More often than I’d like to admit, I have found myself running 100 miles an hour, going here or there, doing this or that and coming up with “excuses” for why I shouldn’t have any quiet time with God. Even when I have a free day, I have fallen into a pattern of substituting my time with God with worldly things. Because being still is hard. We live in a culture of multitasking, instant gratification, little patience and fast-paced lifestyles. The idea of stopping everything to spend some quiet moments with God sounds like a waste of time, especially to the world.
But as a confessing Christian, those moments should be the times I crave the most- when I have the opportunity to put on the brakes and relish in the time I have been given to spend with the Lord of Lords. That TV show can wait. That lesson plan or project will get written. The missed 30 minutes of sleep won’t kill me. Facebook will be fine without me checking it. Those Pinterest pins will be there tomorrow. My wedding will happen whether I spend today or tomorrow planning. But not spending time in quiet stillness with God has great consequences. Choosing to forgo that time to do those self-centered things of the world means my life, focus and priorities have slipped away from where they should be. Even Jesus, in the peak of His ministry, took time to refocus in the stillness and presence of God (Mark 1:35, Luke 5:16).
All I can say is thanks be to God for the Holy Spirit who convicts! And thank the Lord for the grace and mercy He gives us every single day. I have been convicted this week of losing sight of my priorities, and that I have not been taking time to grow as a Christian. But the good news is that that does not mean this is the end of the world! Every day is a new day, every morning His mercies begin anew, and every moment is a new moment to give Him the glory He deserves.
My prayer and desire for this year and the years to come is that I (and the Church) may learn how to come before God and be still. To silence the business of our minds and the hopes and desires of our hearts to become “prostrate in silence before Him” (Andrew Murray in Waiting on God). That we may redirect our wants and needs to things that really matter. And that we may begin learning how to be still and know that HE is GOD.
“Spiritual receptivity may be increased by exercise or destroyed by neglect. It is a gift from God, indeed, but one that must be recognized and cultivated as any other gift if it is to realize the purpose for which it has been given.”
– A.W. Tozar (in The Pursuit of God)