Grace works ahead of us to draw us toward faith, to begin its work in us. Even the first fragile intuition of conviction of sin, the first intimation of our need of God, is the work of preparing, prevening grace, which draws us gradually toward wishing to please God. Grace is working quietly at the point of our desiring, bringing us in time to despair over our own unrighteousness, challenging our perverse dispositions, so that our distorted wills cease gradually to resist the gift of God. ― Thomas C. Oden, John Wesley’s Scriptural Christianity: A Plain Exposition of His Teaching on Christian Doctrine
But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. – Luke 5:16
Through the course of my ministry, I have found that people come up with a lot of excuses for why they are unable to make time for God regularly. Most of those excuses revolve around them not having enough time. There is always another work project, meeting, kid’s practice, and so on and so forth to keep us from quiet time with God.
I think people believe those are the real reasons that keep them from quiet time with God. I believe differently. I think our busy schedules are symptomatic of something else going on deeper in our souls. I know people say to themselves that if they had more time in their schedule they would spend it with God, but I have my doubts. If it really meant something to them, they would make the time. People prioritize what they value. If people valued quiet time with God they would find a way to make it happen. The hard, honest truth is that people who don’t practice a regular quiet time with God don’t value it.
So then, why don’t people value quiet time with God and prioritize it into their schedule? I think in part, it has to do with fear. People are afraid that if they spend time alone with God then he will change them. They are right of course. When we spend time in God’s presence, he will change us. Unfortunately, people often don’t want to change. They prefer the comfort they have to the discomfort they might experience with change. However, Jesus valued that quiet time with God. So should we.
Do I build time into my routine to spend quiet time with God?
What purpose do I think quiet time with God serves?
What are the things that I value and prioritize in my life?
Do I need to shift my priorities?
Prayer: God, give me a desire to spend time with you. Grant me the grace to draw me closer to you. Challenge me to see the obstacles in the way of spending more time with you. Show me the value of spending time with you. Help me to prioritize that time in my schedule. When I am in your presence, change me to be more like Jesus. Amen.