insightful dialogue with people from all walks of life. I have learned that most Christians do not know where to begin when it comes to spending time with God each day. Many do not have any idea how to read and understand the Bible. Further, they don’t know why it is important to their spiritual development. Many of these same believers have picked up a devotional book off the shelf of a bookstore and are satisfied with the nugget of “inspiration” they gain from this book and they go on with their day, unchanged. I want everyone to know the gospel and how Jesus Christ wants to save them and change their life. I also want all believers to grow in their walk with the Lord as they get to know their creator and their savior.
It is from this passion that God led me to write. The devotional series I am working on comes out of the overflow of my own personal time with the Lord. I am hoping that it will serve as an effective tool to teach young believers how to spend quality time with the Lord. When complete, it will consist of twelve books. Each book is a thirty-day devotional that includes all the key elements of an effective quiet time. When a person completes all twelve books, they will have successfully read through and prayed through the entire Bible. How much time a person spends on each day is entirely up to them. The more time we give the Word, and the more we fully obey the Word will play a large role in how much we are changed. This devotional is so simple that it is perfect for the new believer to learn how to read and pray through Scripture. Yet, it is open enough that those who have known the Lord for thirty years can dive deeper into their walk with God. I am very excited about it and I am praying that it will help many Christians overcome their fears of reading the Bible and praying.
Below are three key elements of a well-rounded quiet time. Each of these will be included in the 30 day devotional guides. If you would like to know when the first book is available, make sure you are subscribed to my blog!
- Reading and Meditating on God’s Word – Having a meaningful quiet time with the Lord will require a little more than reading one verse that makes us feel good. God has revealed Himself to us in His Word. We read it in order to learn about who He is and how He deals with mankind. As He reveals Himself to us, He also teaches us about ourselves. We learn who we are and how we fit into His story. The more we read, learn, and apply God’s Word, the deeper our relationship grows with the Lord. This requires that we read all His Word. We cannot claim to spend time with the Lord if we are not reading ample amounts of His Word. There are many devotional books on the market today that allow you to spend time with the author of that book, but very little actual time with the Lord. Some of them are great supplements to a quiet time if used alongside time spent reading God’s Word. Nothing can replace God’s written Word.
- Prayer – I have not yet met a Christian who claims to be satisfied with the depth of his/her prayer life. If I do ever find one, I would seriously question that believer’s humility and sincerity of faith. The truth is that the more we pray, the more we want to pray. I didn’t learn this until I was taught the importance of praying through scripture. Like many Christians, I believed that prayer was all about keeping a list of my own needs and the needs of others. Pray for the unsaved. Pray for the sick and the poor. Pray for the starving children in Africa. Pray for your leaders. Pray for your country. The list is quite literally endless. This is an important aspect of our prayer lives, so please don’t think that I want us to scrap our prayer lists. I am simply saying that praying these lists alone is developing a wrong view of God in our lives. We begin to see Him as a cosmic genie who is there to grant all our wishes. Of course, we would never say this. It is revealed in how we respond to the Lord. We get discouraged when some of our prayers don’t get answered. We might start to question our faith. It is not that list praying is wrong. It is simply incomplete. When we begin to pray through scripture, God opens our hearts to view things through His heart. We learn how to pray as we witness the prayers of godly men and women in scripture. It changes our perspectives of how we pray through our lists. It strengthens our faith, builds a more accurate view of God, and shows us what is important in life. Scripture is the best place for a new believer to begin learning to pray and it is the best place for the veteran Christian to grow even closer to the Lord. God speaks to us through His Word and we speak to Him through prayer. What better way to speak to Him then to begin in response to His own Words to us? This is the kind of communication needed to build a strong relationship.
- Application – Hearing and learning God’s Word has many benefits, but we fall short if we do not allow it to change us. We must not walk away from the Word without asking the question, “How does this apply to my life?” Now, not every single verse in scripture is going to have a direct application for every person. I’m not suggesting that at all. I’m also not suggesting that there will be a visible, mountainous change every time we open the Word. However, ALL scripture is profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness so that we can be adequate and equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16—17) Every time we open Holy Scriptures, we should also open our heart and look for ways that the Word might need to adjust something in us. The same Holy Spirit who moved holy men to write the Scriptures is living inside every believer. He will help us understand and He will help us know what to do with His truth in our lives. Application requires action. It could be as simple as a prayer of thanksgiving for the blessings of God or memorizing a specific verse. It could be more physically active such as setting up boundaries that move us away from temptations or apologizing to someone for offending them. Whatever the application is, it is vital for our spiritual growth.
I am excited to be on this journey! If you need someone to pray for you as you grow in your walk with God, please leave a comment. I would be honored to pray for you and help you in any way I can!