Quiet Time: For God’s Benefit or Yours?

by admin

ians Like. Read it. For fun and profit.

Jon Acuff will likely never notice this linkage, but his most recent discussion about what pleases God and what doesn’t spurred me to add a thought.

I used to set my timer on my iPhone to 30 minutes, sit down and then try to get my quiet time on. If for whatever reason I could only grab 15 minutes that day, I felt like God was 50% less happy with me. If I missed an entire day, I imagined he was picking out the right lightning bolt to get me with like a golfer picking a club.

My formula was:
“10 minutes of prayer + 10 minutes of writing + 10 minutes of Bible reading = Happy God.”

Trying not to judge him for his trendy use of an iPhone (I still believe that using anything produced by Apple but an iPod constitutes at a minimum being “of the world” if not idolatrous – go ahead, Apple zealots, crucify me for my beliefs!)  He really has illustrated a case-in-point of the all-too-common religiosity of Christians.  Religion Jesus came to destroy.  We can’t satisfy God with anything we do.  We must communicate clearly that there is nothing we can do to please God.  God saves us by grace, a free gift that can’t be earned in any sense.

But what about verses that call Jesus’ followers to obedience?  Sure, I’ll give you that, but I’ll need some help finding the verse that says, “Christ followers shall have a ‘quiet time’ with the Lord every day.”  Interestingly, I didn’t see Jesus have a “quiet time” with the Father every day.

Lest I be chastised for doubletalk (this blog isn’t that big yet, and only a few posts down you will find a couple on my efforts to create a daily office for myself), what I wanted to say was this: quiet time with God is not for His benefit.  He does not love us more or less if we have it, how often we have it, or what we do with it.  It is for ours.  We grow closer to Him.  Our souls become a better reflection of His.  We become more closely conformed to His image.  It is for our own personal holiness and sanctification that we do well with quiet time.

Never think that God is happier with you or you are more blessed because of anything you do.  But recognize that you do profit by seeking first His Kingdom.


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