And He said unto them, ‘Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while’
Friend to Friend
It seems we always have a helicopter landing in our house! Have you ever been nearby when a helicopter lands? Everything is in total chaos. The air from the rotors knocks everything in its path off its feet – mainly you. Everything around you is loud and unsettled. It is a rush – and a panic attack all rolled up into one. I’m not a fan. And yet I bring this situation on myself.
My husband says that being married to me is a lot like living on a helicopter-landing pad. I am always on the move and always have a plan. I have to admit that I tend to equate busyness with productivity – a statement that is not always true.
Busyness is the enemy of our soul and will destroy our peace and our relationship with God. And yet most of us lead hurried lives. We cram more into our days than will fit. We mean to take breaks and get some quiet time with God – but we often let that get squeezed out.
There is an antidote to busyness in Scripture. It is the simple idea of getting daily time to be with God – daily time just to be with Him – daily time to be quiet – daily time to listen for His voice above all others.
How do we pull that off? Here is a challenge for you. Spend 15 minutes a day for one month getting alone with God. Find a chair, a quiet place. Do three things in that time. Your time with God needs three practices.
Stopping. Psalm 46:10 tells us “Be still and know that I am God.” I need a few minutes each day to stop and be still! I know that – just like you know that. But if we do not schedule it, and practice it, it will not happen.
We were not made to run non-stop 24 hours a day. We were made to stop and be still and know God. We cannot know God fully on the run. We have to stop. We have to be still.
Centering. Psalm 37:7 commands us to “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him.” Our posture while we are having this quiet time with God needs to be that of waiting. Waiting for Him to speak. Waiting for Him to show up. Waiting for Him to set the agenda.
The Quakers of old practiced a concept called “centering down” or “spinning off.” They discovered that when they got still to spend time with God, their thoughts would race to random thoughts such as errands to run, work to be done, etc. So they would capture that thought, make a plan to deal with it later, and spin it off. (I keep a pad and pencil handy to jot down whatever random thought pops up.) They would then turn their mind back toward centering down and being still.
Silencing. In Isaiah 41:1 God tells us to “Listen in silence before me.” Dan’s dad taught him a great truth as a child. “The one who knows the most in the conversation should do most of the talking; the one who knows the least in the conversation should do most of the listening.” Wow! My prayer life does not follow that truth! Does yours? I tend to make God a list of the things I need Him to do – and especially the ones that I need Him to do ASAP! I tend to do all the talking in my prayer time. I rarely take the time to just listen.
The purpose of this daily time with God is not Bible study. It is not about prayer where I give God my list. It is not about meditation or memorization of the Scriptures. It is simply time to be with God. It is time to stop, to center, and to silence your heart and mind before the Almighty.
God will speak – when we meet Him every day. God will show up – when we slow down each day. God wants time with us, and will reveal Himself to us, when we meet Him on a daily basis.
Try it for a month – and get ready for God to show up!
Father, I need to hear from You. Today, I make the commitment to start having a daily quiet time. I will listen for Your voice above all of the other voices in my life. Lord, teach me how to center my life on You and help me obey what I hear You say.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Choose a time and a place to have your daily quiet time with God. Consider it holy ground, a place where you spend time with your God. Every time you see that place during the course of your day, thank God for the fact that you can come to Him in a one-on-one conversation.
More from the Girlfriends
Mary’s husband, Dan, has written a book, Chair Time, in which he shares his personal story of learning to listen to God. It is a simple story of a simple man learning a life changing truth. God wants to speak to us! He will … if we get in the chair!