Our fast-paced culture often wars against spending meaningful time with God. We often think of spending time with God as grabbing a burger or a couple chicken nuggets for the day. Unfortunately, treating time with God in this way results in unhealthy and starving Christians. While fast-food Christians may desire to serve God, their spiritual unfitness often holds them back.
Every day, 50 million Americans eat from fast-food restaurants. On average, each American spends roughly $1,200 each year on fast food. Over an 80-year lifespan, that yearly amount adds up to $96,000. Regularly eating fast food affects health, contributing to obesity, diabetes, and heart problems.
In a spiritual sense, God has prepared a gourmet feast for us far surpassing the taste and nutrition of any fast-food meal. Spending meaningful time with God is more like sitting down for a seven-course dinner than rushing through the drive-through at McDonalds. God wants us to take the time to know Him and to digest every bite of truth from His Word so that we can grow in Him and be strengthened to do His will.
In this post, we’ll look at four qualities of meaningful quiet time. Through His Word and prayer, God invites all Christians to a daily, private, unhurried, and early feast.
1. The Daily Feast
According to the American Bible Society only 20% of Americans regularly read the Bible.
In contrast, the Lord’s prayer states, “Give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11). Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).
While God designed our bodies to fast physically at times, He did not design our souls to fast spiritually. Skipping a spiritual meal harms our soul, depriving it of spiritual strength and nutrition.
Every day we neglect time with God we are asserting that we can live that day without Christ. Truly, we need him every day.
Just as God provided manna every day for the children of Israel, so He has provided a feast for every one of us in His Word. Will we take the time to partake of it?
2. The Private Feast
When God wants to fellowship with us, He doesn’t invite over a bunch of guests. Time with God is a sacred meeting between one individual and God, into which no other mortal should enter.
Christ followed this model by finding a solitary place to pray (Mark 1:35). Additionally, Christ prayed in a mountain to God all night before choosing His twelve disciples (Luke 6:12-13).
God desires to commune with us in private. Jesus commanded in Matthew 6:6, “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to the Father which is in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.”
Is communion with God so important to you that you are willing to separate yourself from the busyness around you in order to obtain it?
3. The Early Feast
The Bible gives numerous examples of individuals who spent time with God early in the morning. Our greatest example, Christ, arose “a great while before the day” in order to pray (Mark 1:35).
Gideon arose early to check the fleece (Judges 6:38), and Jacob arose early to set up a pillar at Bethel (Genesis 28:18). Abraham arose early to stand before God (Genesis 19:27), while Joshua arose early before crossing the Jordan (Genesis 3:1).
David prayed, “My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and wilt look up” (Psalm 5:3).
As Proverbs 8:17 says, “those that seek me (wisdom) early shall find me.”
Charles Spurgeon once said, “It is a good rule never to look into the face of a man in the morning till you have looked into the face of God.”
Will you commit to seek God first at the beginning of each day?
4. The Unhurried Feast
Have you ever been in a hurry to finish quiet time?
Job savored God’s Word so much that he stated, “I have esteemed the words of His lips more than my necessary food.” To the lukewarm Laodicean church, Christ said, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock, if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”
Truly, Christ longs to feed and commune with you daily. Simply put, is spending time with God as important to you as it is to Him?
When Moses heard God’s voice and saw God’s glory in Exodus 33, he likely didn’t want to leave God’s presence for the grumbling and stiff-necked children of Israel. If we truly grasped that we were meeting daily with the Creator of the Universe, would we rush through our time with God?
When Peter saw Christ’s glory on the Mount of Transfiguration, he proclaimed, “Master, it is good for us to be here” (Mark 9:5). Likewise, we should learn to love our time with God so much that we never want to leave it. “Time spent alone with God is never wasted” (author unknown).
Will you ask God how much time He wants to spend with you? Will you then ask Him to help you rearrange your schedule to accommodate that time?
The Power of Spiritual Feasting
God wants us to be healthy, not starving, Christians. We become spiritually healthy by partaking of the daily, private, early, and unhurried feast that God has prepared for us. As we feast on God’s Word we grow in Him and obtain the spiritual strength to do whatever he calls us to do.
Truly, finding meaningful time with God is the greatest key to the intentional Christian life. As Ravi Zacharias said, “The biggest battle you will face in life is your daily appointment with God; keep it, or every other battle will become bigger.”
Question: Billy Sunday once said “An excuse is a skin of a reason stuffed with a lie.” What excuses cause us to spend less time with God than we should?