For years I have heard about early rising and quiet times with the Lord. And so I sought to make myself available to God with my time, to start my day with Him. But those encounters weren’t often what I thought they should be, or what I knew they could be. I took a closer look to find out why.
The Job of Quiet Times
Did I approach my quiet times like a job? Was I going to work? Did I look to achieve something? I realized that I sometimes functioned like I had a job to do, and come hell or high water, I was going to do it.
I also saw that I sometimes approach God as a servant rather than a son. My issue was that I was looking at it as if I am the one with all the needs, seeking the One with all the provision. Oh, that’s so wrong. When I position my heart in this way, it’s like I have a shopping list that has to be filled by the Great Grocer and my payment is whatever gyrations He requires. Three worship songs, two chapters of scripture reading, thanking Him for what I got yesterday, a possible tear or two and then I get my order, right? Not for a son!
A son comes to his Father with everything because all things are his. He comes to be with the Father out of love, not duty. It’s about building a relationship, not completing a task. A servant looks to get; a son looks to be.
Truly Quiet Quiet Times
I said to the Lord, “This is about You, not me. I’m not on stage and I don’t have to perform. No, I am here for You.” Then I sat and waited. The pressure to produce fell off me; I was there for God’s pleasure. It’s not like I was making some magnanimous gesture of philanthropy, because I need these quiet times so much. I need my life’s focus to be Him. My need is to know that He is where all my days begin and end. I need to prefer Him to myself. But as far as what will happen during our time together, He is the guide and I just present myself. “Here is my life, my time, my heart (with all that entails). Here am I for You, God.”
Now that I have God in the place of directing our relationship and not me, here is what I am encountering: He has captured me. He was there all the time, waiting for me to simply let go.
Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus…
Hebrews 12:2 AMPC
If I’m sitting with my Father as a son, and stillness and silence is the result, then that’s what He wants. If worship, reading, confession, or supplication happens, it will be by His leading. I’m not here to perform; I’m here for His will. This is not about my being perfect; it’s about relationship. I am a son, not merely a servant. I seek my Abba, not my employer.