Quiet Time with God: 8 Ways to Keep Your Devotions Vibrant

How’s your quiet time with God? I recently read Grace Fox’s book, Peaceful Moments to Begin Your Day: Devotions for Busy Women. This book was formerly titled 10-Minute Time Outs for Busy Women. It’s been reformatted and newly released as a beautiful little gift book.

Rather than write my own review of her book today, I’m using an article Grace wrote as a Guest Post today. Grace has a true heart for God. Her article mirrors so much of my own practice and thoughts. (One major difference: At this stage of my life, my husband is always the first one out of bed!) :-)

Time with God is truly a delight! I think you’ll enjoy her article–and her book. The devotions in her book are simple yet powerful, and busy women can relate to these relevant nuggets of encouragement in all walks of life.

Guest Post

Quiet Time with God: 8 Ways to Keep Your Devotions Vibrant

 by Grace Fox

Every morning before my household wakes, I tiptoe downstairs, pour a cup of coffee, and settle into my leather loveseat for quiet time with God. Bible and journal in hand, I spend an hour delving into the Scriptures where—without fail—I discover nuggets of life-changing truth.

I regard this “sacred habit” not as a duty, but as a delight. It’s a discipline I guard selfishly. The benefits of maintaining it far outweigh the effort.

Spending time with God in this way helps me get to know Him better. I learn more about His thoughts regarding marriage, purity, communication skills, priorities, money, and other matters relevant to my every day life. I learn to view life and people through His eyes, and my perspective matures as I allow His thoughts pervade mine.

For instance, if unforeseen circumstances complicate my schedule, I’m now able to rest in knowing that God is in control rather than fussing and fuming about the unexpected changes. If someone behaves unkindly toward me, I resist the urge to do likewise and, instead, pray that God will meet that person at her deepest point of need. I now understand His compassion for the poor, the widow, and the orphan, and I share His desire to, in as much as is possible, live at peace with all men.

Spending time with God and thereby becoming more and more familiar with His promises also changes the way I view myself. The knowledge of His forgiveness and restoration washes away discouragement due to failure. His guarantee to equip me to do His work calms my fears of inadequacy. His assurance of divine strength carries me when I feel weak.

Establishing a daily quiet time with God transforms me, and it will do the same for all who pursue this discipline of delight. Here are a few suggestions to get started and to keep your time with Him vibrant:

  • Decide what time of day works best for you. Early morning suits me now, but that wasn’t always the case. When my kids were toddlers, I snatched a few minutes when they napped. Some women use their lunch breaks. Some prefer to spend a few minutes with God at bedtime. Circumstances and life seasons change, so be flexible.
  • Create your own “sacred space.” Find a place that’s welcoming and make it your own. Ensure good lighting. Keep a basket nearby to hold your Bible, journal, and study resources so you don’t waste time hunting for these things.
  • Choose a Bible version that’s easy to understand. I’ve used the New International Version and New American Standard Version in the past. Currently I use the New Living Translation. You might prefer a different version. That’s okay—each to his own.
  • Set realistic goals. I read only one or two verses per day when my kids were young and my time with God was limited. Now I read through the Bible in a year using the New Living Translation’s One Year Bible. It’s better to do what works than to set unrealistic goals and then quit because they’re unattainable.
  • Keep a journal. Some people write their insights in great depth. Others write only a single thought or a short prayer. Do what suits your nature knowing that journaling serves a dual purpose: Writing the insights you glean helps you process and remember them, and it enables you to see how you’ve grown spiritually over time.
  • Add variety. Over the years, I’ve supplemented (not replaced) my Bible reading with a good devotional book or a women’s Bible study. Occasionally I’ll play quiet worship music, close my eyes, and meditate on the lyrics. Sometimes I read the Psalms aloud to the Lord. Often I read the Word and then go for a walk, praying aloud as I go.
  • Regard it as a special time to build your friendship with God. Several years ago, I thought I’d multi-task by using my quiet time to prepare a women’s Sunday school class I taught. I soon realized that I was cheating myself and God. As author Bruce Wilkinson writes, I’d become an expert at serving God and a novice at being His friend. Ouch! Ensure that your goal is to become an expert at being His friend.
  • Ask God to speak to you. When we meet with a good friend, we enjoy a two-way conversation. The same is true when we spend time with God. He invites us to tell Him our needs and concerns, but He desires to communicate His heart with us, too. So, go ahead—share your thoughts with Him but be still and listen for His voice, too. Write down what He says.
  • Avoid compartmentalizing your quiet time with God. What new insights did you learn about God’s character? What instructions did He give? What promises did He offer? Now take these thoughts gleaned in your “sacred space” and apply them as you go throughout your day. That’s when change truly occurs.

