Quite Time With God


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This is a book on Quiet time with God with a practical approach giving information on how to have quiet time in a systematic way

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Quite Time With God

  1. 1. Quiet time with God
  2. 2. Quiet time with God Quiet time With god By G John thimothy 2
  3. 3. Quiet time with God Quiet Time with God Copyright © 2010 by G John Thimothy All rights reserved, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means – electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording or any other – except for brief quotations in printed reviews, without the prior permission of the publishers. Cover designing by Johns George and Kiran Paul 3
  4. 4. Quiet time with God About the Author G John Thimothy was born and brought up in Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh. He completed His B.Tech in Electronics and Communications. He was born again in the year 1989 at an Evangelistic Union Camp held at Bhimili, Andhra Pradesh. He was baptized at a local assembly in Sriharipuram, Vizag. Later he moved to Chennai and is working as a software engineer. He married K. Mahala Nissi and is blessed with two daughters Abigail Thimothy and Rebeccah Thimothy. He resides at Arumbakkam, Chennai and is in continuous fellowship with Nungambakkam Christian Assembly. He wrote books on Christian Hospitality, Kingdom of Heaven. His third book is on Quiet time which gives a quick start on Quiet time to students and graduates. 4
  5. 5. Quiet time with God Preface This book contains edited and expanded transciptions of the messages delivered by me at the Discipleship & Leadership Training programes. These messages were first spoken to a listening audience comprising of college students and working professionals who are at different stages and different locations in south India. We tried to make this material as simple as possible. We drew the outline and suggestions based on the Scripture. Bro. Kiran Paul K and Sis. Debbie Julius helped me in editing and formatting to a book format. In sending out these messages, our prayer is that it should encourage and build every child of God and help them in God's ministry G John Thimothy 5
  6. 6. Quiet time with God Quiet time With god 6
  7. 7. Quiet time with God Index 1. Introduction 3 2. Purpose of Quiet Time 6 3. Preparation for Quiet Time 10 4. Material for Quiet Time 23 7
  8. 8. Quiet time with God I. Introduction "The men who have most fully illustrated Christ in their characters, and have most powerfully affected the world for Him, have been men who spent so much time with God as to make it a notable feature in their lives. . . . To be little with God is to be little for God" (E.M.Bounds). If we observe the lives of Godly people in the Bible and out of the Bible, they all practiced early rising. We don’t find the word "Quiet Time" but we see the word "Early Morning" in the bible. Another term we use in our daily life is "Morning Watch". The phrases in Christian living "Early Rising", "Quiet Time" and "Morning Watch" are one and the same. When we observe the lives of Godly people we simply find out that the secret of victorious Christian life is their Quiet Time. A Quiet Time is an unhurried time spent quietly in Bible reading and prayer. As such, it is crucial to our relationship with God. 8
  9. 9. Quiet time with God Quiet Time should always include Bible reading, but it won't necessarily include in-depth Bible study. So when meditating on Scripture, we need to be sure to understand what the passage means before we attempt to apply it to our life. Godly people who practiced Quiet Time: In Bible we find God’s servants rising up early in the morning. Let us consider their examples. Abraham—Genesis 19:27, 21:14, 22:3 Jacob— Genesis 28:18 Moses—Exodus 8:20; 9:13, 24:4, 34:4 Joshua—Joshua 3:1; 6:12, 7:16, 8:10 Gideon—Judges 6:38 Hannah—1 Samuel 1:19 Samuel—1 Samuel 15:12 David—1 Samuel 17:20 Job—Job 1:5 Mary—Luke 24:22, Mark 16:9, John 20:1 The apostles—Acts 5:21 9
  10. 10. Quiet time with God Jesus Christ rose up early in the morning: While it was still night, He went away to a desert place to pray (Mark 1:35). When He wanted to appoint the twelve apostles, He called them to Himself early in the morning (Luke 6:13). If our Lord had to rise up early to do these things, how much more do we need to rise up early. There are many servants of God who are not mentioned in the Bible like George Muller, John Wesley, Bakht Singh and many others who rose up early in the morning to spend time with God and they emphasized on early rising to their congregation as well. "And Abraham woke up early in the morning to the place where he stood before the Lord" (Genesis 19:27). We can see three great things in this verse 1. He got up early in the morning 2. He had a special place to meet God 3. He did it daily. According to Galatians 3:29 "And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed" we are sons of Abraham by faith in Jesus Christ. Our father Abraham practiced Quiet Time and our Saviour Lord Jesus Christ also practiced it. We too need to have our "Quiet time" every day without fail. 10
