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Re-Booting Our Quiet Time in 2016

by Cathy Baker
It is of no use for you to attempt to sow out of an empty basket, for that would be sowing nothing but the wind. -Spurgeon

I’ve attempted to sow from an empty basket for longer than I ever imagined possible. One day turned into two, and those melted into three, then four.

Maybe you can relate?

His voice slips into the background of our days. That is, until we need to hear from Him the most, and it’s then, in that quiet moment, we realize just how empty our basket really is—void of His power, strength, and wisdom.

“Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it.”

Perhaps I’m not the only one in need of a fresh start when it comes to spending time with God.

If not, I invite you to join me in asking God for a teachable spirit as we spend this month immersing ourselves in learning (or re-learning?) what it means to be still and know that He is God.

After all, if we keep doing what we’re doing, we’re going to keep getting what we’re getting.

Not sure about you, but I don’t want to settle for anything less than God’s best for me. Too often in 2015 I went to gather encouragement, soul-keeping rest, and love for the unlovely from my basket only to come up empty. I was spent, discouraged, and distracted.

While we can’t do anything to make God love us more (or less), we can draw near to Him through His Word, in prayer, and simply being still in recognition of who He is.

His nearness fills the emptiest of baskets.

Hope you’ll join me this month as we’ll peek into the quiet times of some of my dearest and most Father-loving friends every Monday. On Wednesdays, we’ll consider additional ideas to spur on our time with the Father.

Welcome to the January series, Drawing Near to God. It is a blessing to have you here.

 

 

Breathing New Life Into Our Time With God

Are you a creature of habit?

Confession: I use the same coffee mug for my morning brew (it’s 10 years old), enjoy almond butter toast every day by 7:30 a.m. and I use purple pens only for poetry. I also have the propensity to stick with the same routine when it comes to spending time with my Maker. 

The good thing about habits is that they provide predictability. 
The bad thing about habits is that they provide predictability.

On the one hand certainty brings stability, which inherently leads to comfort. We know what to expect and when to expect it. (I feel comforted already.) 

On the other hand some things can become so ordinary, so predictable, that its uniqueness wanders and wanes—including our time with God—if we’re brutally honest with ourselves. (My comfort level is quickly dwindling.) 

Time with God can look different for everyone, as well it should. As for me, I’ve done the same thing for many years (surprise!), including journaling, reading His Word, praying aloud, and studying. In recent years, however, I’ve sensed a need to kick predictability to the proverbial curb by trying fresh ways to connect with my heavenly Father, such as: 

  • Taking a walk around my backyard, thanking Him for even the slightest hint of creative handiwork. 
  • Singing to Him. 
  • Journaling with instrumental music playing in background.
  • Releasing the “doing” part of the time (studying, journaling, etc.) and simply “receiving” what He reveals to me in His Word.

Most recently, I signed up with Christ Notes to receive a randomly selected daily verse. I write it in my journal along with answers to the following questions:

  • What word or phrase speaks to me? 
  • What do I need to hear today? 
  • How do I respond?

You may want to give it a try! It’s not what I’ll use every day, but varying my time with God breathes life in to the routine and renews an appreciation for the fact that He didn’t create us to be robots, but rather, His children. 

And children are rarely predictable. 

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be
called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world
does not know us is that it did not know him. 1 John 3:1

How about you? Have you tried something new during your quiet time? Please share in the comment section! 

 

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