Melissa is our youngest daughter. Her love for the Lord and His Word inspires her to share the truth of God’s Word through pencil, pen, paint, charcoal and camera. On this post Melissa shares about the Quiet Time and welcomes you to join her on a journey walking into the beautiful world of Scripture. She also shares a story from her life.
“Spending time alone with God in His Word and prayer. Is it important? It might be easy to get this guilty feeling in our hearts and think “I have to do this.” Or, “I must.” Or, perhaps we get weary in doing it …perhaps there are doubts …is this really important? Is having a Quiet Time a rule, something that must be done? Does the Bible even talk about a Quiet Time? Well, the term Quiet Time is simply a term. The concept, however is what matters. Spending time alone with God in His Word and prayer.
Let’s take a journey, you and me, and let’s walk back into the beautiful world of Scripture–the world where our spiritual forefathers walked, where David worshipped and wrote, where Jeremiah called out to the wayward people, where Jesus came to tear down the curtain that had separated a sinful people from their God.
Come stand. See the dark form we call earth? It is dark, there is no form–darkness is on the face of the deep. And in a moment, God speaks.
And the Voice that is Above All Voices …spoke. Transformation begins. The word–the command of God, transformed this dark mass–this emptiness. By the commands of God, this world was formed, created and given light, sky, air to breathe, plants of beauty, and animals that show forth the glory of God.
Then God made man and woman. In His own image.
This creation–touched by the reflection of God.
We see this creation come to life, but we know what happened next. Man was tempted, he followed the dictates of his own heart, and fell.
A battle began. A battle between sin and righteousness.
Come, let us visit a man named Jeremiah. He is a prophet. A lonely one. One who speaks to people who will not hear, one who weeps for a people who have chosen the dictates of their own hearts. But Jeremiah is a man in touch with God.
He speaks to this people–the people God intended to have close to His heart …the people that went astray. Through the words of God given to Jeremiah, a Truth is given to us.
Truth about a reason why. Why did the people wander away? Why did the people turn from the God Who created them, the God Who loved them and had beautiful things in store for them?
Listen to the words of Jeremiah:
“Behold, the word of the LORD is a reproach to them; They have no delight in it.” (Jeremiah 6:10b)
“Behold, they have rejected the word of the LORD; So what wisdom do they have?” (Jeremiah 8:9b)
It was a choice. The people refused to know God, instead they trusted in the falsehood about them and choose to listen to that which led them away from God.
Now come, let us go into the pastures in a land of long ago. Listen, do you hear the harp? Do you hear the voice of one singing to God? This is David. The man after God’s own heart. What was he like? He was a man who believed God was Who He said He was.
And Goliath, he was there. Tall and threatening, mocking the people of God. Not even king Saul had a brave heart against him. But one man–strengthened by the Truth of God, speaks out,
“Then David spoke to the men who stood by him, saying, “What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?”” (1 Samuel 17:26)
His mind was on God, not the words about him, not his own heart. He believed in the power of God. And that belief propelled him to do what no one else was willing to do, but to fight that giant–a giant so fearful that the people of God were afraid. And he took him down with a stone.
Why? Why did David believe this way? Why is he known as a man after God’s own heart today? What was his secret?
Come, let us read from his own pen, his own heart.
“O my soul, you have said to the LORD, “You are my Lord, My goodness is nothing apart from You.”” Psalm 16:2
How did he see the Word of God?
“The judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, Yea, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the honey comb. Moreover by them Your servant is warned, And in keeping them there is great reward.” Psalm 19:9b-11
How was David different from the people in Jeremiah’s day? The people in Jeremiah’s day followed the dictates of their evil hearts and worshiped, served and loved other things. David followed the commands and love of God and worshiped, served and loved Him.
And what was the result? What was the contrast of their lives, the outcomes?
The people Jeremiah called out to? Their future was a sad one …like the prophet Jonah said,
““Those who regard worthless idols Forsake their own Mercy.” Jonah 2:8
But David, what hope and joy was his in life and in his death!