  11. 11. Quiet time with God II. Purpose of Quiet Time The purpose of Quiet time is five fold a) Fellowship with God: “ Let us get up early to the vineyards; let us see if the vine flourish, whether the tender grape appear, and the pomegranates bud forth: there will I give thee my loves.” (Song of Solomon 7:12). Early morning is the best time to fellowship with the Lord. To have fellowship means to open up our spirit and mind to God and allow Him to enlighten us, impress us and touch us (Psalm 119:105,147). During this time our hearts are drawn near to God and we allow God near to our hearts. Lets give an opportunity to God to talk to us. It was said among the faithful Christians that if you spend time properly with God, there is guarantee that your relationship in other areas is proper. At a national seminar for Christian teachers and workers, a survey was taken where the question was asked, "What will you be most ashamed of when you get to heaven, and what will you wish you would have changed?" The overwhelming response was, "My personal devotional life." Have you ever floundered in your devotional life 11
  12. 12. Quiet time with God because you didn't have a regular time? You did a little here and a little there, but it just didn't seem to work out. This frustration is common, and it can be solved by understanding two simple but powerful principles: “timing and recording”. b) To get strength for the day: Christian life is a battle against the world, sin and devil. During day time we wrestle against spiritual forces. Ephesians 6:12. We need to rise up early in the morning to prepare ourselves for the battle. An interesting point is as Christian we fail to raise up early but the enemy is always eager to rise up early and plan for the day to attack Gods children. Let us read this verse. “Wicked people rise in the morning to deceive and to plan evil against the world. He who blesses his friend with a loud voice early in the morning, it will be reckoned a curse to him”. (Proverbs 27:14) and they rise in the morning to execute the plans of the evil. “Woe to those who scheme iniquity, who work out evil on their beds! When morning comes, they do it, for it is in the power of their hands”. (Micah 2:1). 12
  13. 13. Quiet time with God c) Requisite for Devotion: “At daybreak, Lord, You hear my voice; at daybreak I plead my case to you and watch expectantly” - (Psalm 5:3). “But I will sing of your strength and will joyfully proclaim your faithful love in the morning. For you have been a stronghold for me, a refuge in my day of trouble” - (Psalm 59:16). “God, you are my God; I eagerly seek you. I thirst for you; my body faints for You in a land that is dry, desolate, and without water” - (Psalm 63:1). “But I call to you for help, Lord; in the morning my prayer meets you” - (Psalm 88:13). “Long for you in the night; yes, my spirit within me diligently seeks you, for when your judgments are [in] the land, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness” - (Isaiah 26:9) d) Executing Gods Commands: “And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.“ (Genesis 22:3) e) Discharge Daily Duties: She rises while it is still night and provides food for her household and portions for her servants. (Proverbs 31:15) 13
  14. 14. Quiet time with God III. Preparation for Quiet Time 1. Rise up early in the morning: Unless we are sick or recommended by doctor not to rise up early, we must rise up early morning. Set apart an hour or so to meet the Lord. Only sick people need more rest. If we are healthy and over-worked, then also we need to practice early rising. Set a time early in the morning say 4:30 am or 5:30 am. Consecrate that time for the Lord. No other work should over come this time. This practice may lead us to disciplined life. 2. Change your position: "And Abraham woke up early in the morning to the place where he stood before the Lord" (Genesis 19:27). Both Abraham and Lord Jesus Christ had special place to meet God. To meet God, Jesus Christ rose up early in the morning, while it was still night. He went away to a desert place to pray (Mark 1:35). So don’t stay on the bed after you have woken up. At the appointed time get down from the bed and kneel down or stand or sit aside, off the bed. 14
  15. 15. Quiet time with God 3. Selection of place: The place we select should not distract our mind. It is Quiet time. We need to be Quiet within and also the surrounding should be Quiet. It is the time to know God. "Be still and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10). “Job's friends sat down with Job for seven days and none spoke a word” (Job 2:13). Let us have at least one hour a day with much Quietness. 4. Cleanse your heart: Our heart deceives us a lot. We need to ask Him to cleanse our heart. Ask Him to break your spirit so that you are ready to gather manna. “The sacrifice pleasing to God is a broken spirit. "God, you will not despise a broken and humbled heart". (Psalm 51:17) 5. Seek the leading, guidance and blessing of the Holy Spirit in your Quiet time: Ask God for His guidance and intervention in making us understand what He has in store for us each day. 15
  16. 16. Quiet time with God Problems in Setting apart some time for God Set a Definite Time: Once we’ve decided that developing a friendship with God is a priority, setting a definite time to develop that friendship is important. The time we set becomes our standard. After it is established and practiced, only then we can be flexible with necessary changes. Make a definite time to meet with the Lord, no matter whether it is morning, noon, or night. I personally prefer it should be early hours (say morning 4 am or 5 am at least minimum of 15 minutes). Setting a definite time enables us to avoid several pitfalls. The pitfalls we avoid are Laziness and Legalism: By being definite, we avoid the pitfalls of laziness and legalism. People can quickly fall into these two extremes. One extreme says, "I know God loves me so much that He accepts me no matter what I do." In other words, "I can be a little lazy about what I do." On the other hand, some of us are still so unsure about God's love for us that we are working all the time to make sure God loves us. We have become legalistic. We know this has happened when we feel overly guilty if we miss one day with Him. 16
