“Ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ…to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for his followers.” 
—Ephesians 1:17-18 (MSG)

Oh, my goodness! How easy it is “in this day and age” (yes, I’m officially a geezer saying “in this day and age”), but how easy it is to avoid getting quiet with God. To avoid trying to hear His voice and discern His calling on our lives.

And I confess, I can be just as guilty as anyone.

“In my day,” people knew better how to enjoy quiet and stillness. Frankly, it was easier. There weren’t as many distractions at our fingertips. Still, I think we valued it more and made it a higher priority. 

Why, I spent many an hour myself sitting in trees in the backyard, just being quiet—thinking. Maybe eating cherries and spying on people, too. But being quiet nonetheless.

Porch sitting, also…we sat on porches and took in the scene. There were no devices! We looked at people’s faces. Remarked on the colors of the seasons. Laughed at the geese honking merrily across the sky. Simply took time to notice God’s work.

And it filled us.

Today’s culture values busyness and activity over stillness and observation. What a loss! God says to “be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). Not “over-schedule yourself, run around like a squirrel, and wonder why you don’t hear my voice.” 

Seriously, it’s a trick of the enemy. But one we willingly participate in.Think about it: If he keeps us busy, frazzled, and depleted, we will not seek God. Heck, we may even forget about Him. We’ll be too tired to worry about eternal affairs. We’ve got to keep up with our schedules, after all. Can’t you just feel it happening?

I have been having this niggling sensation lately God wants to tell me something. I must be super-intentional in seeking quiet time, lest I miss the lesson or directive. Honestly, it can be scary. What if God tells me something I don’t want to hear? It’s happened before! Then I have a decision to make:  plug my ears and BE BUSY or listen quietly and obey.

Here’s a short list of how I’m trying to guard quiet time:

NO EXCUSES—We live in an excuse-making, blaming society. We can easily ignore a seemingly unproductive time with an invisible God. We can make excuses. This is to our detriment!

God sees our hearts, however, and lame stories don’t stick with Him. Start by covering this time in prayer. Pour out your fears, confess your shortcomings, and ask for understanding. Then just as Ephesians 1:17-18 says, we will “see exactly what it is he is calling (us) to do (and) grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for his followers.” 

NO DEVICES—We don’t answer the phone in the shower, and we don’t text in church. We can be disciplined with the ubiquitous technology. So let’s extend our discipline to a screen-free quiet time. Become master of your devices by putting them in their place! God will reward the act by giving you His sweet presence. 

As a result, you will be filled.

NO BAD ATTITUDES—Come expecting renewal, and receive it! Don’t come as a “duty” or in order to check an item off your to-do list. Quiet time with God is life-giving and life-directing. Actually, it’s an other-worldly privilege! Contemplating our blessed calling fills us with gratitude and joy. How’s that for a flipped perspective?

The bottom line is…I have the feeling God wants to tell you something as well. Don’t disappoint Him by being too busy or too fearful to stop and hear His voice. 

There are blessings in obedience.

So, are you ready? Ready for renewal, direction, and soul satisfaction?

Then…On your mark, get set— STOP!

Still Journeying,