The other day I was driving and I was chatting away with my mom on my speaker. I was passing by the airport and it seems when that happens, the line cuts in and out. For the next few minutes we are both saying, “Hello! Hello! Can you hear me? Can you hear me? Hello, can you hear me now?” Once the line cleared up, we started laughing because it sounded just crazy with all the hello…hello…hello!
As I was doing my devotions this afternoon while the house was quiet, I kept thinking how thankful I was that I finally figured out something that was working for me at this stage of my life in meeting with my Savior each day. Granted, there are days that it just doesn’t happen and it weighs heavily on my mind when I don’t take the time to sit down and just spend time with my Jesus. I may be the only one that happens to, but, it is what it is.
I put my faith and my trust in Christ when I was 14. That was 46 years ago! Wow! Yes, I turned 60 this year. Yes, I’m struggling with that thought! Back to my main reason for writing today….
Church was the main thing in my life the day I accepted Christ as my Savior. I was there every time the doors were open. I was in Sunday School, special teaching classes, choir, visitation, every teen activity, church camps, you get the picture. Reading and studying God’s Word was new to me. I knew it was important and I read it because I was taught that you needed to start reading your Bible. So many things I didn’t understand, but, I kept reading it anyway. I didn’t even have a Bible of my own for the first several months of my new life in Christ. We had a large Children’s Bible that I would read out of and my mom had a Bible that I would read. I did get a Bible for Christmas later that year. I still have it and I love going through and seeing all the verses that I underlined and little notes I made.
Since then, I’ve had several different Bibles and I do have one main one that I really like to study out of. I place Bibles around my house. I just love having one near at all times. I even carry one in my car.
Over these 46 years I have sat under many different preachers and teachers. I have heard many different ways of studying your Bible and ways that people have their personal quiet times each day. I know you have heard many different ways, too. Yes, I’ve even been convicted because I didn’t do it like someone else or I tried and just couldn’t do it. Such as get up at 4 a.m. and read and pray before my husband and babies woke up. I tried, but it wasn’t happening! I eventually would find my own way to spend time in prayer and Bible reading. It even has changed many times over the years.
I recently found myself struggling with getting my three chapters read each day in order to reach a certain goal. It wasn’t meaningful to me as I was just hurrying up and it was like it was a ritual or something. I felt like I was missing out.
One of my favorite preachers made a comment one time when I was with he and his wife, “If you want to know who God is, read His Word.” Sounds very practical, doesn’t it? That’s because it is practical. I found myself, reading to meet a deadline and a goal and reading books on different subjects, but, still was hungry just to sit in peace and read and let God speak to me. I want to know everything there is to know about God. When you are hurrying or just reading to be reading….you might miss out on a few things.
Several months ago, I said to myself…”Okay, Beverly, it’s time to slowly go through your Bible and just be quiet and still and let God speak to me.” I am a planner, so I stuck with my pattern of how I read the Bible, but…this time, I’m going slow and I am loving it so much! I’m not trying to meet a deadline to have my Bible read through by the end of the year and get so many verses a day read.
This is how my “quiet time” goes….
I begin with a short prayer of asking the Lord to speak to me through His Word. If there is anything that He wants me to know, to make it very clear for me to see. I want to know everything about Him. Now….if you are anything like me, your mind goes a million miles a minute and you think about so many things at the same time as reading and even praying. I have to get still and quiet and I don’t begin until my mind has calmed down. I even keep a notepad close that I jot things down that is on my mind to do. Such as, while you are reading a thought pops in your head….go to the store to get milk….just stop, write it down and move on. Again, I might be the only one that struggles with things like that.
I have an Our Daily Bread Devotional for women that I read. It is very short and to the point. I love this devotional as it always has something that I need to be reminded of. Then….
I began in Genesis and only read one chapter. With reading one chapter, I take my time…I make notes, I memorize names, place and events. I’m not worried about checking anything off. I’ll move on through each book of the Old Testament.
I then move to the Book of Psalms. I read one chapter…same thing…slowly and make many notes. When I get to the end of Psalms, I start over. I’m always going through the Book of Psalms.
Then I go to my favorite, the Book of Proverbs. Whatever day of the month it is, that is the Proverb that I read. October 6th…I read Proverbs 6. When I get to Proverbs 31, I start over. I’m always going through the book of Proverbs. It’s amazing how any things speak to you differently each month.
I then go to Matthew…..one chapter a day and I move on through Mark, Luke and John. When I finish John, I go back to Matthew. I’m always reading in the Gospels.
I then go to the Book of Acts….one chapter…..I keep on moving all the way through Revelations. When I’m through with Revelations, I will start over in Acts.
I have to tell you that I have really enjoyed it! There are days, where I can’t wait to sit down to read the next chapter in each book to catch up. I’m hungry for more.
Being hungry for the Word of God is a very good thing! Are you hungry for God’s Word?
Also, as I read, and God speaks to me, I pray as I read. I apply everything I read to myself. I’m not worried about how someone I know needs this or I hope so and so reads this today…..This is all for me! I’m not studying for a lesson to teach or to fill in a workbook for a study of some sort. It’s just me and God….
That’s what a “quiet time” is to me.
I end with focused prayer. Prayer is my personal conversation with my Savior. I don’t keep up with making sure I spend an hour or 5 minutes in prayer. I pray for however long it takes. I cover everything. Trust me!
So, I hope you have settled in to what works for you in your season of life that you are in right now. Do you need to make some adjustments? If something isn’t working, figure out a way that it will work. Make it a special time for you and your Savior…..not just checking off a box of what you read for the day. But, hey….if checking off the boxes is what works….yay! I did the box checking for a long time.
I only share this to encourage you and hopefully inspire you to make sure you have that time each day or as often as you can.
If you are struggling with any area, feel free to email me and I would love to find a way to help and encourage you. Don’t leave Him out of your daily life.
Do you find your faith wavering…..get in the Word! Fill your life with people of faith. Listen to people of faith. Sometimes, when your faith is wavering…it could be because everyone and everything around you is anti-God. Trust me, there is plenty of that and always has been. Just read…..read for you…..not to prove anything to anyone…..just read and ask for wisdom and discernment. Tell God you need to hear from Him. He loves us so much and wants to spend time with us. I know you’ve heard this before; Our Bible is His love letter to us! He has so much He wants us to know about Him. Don’t take anyone else’s word for it…..you read and study for yourself and learn all you can! Let Him speak to you!
Until next time…