  17. 17. Quiet time with God God said, "I have loved you with an everlasting love" (Jer. 31:3). He will never love us more than He loves us right this moment. His love for us and its certainty is the only motivation that can change laziness and legalism. Setting a regular, definite time will fan the fire of that motivation. Inconsistency: Establishing a definite time can also help us avoid the pitfall of inconsistency. Being inconsistent is probably the most common problem of all. Having a set time in our schedule and working to meet that schedule helps us to be consistent. When we don't, the attitude soon becomes, "Well, I met with Him a couple of times this week, and I will meet with Him a couple of times next week." Before we know it, we begin to miss entire weeks, and the warmth of our relationship cools. Interruptions: A set time can also help us avoid the pitfall of interruptions. If we have set an appropriate time, we won't run into those interruptions that spoil our enjoyment of being with Him. How often have we started reading our Bible or praying, and somebody knocks on the door? Little Johnny comes in and says, "Daddy, look at this bug I found!" or "Daddy, can you 17
  18. 18. Quiet time with God please come here and turn the light on for me?" Murphy's Law applies in the spiritual dimension too. If anything can interrupt your Quiet time with God, it will. But we can avoid many of those interruptions if we set the right time and the right place. Not only are there external interruptions but internal ones as well. For example, one of the biggest internal interruptions is the nagging urge to clean up our cluttered desk to clear up unfinished work. How many times have we sat down to read the Scripture or pray and noticed an unfinished letter, a newspaper, a magazine, or a project? The next thing we know we've used up all the time we planned to spend with the Lord because we thought we should finish up one more little thing. My wife is very practical when it comes to a cluttered desk. She brings a big towel into our study room and covers the desk. Then she is not distracted by "to do" lists or unfinished projects staring her in the face. We need to set a time and choose a place where we are least likely to be distracted by things we need to do. Always anticipate interruptions. They will come and destroy or dilute our time with God. 18
  19. 19. Quiet time with God Jesus met alone with God. Mark 1:35 tells us, "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." Jesus often went out to be alone, but it was hard for Him to find solitude. He sometimes had to get up long before everyone else, because He was surrounded all the time by people and their needs. David had set times for God (Ps. 5:3; 59:16). He also ordered to set times for praise and thanksgiving at the temple (1 Chr. 23:28-32). Being realistic: When we set a definite time to be with God, we must be realistic about our schedule and sleep needs. Then we must decide for ourselves the best time to meet with God and set our schedule accordingly. I say this for two reasons. Not only is it the best time for us, but it becomes the best time we have for God. It is time we are giving to Him, and we want to give Him our best. God knows when we have interruptions, important meetings, deadlines, sick children, doctor appointments. If we have only 10 minutes to give to the Lord, most of us will say, "I can't get anything out of 10 minutes," so we don't spend any time at all. This 19
  20. 20. Quiet time with God is the root of the problem. Rather than seeing time with God as moments with a friend, we see it as time during which we accomplish something only for ourselves. We need to give those minutes, rather than say, "I can't get anything." If we gain this attitude, the quantity will begin to rise to its own level of importance. The more I love my wife, the more time I want to spend with her. The more you grow in your love for God, by using the many short moments you have to express that love, the more your time with Him will grow. You will want to spend more time with Him and not do it simply because you feel an obligation. We will not deepen our relationship with the Lord, of course, if we take only 10 minutes each day. We need longer times as well. Yet, the more often we give to Him the short, tight times, the easier it is to give Him longer times. It is when we keep that definite time with the Lord that the longer, less frequent times become more meaningful. Please don't misunderstand. Be careful to take as much time as you can, but do it with a heart that wants to be there. 20