“Blessed is that man who makes the LORD his trust, And does not respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.” Psalm 40:4
David loved God’s Law. David knew God’s Law. He spent time in God’s Law. David wrote Truth, “I delight to do Your will, O my God, And Your law is within my heart.”” Psalm 40:8
Let us take one moment to step into the New Testament and to hear the words of Jesus Christ:
“Therefore hear the parable of the sower: When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside. “But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; “yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles. “Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. “But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”” Matthew 13:18-23
Similar to the people in Jeremiah’s day, we can be led astray by the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches. Distractions are easy to come by. When we feel a need, do we turn to our phone, to Google? Do we turn to the internet, to Instagram, to books, to the words of others? Do we serve them, love them, and run after things in the world–like an echo of what God’s people did in Jeremiah’s day?
But David. What did he know to do? David knew to turn to God and His Word.
David understood. “Among the gods there is none like You, O Lord; Nor are there any works like Your works.” Psalm 86:8
There is no one like God. Like your God. Like our God. There is no one–nothing that compares to knowing Christ Jesus and living in Him. He is our Satisfaction, our Truth our light. By personally choosing–for it is our choice–to daily spend time with Him, to talk with Him in prayer, we choose life.
For this world is deceitful. Ever since the first man and woman chose to follow the dictates of their own hearts–we too, are met with that battle of choice. Do we choose that which will help us live vibrant flourishing lives in the Lord, or that which will dry us up, make us wither and never satisfy?
God calls us.
““Stand in the ways and see, And ask for the old paths, where the good way is, And walk in it; Then you will find rest for your souls.” Jeremiah 6:16b
““Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
God is calling you. He is calling me, into fellowship with Him. We too, can be like David. We can be girls and women after God’s own heart. We too, can choose the Truth over the lies of the world. We can choose to know God and delight in Him. We too, can hear God’s voice by reading His Word and walking in His laws. He is ready and willing to speak to us personally and guide us.
And now, as we reflect on what we’ve seen and heard–as we see the lives of David and the wayward people of Israel, as we understand the realities of our lives–of the world that is calling us one way and of the Truth that is calling us to God, let me tell you a story.
A story from my life. And my relationship with God.
Growing up, I could struggle with my time alone with God. Consistency and discipline has not been a primary virtue for me. I had my Quiet Times, but I could struggle with keeping up with them. But even as consistency became less of an issue, I struggled with an emptiness inside of me.
At times, I turned to God, many times, I did not–at least at first.
Let me note here, that I still had Quiet Times. I grew more consistent and was less likely to completely skip it. But I was still hungry.
My Quiet Times were like trying to spiritually survive on the equivalent of a small apple for the entire day. It was nutritious and it was good, but it wasn’t enough.
Our souls–they need to be fed too. I was starving mine. Forcing it to live a spiritual life of starvation because I didn’t feed it what it needed. No wonder why I struggled with hunger.
In March 2019, I began a feast. I started going to deeper into the Word of God. My soul, like a wilted flower, began to lift it’s head. My life–like a thirsty, empty cup, began to be filled. And the journey continues. It has not not been perfect, but my life has been changed.
I have seen–the Truth of this. That our souls were made for God.
And if I try to fill that God-sized emptiness in my heart with the things of this world, I will only be left with a gnawing hunger.
God is the One Who satisfies. God is the One Who gives us strength, comfort and joy! And He can speak to us, personally, in our day to day lives.
God knows that spending dedicated time with Him is what I need.
One of the things that has been a part of helping me to spend more time with God is investing in resources and having a special place to spend time with Him. I’ve found it so helpful to have this place!
I’ve also discovered that bringing “color” into my time with the Lord has been great! I now have multiple pens, highlighters, colored pencils, stickers and other resources.
Investing in our relationship with God, whether its investing in more time, investing in certain resources, investing in certain choices of denial (maybe choosing to use more of our free time for time alone with God) …whatever investment it is, it is worth it.
Spending time alone with God each day. We have seen the world created, we noted the fall of man, we know the struggle of man with sin–we hear the calling out of Truth, and we saw the heart that was after God’s own heart. And now it’s our choice.
What will we do with His Word–with the Only God–Who is the only source of life–Who calls us now–today?
Follow the dictates of our own hearts and listen to the lies of the world? Live empty?
Or run to the One Who asks us to come to Him and will never turn us away? For He loves us and has so much good in store for us. He satisfies.
“Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And let your soul delight itself in abundance. Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live;” Isaiah 55:2-3a
This is what we were made for. A relationship with God.”
Thank-you for sharing Melissa!
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Wife, Mother, Mentor
“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”