The Nasty Side-Effect of the Quiet Time

The Nasty Side-Effect of the “Quiet Time”

I’ve been making a bit of an effort to eat better recently (who isn’t after Christmas right?)

But the concept of going on a diet kind of makes me laugh.

If we stop and look at it its a bizarre way to live your life really.

  • Step one – eat badly
  • Step two – look in the mirror and decide enough is enough
  • Step three – eat well for a season
  • Step four – finally see the number we like on the scales
  • Step five – go to step one

It’s like we are playing with a yoyo… Except this is our health we are talking about!

You see, any dietitian or medical expert will tell you that you shouldn’t “go on a diet”… You change your diet entirely, it’s a change that should last for life.

Good food is always good food. You can’t eat good food temporarily and expect to stay healthy permanently.

To live a healthy life you need to eat healthily. Period.

Why am I saying this?

Well as I was saying, I’ve changed my diet quite a bit over the last 5-6 months. And that has stepped up again after all that delicious Christmas food!

Well it got me thinking about how we talk about our “quiet times” with God – reading the Bible, praying, spending time with God, etc. – as “spiritual food”.

Because I think we do the same thing there.

Does this look familiar to you?

  • Step one – do life in our own strength
  • Step two – have something go wrong and freak out
  • Step three – turn to God and pray more, read the Bible etc.
  • Step four – see things get better
  • Step four – go to step one

We often see our time with God as a thing we go to when we are in lack.

We fail to recognize that any moment we choose to live without God is a time of lack.

God is not a magic eight ball we turn to when we need something. He’s an ever present person wanting to be with us in every second of our day.

When we create this concept of “spending time with the Lord” what we ultimately end up doing is creating a subconscious concept of spending all the rest of our day “without the Lord”.

We unintentionally create a seesaw, or yoyo effect in our relationship with God.

Quiet Times are not bad!!

I’m not saying it’s a bad idea to ear mark time to spend with God away from distractions and be intentional about hearing His voice. I do that myself often. I actually believe when done correctly it can be a key tool to helping us grow in hearing Him at all other times.

However, I do think the end goal is to be able to hear His voice constantly in all things at all moments. That should be something we are working towards.

If we are still needing a quiet time with God to get through the day, that’s fine. Jesus Himself at times got away from everyone to spend time with God alone. But we must recognise that the abundant life Jesus has given us (and modelled for us) is something so much more…

The goal is union

Union with Him is our goal… a constant awareness of His presence!

I don’t want to have to yoyo through my day spiritually.

I want a constant manifestation of the fruits of the spirit throughout my day. Which can only happen when I’m constantly aware and yielded to the Holy Spirit throughout my day.

So I guess my challenge to you (and myself!) is – are you yoyoing through your day?

If so perhaps you need to change the way you are approaching things. Spending some time with Jesus is great. But why simply spend some time with Him when you can make a pertinent change in your diet and spend all your time with Him.

He’s already made Himself one with us. All that’s left for us to do is remind ourselves constantly of that reality as we live our daily lives.

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  1. This has been on my mind recently too. I spent years feeling guilty if I didn’t have a daily quiet time and have only recently been spending regular time in the morning to talk to God because I wanted to! Today I missed it and felt guilty! I don’t want to fall back into that again so I was wondering what to do. Food for thought. Thank you :-)

  2. Aww this made me cry. I spent many religious years feeling guilty because I wasn’t having enough quiet time. Then I went through something huge with my hubby and decided to consciously take God with me throughout my day. I have a little guy, only 2 years old, and 3 older boys, as well as a full time job, so spending “quiet time” with God isn’t realistic in this season of my life. Thank you for this confirmation that I AM hearing God say “just take me along for the ride”. I obviously needed that!

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