  21. 21. Quiet time with God Keep the Same Time Each Day: The second principle of timing is that once you've set a definite time, keep that time the same. It is much better if we will set a time and keep that time the same every day than to set one time on Monday, another time on Wednesday, and another time on Friday. Unless your schedule demands that, and sometimes it may, set a standard time at the same hour daily. There is a very good reason for this. Our minds work in patterns and structure. When we start doing something at a set time every day sitting down at our desks, or going to work, or getting on a plane-our minds go into a gear or a channel. We begin to function and produce according to the mind-set we develop for that time. We are creatures of habit. Thus, having the same time for meeting with God will move us into spiritual gear. Our minds will be receptive for spiritual things at that time. Now for those whose schedule changes frequently, or whose work-shift changes from time to time, consistency of time becomes harder. But God in His grace knows what responsibilities He has given us. He knows the circumstances He has allowed in our lives. 21
  22. 22. Quiet time with God And He will help us adjust to meet that situation. It should always be the goal, though, to have a pattern whenever possible; because that is the way the mind works best. Spend Enough Time: The third principle of timing relates to the question of how much time we spend. Because meeting with God is a love friendship, the length of the time is inconsequential. If you're in love with someone, you don't count the minutes, except for the minutes you can't be with him or her. Yet, what is crucial is spending enough time to accomplish our purpose. Accomplishing our purpose: If I were engaged to be married and could be with my fiancee only 5 minutes a day, I wouldn't be accomplishing much toward building a deep friendship. So we need to be sure that the time we spend is enough to accomplish our goals for that time. Ten minutes a day is probably not sufficient to achieve any meaningful goal. Twenty or thirty minutes is a minimum for getting our minds in a receptive gear, thinking through what we have gained, and then making it work in our lives. There is one exception to this principle. If you are starting devotions for the first time, start with a minimum of 22
  23. 23. Quiet time with God 10 minutes and build a habit. Then stretch it to 20 or 30 as soon as possible. Simply give God all you've got. But strive for enough time to accomplish your goals for meeting with Him. Multiplying your time: One other question often arises regarding the time we meet with God. We are often tempted to think that we don't have the time to spare. The opposite is true, however, because it will save us time. Proverbs 10:27 says, "The fear of the Lord adds length to life." The Living Bible translates this same verse, "Reverence for God adds hours to each day." Experience bears this out. Martin Luther used to say that he had so much to do in a day that he couldn't afford not to spend at least 4 hours in prayer. He discovered the truth that time spent with God is never misused, only multiplied. This is true because God sharpens our minds, calms our fears, strengthens our memories, and enables us to do our work more efficiently. A person in tune with God will always be effective in his work. The inner peace, which time with God gives, enables us to do more quality work with more energy left over at the end of each day. Time spent with God always yields time for yourself. The more you give, the more you receive. 23
  24. 24. Quiet time with God Avoiding the problem of habit: An important benefit of having a set time for God is that it helps to avoid the problem of habit. This may sound contradictory, but read on. Time with God does not always have to be 50 percent reading the Bible and 50 percent praying, or 75 percent this and 25 percent that. We're creatures of habit and we generally like things to be set and predictable. Now habits can be helpful, but they can also be hazardous. They can be harmful because we can begin to dig roots so deep that they keep us from becoming flexible with what the Spirit of God may be impressing us to do. There may come a time when the Spirit of God says, "Study that passage a little longer, because there are some truths I really want you to learn." Or He may say, "Spend your whole time today studying the Scriptures. It's more important to me that you understand this truth. I plan for you to use it soon." Or He may say, "There is someone I want to put on your heart. Don't stop praying because it's 6:50. I want you to pray the whole time because this person needs your prayers." We need flexibility and willingness to bend our habits within the time we have set. If we find ourselves doing the same thing every day, we should 24
  25. 25. Quiet time with God try a change and be ready for an urging from the Spirit of God. Having a set time will help produce sensitivity to the Spirit because of the consistency. A sporadic time will more easily lead to ruts, because we try to pick up where we left off and often find ourselves covering the same ground. Try to prevent your Quiet time from becoming mechanical. Have same time every day. Pray on the verses. Mix Prayer, devotion, praise Together. Learn to pray out of the scripture passage rather than being the same every day. Use the word as basis for praise and petition. Top 3 questions to ask when you read a passage Observation, Interpretation, Application 1) Observation - What are the common words used. What can be the title of this passage? Who is writing? Whom it is written to? When it was written? 2) Interpretation - What does the passage mean in the context? Why is it written here? 3) Application - Is there anything I can learn from this?. How can i practically use it? 25
