Thursday, April 7, 2011

Out Into the Battlefield: Quiet Time with God

"There are two major reasons it is so difficult to develop the discipline of a daily quiet time. First is the influence of the flesh. Keep in mind that your old nature is opposed to daily quiet time... Pray that the Holy Spirit will enable your new nature to overcome your old nature in this battle.

"The second reason is resistance by Satan. The devil opposes your every effort to please Christ. His strategy is to rob you of daily quiet time joy, to complicate your time schedule by keeping you up late at night and making it hard for you to get up in the morning, to make you drowsy during your time with the Lord, to make your mind wander, and otherwise to disrupt your meeting with Christ. Ask the Holy Spirit to retain the devil."

- Greg Ogden, Discipleship Essentials, page 37

Before yesterday, I never really thought of our reluctance to spend daily quiet time with God as a part of greater spiritual warfare. It just sort of seemed like an "I-know-I-should-do-this-but-", passive, menial struggle. But this downplays the seriousness of our neglect, and the devil subtly chips away at us through this "passive, menial struggle."

Every student I ask about quiet time admits the same thing: they don't do it regularly. When I was in college, I also tended to shirk it in favor of memorizing lines, studying, and hanging out with friends. I always thought, "I'll have more time when I'm out of college." What happened? By the time I left college, I was barely a Christian, toying with declarations of Agnosticism or even Atheism.

What I tell my students: It never gets easier.
In fact, it will probably get harder.

Yesterday, I decided it's time to stop treating this spiritual discipline as something that would be "nice" to accomplish and start treating it as something vital for life. Jesus tells us in John 15 to abide or remain in Him and the Word. If we don't, we won't grow--we won't be nourished--we will bear no fruit. In fact, if we don't abide with him, we will wither, be cut off, and thrown into the fire.

Hellooooo! This is serious!
Why are we NOT taking it seriously?

What I challenged to my students yesterday--and my challenge to YOU--is to take out your calendar before you go to bed tonight. Literally schedule in at least 10 minutes of quiet time with God daily for the next week. If you miss a day, then just start again the next day. I'm going to check in with them next Wednesday. Find someone you can check in with and keep you accountable.

So I'm done with being passive. I'm done letting the devil have this victory over my life, and the lives of the women I mentor. It's over, Satan. The Lord has the victory.

"With God we will gain the victory, and he will trample down our enemies."
Psalm 60:12

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6 comments:

  1. I accept the challenge! I find part of what's been stopping me is this feeling that I need to do it every day, and figure out how to persuade myself to make time for God every day and I'm intimidated by that, so I just don't. I'm going to try to set aside time every day this week, but I can't think about it as every day this week, I'm going to think about it as tonight. And tomorrow, I'm going to think about it as tomorrow. Saturday, I'll think about it as Saturday. And I've decided I process best through blogging, so you can see how I'm doing if you'd like. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hey Lauren - Elliott said he's been reading your blog at This Little Moon but when I go to that one, it says you have no posts. I can read Almost Articulate though. Where will you be posting your progress on quiet time?

    I think that besides getting stressed out about it being every day, people feel like they have to spend an hour with God right away. But I think 10 minutes is better than nothing, and it's better to form the habit and then grow from there than just get stressed out before you even begin.

    Praying for you!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I gave a challenge to my junior high kids last week to spend 5 minutes a day in the Bible for 30 days. . .I told them that is 2.5 hours only with God in a month and that they spend far more time in their other activities and they all looked a little guilty about that. I like your challenge for those who are college age (and older) to try 10 minutes a day. That's lovely. I hope they will do it! It is not always easy but it is always worth it and comes up so often in a day with "wow I just read that in the Bible and this goes in line with this situation I'm facing right now!" I love you!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I gave a challenge to my junior high kids last week to spend 5 minutes a day in the Bible for 30 days. . .I told them that is 2.5 hours only with God in a month and that they spend far more time in their other activities and they all looked a little guilty about that. I like your challenge for those who are college age (and older) to try 10 minutes a day. That's lovely. I hope they will do it! It is not always easy but it is always worth it and comes up so often in a day with "wow I just read that in the Bible and this goes in line with this situation I'm facing right now!" I love you!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hey Lauren - Elliott said he's been reading your blog at This Little Moon but when I go to that one, it says you have no posts. I can read Almost Articulate though. Where will you be posting your progress on quiet time?

    I think that besides getting stressed out about it being every day, people feel like they have to spend an hour with God right away. But I think 10 minutes is better than nothing, and it's better to form the habit and then grow from there than just get stressed out before you even begin.

    Praying for you!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I accept the challenge! I find part of what's been stopping me is this feeling that I need to do it every day, and figure out how to persuade myself to make time for God every day and I'm intimidated by that, so I just don't. I'm going to try to set aside time every day this week, but I can't think about it as every day this week, I'm going to think about it as tonight. And tomorrow, I'm going to think about it as tomorrow. Saturday, I'll think about it as Saturday. And I've decided I process best through blogging, so you can see how I'm doing if you'd like. :)

    ReplyDelete

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