I’m bothered by people who say they can’t wait to have their quiet time with God or who ramble about how much they love reading the Bible in the early morning hours. I want to believe they’re sincere, but I often wonder if such sincerity fully and truly encompasses the devotional experience.
Frankly, my heart awakens to every new day like a dormant coal. Its blackened, hard nature needs much assistance to fan into flame and renew a pursuit of the Lord. In fact, often the sheer power of discipline alone–which only exists through the Spirit of God within me–pushes me to begin this pursuit.
Only as I open Scripture, read it, meditate upon it and cry out to God for mercy do I begin to awaken a hunger for His Word. Even then, there are days I simply endure quiet time with the Lord.
Those are the days the discipline of devotions seems particularly difficult and empty.
Those are the days I wonder why I bother.
Those are the days I keep repeating Isaiah 55:3, reminding myself that God says the Word going out from His mouth will not return empty but will accomplish what He desires.
I’m chagrined at how I struggle to love the Savior who gave His life for me. And yet, isn’t so much of my love shallow? For how often I seem to approach relationships seeking pleasurable feelings and my own good, rather than the good of another. If I do so with imperfect humans, how much easier to do so with the One who loves unconditionally and gives so freely.
Yet I do not want to love my God with such a love, but with true love which exists void of any such self-centered approach. I desire to deny myself, to come to Scripture humbly, and to to worship God alone–not my own desires or feelings–as I read His word.
At least, the Spirit within me desires this. The flesh is quite weak.
Perhaps that is why the discipline of quiet time remains constantly elusive, constantly difficult. Because its purpose is to remind my soul that God is Lord and not me. And who with a fleshly nature truly wants to be reminded of that on a daily basis?