  26. 26. Quiet time with God IV. Material for Quiet Time a. Bible: In Quiet time we need to have a bible with us. It is better to have a separate bible for quiet time which we don’t take for Bible study or regular studies, which is not underlined. Early morning is the time to gather manna. The gathered manna will be eaten in day time. So, gather the word of God early in the morning. Read a small portion. Don’t read too much. It is good to have a short passage each day. Repeat the reading on these verses only. While repeating the study you can mix reading with prayer, singing and praising. b. Prayer: Let the prayer be prayer on the verses. Then the life of the verses will get into us. This is anointing. Which will be helpful throughout the day time travel in this world. If the reading brings a sin in us to light, lets confess it. If we feel someone lacking in that area, bring them to the presence of God and have an intercessor for them. Lets not blame them. But confess their sins before the presence of God. 26
  27. 27. Quiet time with God Note: ACTS Principle Adoration - Psalm 96:5 Confession - Psalm 32:5 Thanks giving - Philippians 4:6 Supplication. c. Note Book and Pen: It is to note down all the key thoughts of the passage with a theme for it. We can also fill the notes at late night after God led us through the day by the word of God. In the morning the notebook may contain promise of God, sins we confessed, any key word found, any example to follow etc. Lets try to spend more time on God and His characteristics rather than writing notes. A Quiet time record is simply a written journal of your daily Quiet time with the Lord. Our record needn't be fancy or complicated. A simple notebook will do. 1. For greater retention, consistency, and accountability recording our thoughts each day helps us retain what we have learned. It also develops greater consistency in our Quiet times, and holds us accountable to the truths the Lord has taught us. 27
  28. 28. Quiet time with God 2. Your Quiet time gives you principles to reflect on each day through the daily Bible input. As that occurs, God has a greater opportunity to change and enrich your life as a result of your reading and meditation. 3. For increased analytical and organizational skills learning to identify key truths from Bible passages sharpens your discernment and helps you organize your thinking. 4. For tracking personal growth as you record the things God impresses on your heart, over a period of time you'll often see trends in how He's dealing with you in key areas of your personal growth. 5. For sharing with others as you continue to meditate on the Word, you'll build a reservoir of biblical truth from which to draw in dealing with others. Often the Lord will direct someone to you who needs to hear the very truth you've discovered that day. 6. As you read a portion of Scripture, you may want to make notations in the text for future reference. Some common notations include using brackets around important phrases, circles around repeated words or phrases, lines in the margin, or underlining or highlighting what impresses you. 28
  29. 29. Quiet time with God 7. Read the portion several times, looking for the key thoughts or principles. Often the verbs (words showing action) are the keys to unlocking the meaning of the text. 8. Complete your Quiet Time Record as follows: Date: Record the current date of your reading. Today's Reading: Record the reference for the day's reading. Initial Observations: Record the key thoughts or principles you observe in the text. Appropriate Applications: List some ways you can apply the principles you've observed. Keep in mind the importance of understanding what the text really means before attempting to apply it to your life. If in doubt, do further study or apply principles you're sure of. 29
  30. 30. Quiet time with God By not practicing it may lead to a. Poverty: How long will you stay in bed, you slacker? When will you get up from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the arms to rest, and your poverty will come like a robber, your need, like a bandit. (Proverbs 6:9-11) b. Defeated life: Wicked people also practice the early rising. They do for planning deceitful weapons against us. If we fail to practice we will be defeated by them. If one blesses his neighbor with a loud voice early in the morning, it will be counted as a curse to him. (Proverbs 27:11) Woe to those who dream up wickedness and prepare evil [plans] on their beds! At morning light they accomplish it because the power is in their hands. (Micah 2:1) c. Regular Practicing Shows spiritual maturity: Besides this, knowing the time, it is already the hour for you to wake up from sleep, for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is nearly over, and the daylight is near, so let us discard the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. (Romans 13:11, 12) 30
  31. 31. Quiet time with God Review Questions? a. What is the major secret of a successful Christian life? b. Give 3 good lessons that we can learn from the life of Abraham regarding Quiet time. c. Give 5 fold purpose of Quiet time. d. List 5 hints to remember in preparing for Quiet time. e. What lesson about Quiet time do we learn from Psalm 46:10 f. Name three things to take with you regarding Quiet time. g. Describe the division of time in your private Quiet time. i. How can we prevent our prayer from being the same every day? j. What do you find to be the greatest hindrance to our Quiet time? k. Is there any warning for us for not practising a regular Quiet time? 31
  32. 32. Quiet time with God Other book by the Author 1. Kraisthava Aaadhithamu in Telugu 2. paraloka Raajyamu (4 volumes) in Telugu 32
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