Sunday, November 22, 2009

Day 22- of 30 Days of Happiness

Day 22 - Do you have a special place you meet with God at? If not, today start one, or if so then spend some time there today.

I do have a place that I spend time with God. In fact, I have 2 depending on the weather. If the weather is nice then I love to sit on my back porch and if the weather is not nice then I usually study and pray in my office. My preference is outside especially when it is cool outside. Oh and in the winter if we have a very cold day I will sit in front of the fireplace to read, study and pray.

So why is it important that we have a quiet place to meet with God. It’s is unusual for most people to have any quiet time or solitude now days. Busy lifestyles revolving around work, family, recreation – even church, can rob of us time we desperately need for quiet and connection with God.

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. - Mark 1:35 (NIV)

If you read the gospels, you will see that Jesus lived a very busy life. Crowds flocked to him, to hear him speak or to be healed. Even when he was not surrounded by throngs of people, the twelve disciples were with him 24/7. It tells us a lot that Jesus, needed time alone. But for Jesus, alone time was not simply a time for being alone – far from it. His time alone served a purpose – he prayed. In these quiet moments, he was able to connect with the Father – for strength, for comfort, for direction.

If Jesus needed times of quite, how much more do we need it? A great deal more, I would think.

The two primary challenges of finding quiet times are:
1. Establishing an appropriate time and place.
2. Learning what to do with our quiet time.

It can be frustrating to simply find an appropriate time and place for quiet. We’re surrounded by distractions and noise from every direction – TVs, computers, ipods, cell-phones, car radios, even other people – the list goes on and on. It takes discipline to set these things aside, even for a short time. Equally challenging is finding time for quiet time.

So, if you come to the conclusion that you need time during the day for quiet communion with God, you will need to find the time that best suits you. Some people are early risers while others are night people, find the time that is best for you.

A consistent place is helpful as well. If at all possible, try to avoid a place with too many distractions or temptations. If weather permits, going outside might help. Remember that Jesus had to leave where he was staying and walk a bit to find quiet.

Let’s assume you’ve established a time and an appropriate place of quiet. Now what? To be honest, the first time you really enter the quiet zone may seem strange. We’re so programmed to hearing back-ground noise that quiet may be disturbing. I would simply say, talk to God as you would talk to a friend, listen and meditate on His Word.

Be still, and know that I am God. – Psalm 46-10a

Quiet time allows us to focus and hear from God – through our prayers, through reading and pondering upon scripture, and by simply listening and waiting upon Him. You will find your quiet place to be a refuge – a place of peace where you can not only hear from God, but you will get to know Him better. The effort to find and maintain your quiet place is well worth the effort.

Tomorrow - Compliment or affirm someone today


Juliette said...

I did not get to look at this challenge before the day was over so I am looking at it in retrospect. Unlike most people, I require a lot of silence in my life that’s why I like the late night when everything else has been quieted down. It’s 3am and I first analyzed the wording in the challenge –

1. Special place
2. Meet with God
3. Spend time

Special place – I have three places that I use for studying God’s word. First the sewing room so I can close the door to other distractions; second on my dining table, sitting facing the two windows that look out to the front yard, and third at the breakfast table, looking out the sliding door onto the backyard. In the past I have used the sewing room for prayer too. I like the peace of looking outside, so I prefer either table view so I can spread out my materials and see a beautiful vista, especially when it’s raining.

Meet with God – As I have grown these past two years in hearing God speak, I have realized that it is not in having a special place that you hear God. It is in exercising the ability to have ‘conversation’ no matter where you are. It is practicing His presence with you in that you hear Him speak. Hence, I realized that in the past when I prayed in the sewing room, I rarely heard God’s voice; it was more me learning the word and interceding. I was learning about Him instead of learning from Him.

Spend time – I now can spend time with God anywhere and anytime. I have learned to just ask and He is there. I have learned to sense and feel more of the spiritual realm and it has helped me communicate more evenly and consistently.

I still had on my list of things to do, creating that special ‘prayer closet’ so that I can have the atmosphere that I thought was necessary to reach Him. I think I will take it off the list. I really feel that it isn’t in the place that we see God but in the time spent in truly seeking Him with all of our hearts. It is in our attitude about our relationship with Him. And in order to have a relationship with anyone, you have to spend regular time with them, not just once in a while on special occasions only.

Deut 4:29
You will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul.

CoachK said...

So true. I think having a special place is a good beginning thing to do but as we mature in our walk with God we do meet with Him all day long in many places. I still love being outside with Him though, there is something different when we are in the mist of His creation.