The Right Attitudes for a Quiet Time
“The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7 NIV)
You may understand that a daily quiet time is necessary for spiritual growth and be motivated to do it, but how do you go about having one?
You have to start with the proper attitudes. In God’s eyes, why you do something is far more important than what you do.
On one occasion God told Samuel, “The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7 NIV). It is quite possible to do the right thing but with the wrong attitude.
When you come to meet with God in a quiet time, you should have these proper attitudes:
- Expectancy: Come before God with anticipation and eagerness. Expect to have a good time of fellowship with him and receive a blessing from your time together. That was what David expected: “You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you” (Psalm 63:1).
- Reverence: Don’t rush into God’s presence, but prepare your heart by being still before him and letting the quietness clear away the thoughts of the world. Listen to the prophet Habakkuk: “The Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent before him” (Habakkuk 2:20; see also Psalm 89:7). Coming into the presence of the Lord is not like going to a football game or some other form of entertainment.
- Alertness: Get wide-awake first. Remember that you are meeting with the Creator, the Maker of Heaven and Earth, the Redeemer of men. Be thoroughly rested and alert. The best preparation for a quiet time in the morning begins the night before. Get to bed early so you will be in good shape to meet God in the morning; he deserves your full attention.
- Willingness to obey: You don’t come to your quiet time to choose what you will do or not do but with the purpose of doing anything and everything that God wants you to do. Jesus said, “Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own” (John 7:17). So come to meet the Lord having already chosen to do his will, no matter what.
Talk It Over
If you were really eager to have a quiet time, what would change about how often and how much you spend time with God?
What is the best time and place for you to be reverent and alert before God?
How do you find out what God’s will is and what he wants you to do?
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