Do you struggle with having a consistent, daily quiet time with the Lord? I talk to people all the time who are experiencing different problems in their lives, but when I ask about their time with the Lord, it is sporadic, at best. I can identify. I used to be just like that.
Twenty years ago I was a mess. I was a young wife and mother, miserable, struggling with sin, having no consistency in my time with the Lord. I wanted God to fix all my problems, but I wasn’t willing to surrender everything in my life to Him. I was saved, going to church, even serving in church, but I wasn’t walking in the Spirit. I was living life on my own terms and expecting God to bless my mess.
I wanted victory, but I didn’t want to take the time to seek God every day. I wanted my prayers answered, but I wanted it all in my time and my way. I wanted to claim the promises of God, but I didn’t want to put the time and effort into studying the Word. Finally, I came to realize that we can’t have a victorious, powerful walk with the Lord unless we are seeking Him every day.
“Seek: to go in search or quest of, to try to find or discover by searching or questioning; to try to obtain, attempt, to go to, to ask for, request; to explore, to make inquiry; to pursue or follow” (dictionary.com)
What does it mean to seek the Lord?
Three Ways to Have a Consistent Quiet Time
Let me tell you what it doesn’t mean. We aren’t trying to obtain salvation by works or earn favor with God.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8, NIV 84).
No, seeking the Lord is about being in love with the One who has saved us by His grace. I had felt this power when I first got saved and spent time every night with the Lord in worship and in the Word, but somehow through the busyness and stress of being a young wife and mother, I had no longer been seeking the Lord consistently. The power of prayer and the authority of Scripture took a backseat in my life. And it showed.
We can’t seek His promises unless we’re first willing to seek His face.
Finally, I came across a book that inspired me to get serious about seeking the Lord above all else in my life, and that is when I turned my heart back to seeking God. I can honestly say that my life has never been the same.
The first step in having a consistent time of seeking God’s face every day is to make it a priority. We have to value time with God and realize that we are hopeless and helpless without Him. We all know it’s true, but we will make time for those things we value most. We have to do a heart check. What idols are on the throne of our hearts? What have we chosen to put ahead of time with the Lord? For me, it was family.
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33).
The secret is that God will bless us in those other good things we seek, if we will just seek Him first. For me, early morning is my best time. I committed about twenty years ago to get up one hour early to spend time with the Lord, and I have never failed to keep my time with Him–not because I am anything special, but because I realize now that I can do absolutely nothing without Him.
Having a consistent time with the Lord will not happen by chance. We have to commit to it and then plan for it. For me, planning ahead means that I set my clock for the time I need to get up; I have my coffee programmed to brew at the same time; I have a special place set aside to spend with the Lord; and I have a basket with all of my supplies waiting for me. And honestly: I can’t wait.
“One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple” (Psalm 27:4).
Oh, yes! David had experienced the presence of the Lord in the temple. He knew that nothing could compare to dwelling in His presence and experiencing the love, joy, and peace that come from being with the Father. When we begin to seek the Lord and call on His name, when we forsake our sins and surrender to His kindness and grace, when we begin to hear Him speak and give us direction for our lives, when we begin to pray and see God answer our prayers in ways we never dreamed, WE WILL BECOME OBSESSED WITH HIM.
I never use all caps. Never. But I am so overwhelmed at the goodness of God that I just can’t help it. He is worthy of our time, our space, our lives. He can get all in my business if He wants to because I have died to self and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me (Galatians 2:20). My life no longer revolves around me and what I want, yet He gives me the desires of my heart as I seek Him first (Psalm 37:4).
If we want to be consistent in seeking the Lord, we will have to pursue Him at any cost. We will have to intentionally lay down other loves so that He can remain our first love. We will have to come to Him daily, seeking His face, seeking a clean heart and clean hands, and then seeking answers to our prayers. When just being in His presence takes precedence over having our needs met, that moment we will experience the fullness of Him who fills everything in every way (Ephesians 1:23).
“My heart says of you, ‘Seek his face! Your face, Lord, I will seek'” (Psalm 27:8).
We chase after many things in this world, but none that can actually satisfy like the Lord. I know you will think I am crazy, but for over fifteen years, I have gotten up an hour early (5:30 on school mornings) to spend time with the Lord. In the last year, I have begun getting up two hours early. Why? I just can’t get enough of Him.
Some have asked what I do for two hours every morning with the Lord. Below are links to some older posts in which I shared what I do in my quiet time. Next week, I am going to share what I have added to my quiet time that is getting me up even earlier and why it is so exciting and fulfilling for me. But I just want to leave you with one last thought about seeking the Lord.
“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).
Yes, He rewards those who seek Him. I am rewarded every day with the opportunity to sit at the feet of Jesus, to experience the wonder of salvation, the peace of being in His will, the love that no man can match, the thrill of being on mission with Him to share the Gospel and to build His kingdom, and the hope of eternity with Him. I don’t know about you, but for me, that’s enough to get me up in the morning.
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