My prayer for you is that your quiet time with God will be a duty of sheer delight. “My heart has heard you say, ‘Come and talk with me.’ And my heart responds, ‘LORD, I am coming’” (Psalm 27:8).

Grace Fox is a missionary, an international speaker at women’s events, and the author of five books. Her newest release, Peaceful Moments to Begin Your Day: Devotions for Busy Women (Harvest House) is filled with spiritual aha moments guaranteed to draw readers into a more intimate walk with God. It also includes more than 100 Scripture-based praise and intercessory prayers. The book is available online, at bookstores nationwide, and on her website: www.gracefox.com.

© Grace Fox 2012

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    Comments

    21 Responses to “Quiet Time with God: 8 Ways to Keep Your Devotions Vibrant”

    1. Sue on February 27th, 2012 8:43 am

      Oh this sounds so wonderful, and I have tried so hard to follow this advice more times than I can remember. I have lost count of the times I have started a journal, with high hopes of how it will help me come closer to God, but every time it ends up not happening. I do read the Bible every day, and I do pray, but when I listen for God to speak to me, nothing happens, and I feel like I’m talking to myself. I have prayed so hard for God to speak to me – I read loads of CHristian books which talk of God speaking directly, in whatever way, to people, and I long, long, for this to happen to me. Yet in 30+ years of asking, it never has. I read blogs like this,and they make me feel so inadequate again. Why doesn’t God speak to me. I know I’m missing out on so much, but I don’t know how to receive what I have prayed for so very many times. I feel like God isn’t really there – after all, if you write to a friend who never replies, in the end you give up writing. I have prayed for a deep, living relationship with God for so many years, but I never hear from him. What is wrong with me.

    2. Coralie - Queensland, Australia on February 27th, 2012 4:42 pm

      Sue, how my heart went out to you as I read your comments. There is nothing wrong with you, you ARE precious to God and cherished in His heart. Sometimes, we feel that God’s silence is because we are doing something wrong or that we haven’t got the right “formula” in place – we are all individuals created in His image, foreknown before the foundation of the earth and loved by Him. It is He who wants the best for us (because we belong to Him) and God says that He will never leave us or forsake us. I have told so many people that every prayer that has been offered up to God is heard and answered but many times not as we would expect. God knows your very nature, the very desires of your heart and He has heard the cry of your heart. Just relax in His presence and love Him and lay aside all the criteria and formats you have set for yourself, sing a song to Him from your heart, spend time with Him, get to know Him, the One who chose you, you are His beloved, His betrothed, His Princess. Truly, just know that Jesus loves you – even your sighs are not hidden from Him. Sending you Love (is that not a hug from God), Coralie, Australia.

    3. Sue on February 28th, 2012 10:25 am

      Thank you so much Coralie. Just the fact that you have responded helps. God bless x

    4. Grace Fox on February 28th, 2012 12:23 pm

      Sue, thanks for your honesty. And Coralie, thanks for your wise words shared with Sue.

      I’m grieved that this blog post made you feel inadequate in your relationship with the Lord, Sue. That certainly wasn’t the intent. These things I’ve listed work well for me and so I suggest them to others with the desire that readers will find some benefit, too.

      RE: hearing God speak to us….I believe His methods vary for different people because we’re hardwired in different ways. Music means a great deal to me, but I have to listen closely to the words, and I have to focus my thoughts on them intentionally in order to know what God is saying to me through them. If my thoughts are flitting from one place to another while songs are being sung in church, for instance, then I’ll miss His voice.

      Sometimes God speaks through little whispers and directives. In the past, I used to chalk up those whispers to me talking to myself. Now I recognize them as God speaking. ie: “Tell the checkout clerk to have a good day,” or “Pray for that woman who’s pushing the stroller.”

      Wouldn’t it be great if God spoke in a big, booming voice to us? Or if He wrote His messages to us on a wall so we could be sure to catch them? Sometimes I wish it was that simple, but that’s not reality.

      Coralie has some good advice, my friend. Rest in knowing that God loves you. Be still and know He is God. You are special and beloved. Rejoice in His friendship. Fall asleep at night with a praise song in your heart, or a Scripture verse in your thoughts. And never let the enemy convince you that you are inadequate in your walk with God.

      You are loved,
      Grace

    5. Rebecca Barlow Jordan on February 28th, 2012 7:56 pm

      Thanks so much, Coralie and Grace, for your responses to Sue. I echo the things you said. Sue, I have heard your question often. You are not alone in wondering. I agree with these who have given you encouraging help and can’t really add to it. I want to follow up and expand your question about God speaking to us in my next week’s blog. I think it’s one worth exploring further. Thanks for your honesty and your seeking. God never turns away an honest seeker. Be assured of His love and His care.

    6. Coralie - Queensland, Australia on February 29th, 2012 3:55 pm

      Sue, precious lady, rest in His love today. Jesus will make perfect that which concerns you. That is a promise from His Word to you. You don’t have to “feel” His presence but know that His angels encamp around you and He will never abandon you. I am praying for you every day now – you have a friend in “downunder” Australia. If you would like my e-mail address, I give Rebecca permission to give it to you to have contact if you would like that. xxx

    7. Chioma on March 19th, 2012 2:55 am

      thanks y’all for your comments. the reason I’m on this page right now is bcos i typed “how do stay @ home moms maintain a vibrant relationship with God?” in google, and hit the search button.
      i totally relate with you Sue. I beaten up myself several times for not being as close as i long to be to God. Right now, I’m on a 3-day fast, waiting on God just to know Him and feel Him, and to know that He knows me and has a purpose for me. I ve been very frustrated, and i just said to myself ~ i’m gonna give it these 3 days and lets see what the outcome will be. I feel soooo empty, so dry, so far away…
      I know He is real, and I know He loves me it all in my head ~ but i really wanna feel it in my heart! And if He doesn’t touch me in these 3 days, I dunno what I’m gonna do… but i really pray He does.

    8. Catrina on December 9th, 2012 5:52 pm

      Sue, the Lord speaks to everyone in a unique way and on an individual basis. He doesn’t speak to all people in the same form. Sometimes it’s that still small voice, while other times He will use different methods. Recently, I started hearing Him all of the time. When I asked Him why He’d just decided to start speaking to me, He replied that He had, but I just never listened before. I found it rather comical, but so true. I imagine He already speaks to you on a daily basis. Be on guard for the little things. Maybe He’s speaking to you through friends, sermons being preached, songs that pop up on the radio at the perfect time of need, church signs, Bible verses and the list goes on. He has infinite ways to reach us and He will always speak to us one way or the other. Be open to those small things that most people count as mere coincidences. God doesn’t do coincidences. All things happen for a reason. Once you fully open yourself to God’s endless possibilities of communication, you will be amazed at just how much He’s speaking to you and how much He has always spoken to you. God bless you, Sue.

    9. Esther on January 25th, 2013 7:41 am

      Dear Sue,

      I fully support all that has been said. Just to share with you my own experience,

      The first time I heard God speak to me audibly, it was a clear voice in response to “Holy Spirit do you really dwell in me?” and He responded yes I do. I run out of my office into the washroom and asked again “do you really live in me” and the answer again was “yes I do and I talk to you all the time but you have surrounded yourself with so many distractions that you do not hear me when I speak’. then He referred me to Habukkuk 2:20
      ” But the Lord is in His holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him’. He said I needed to remove all the distractions then I would hear him speak. And he proceeded to point out all the distractions (TV programs, wordly talk and conversations to name but just a few).

      And yes He does speak to us through friends, songs, sermons and other ways. Just focus on Him, that is what He said to me once! Do not let anything distract you. Let Him take first place in your life!

    10. Rebecca Barlow Jordan on January 25th, 2013 12:35 pm

      Esther, thanks for sharing your encouraging comments and your personal experience. I know that was encouraging to many.

    11. Praise on March 29th, 2013 7:16 pm

      Hi every1 tanks 4 all dat has been said.am in the same situation as sue,i also pray fast and ask 4 a change but non seems forthcoming,but with all dat has been said i blieve dat God has been speaking bt av not been attentive,i easily get distracted in my spirit and i wait 4 dramatic communication 4rm God but 4rm now i will readjust my heart and ask for d help of d holyspirit cos i want to stop being mediocre,i want to enjoy a walk with God

    12. Rebecca Barlow Jordan on March 31st, 2013 10:15 pm

      And may the Lord bless as you seek to walk with God each day.

    13. jessica ihuoma anyim on April 29th, 2013 10:47 pm

      infact i have been bless by this quiet time thank you.

    14. Rebecca Barlow Jordan on May 5th, 2013 2:17 pm

      Thanks for stopping by, Jessica!

    15. Treasure Ejiasa on July 12th, 2013 12:45 am

      Iam blessed by ur contributions.i recently needed God to be speaking to me and i hv enjoyed it all d way.he speaks to me thro dat still,gentle,peaceful sweet voice in my heart,thro his word,sermons and even thro people.2 months ago,i was watching Tom and Jerry cartoon and i heard it clearly in my heart dat wat i was watching does not gv glory to my maker n wen i asked y,d holy spirit told me dat it teaches one how to be deceitful,cunning, n destructive.God stl speaks becoz he is a loving n faithful father

    16. Rebecca Barlow Jordan on July 13th, 2013 3:29 pm

      Treasure, thanks for stopping by and sharing.

    17. Adesoji on September 14th, 2013 6:48 pm

      Am struggling and am tired of this, I need help spiritually. I desire God sincerely but I find it difficult to know how God speaks to me. At this point in my life, I need answers to so many situations In my life but I feel am all alone. Am just stuck in the middle. A part of me says he is there, the next one says he isn’t.as a lad, all I want is to be a child in whom God is well pleased. I need advise

    18. Rebecca Barlow Jordan on September 15th, 2013 6:54 pm

      Adesoji, thanks for sharing this need. God is faithful to reveal Himself to us through His Word. Once we choose to accept His payment for our sin and follow Christ, we are His children forever. While life will have struggles, Jesus said He has overcome the world. We find strength and power in Him. Here are a couple of posts I wrote that might be helpful to you about how God sometimes speaks to us:
      http://www.rebeccabarlowjordan.com/8-ways-god-speaks-to-us-today/
      http://www.rebeccabarlowjordan.com/8-ways-god-speaks-to-us-today-part-2/
      You will be in our prayers that God will give you the answers and strength you need.

    19. Apee Paula on January 27th, 2014 2:32 pm

      Hmm l really don’t know where to start. Its so hard 4 me to hav a quiet time with God not to add prayer.I’m so confused.

    20. Apee Paula on January 27th, 2014 2:45 pm

      I dream of healing people abt 3/4 times in a week n i know i must pray but i fall asleep each time i want to pray.

    21. Rebecca Barlow Jordan on February 5th, 2014 9:11 am

      Apee, we’re praying God will help you with that time you spend with the Lord. Remember, that “praying without ceasing” involves a relationship with Jesus that allows us to be in an attitude of prayer all day long, not just in those “quiet times” we set aside specifically to read His Word and pray. Psalms is a great place to begin, and the book of John. Try praying through Scripture, making the words of the Psalm or the truth of the verse you are reading like a prayer to God.

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