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Friday, May 18, 2012

quiet time?

33But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. ( KJV)  Matthew 6:33
One popular denomination puts a great deal of emphasis on what they call ‘quiet time’ and the need for reading the Bible and prayer.  Now there is absolutely nothing false about our need for reading the word and communicating with the Lord.  That is utterly and extremely vital if we are to be strong Christians and make heaven out home.
The difficulty comes in when an attempt is made to regiment our study and prayer.  A recent ‘devotion’  from one of the preachers in this group said: Everyone struggles with quiet-time consistency from time to time. Know that if you’re struggling with it, you’re not alone! The good news is that with a common problem comes some common solutions.  And following that statement is a list of things we can do to MAKE ourselves more consistent in maintaining our ‘quiet time.’  There is more emphasis on the ‘quiet time’ than on WHY our daily fellowship with God is important.
The solutions consist of making quiet time part of 1) making a covenant with God; 2) writing the ‘quiet time’ into your weekly schedule as in writing it in your day planner; 3) being prepared for Satan to oppose and interfere with your ‘quiet time’  4) maintaining your ‘quiet time’ appointment consistently for six weeks so it becomes a ‘habit’ and finally 5) depending on God’s power to make it happen.
The devotion began with a scripture.  But more than anything else, put God's work first and do what he wants. Then the other things will be yours as well.” (Matthew 6:33 CEV) The same one I quoted at the beginning of this page.
Here is where the problem comes in.  The emphasis in the modern translation is skewed away from the intent of the Word.  The emphasis is on Works (which is strange because this denomination emphasizes that our salvation is not by works…. )  The emphasis in this translation is on doing the works of God.    This takes away the true focus of what Jesus was saying. 
Many people condemn the KJV as old fashioned and poorly translated, but here is the difference right here.  Notice what the KJV says 33But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.  When we seek to DO before we have found the essec nce of the kingdom of  God and His righteousness keeping that time with God is very difficult.  We can only seek the kingdom and righteousness by getting intimate with God, by spending deep one on one time with Him.  It doesn't happen by 'doing the works.'
When we have been born again, consecrated to serving God in ‘spirit and in truth’ and not just trying to serve him in a superficial professing way, it is not hard to find time to read the Bible or pray.  It is something our love for Him compells us to do.
When we are born again and consecrated to understanding and serving God from the heart out, we are drawn constantly into the Word.  It honestly does become as vital to us as eating and breathing.  We become so hungry that we are pulled to God’s table, just as when we are hungry our entire focus becomes getting something to eat.
Think about it.  We don’t have to ‘schedule’ a time to eat everyday.  We come to the kitchen automatically when our stomach begins to rumble!  We don’t have to ‘schedule’ a specific time to take a breath.  It is vital to us, we automatically remember to do it. 
When we have been truly born again, when the old man has been destroyed and we are ‘new creatures in Christ Jesus’ our need for communication with the Heavenly Father becomes as compelling for us as eating and breathing.  Now just like eating, we can choose not to eat and if we do that long enough, we lose our appetite and may eventually even die.  It is exactly the same with our communication with God.  Our inner man will yearn toward that time with God, but we can ignore him, just like we ignore a rumbling stomach sometimes.  Eventually we won't feel the desire any more.
There have been those who chose for various reasons refuse to eat for long periods of time.  There have been incidents when those people died.  If we deny the hunger of our soul we will die spiritually. 
Search your heart. Are you having difficulty ‘scheduling’ your ‘quiet time?’  Do you have to remember to read your Bible?  Do days go by without your spending time with God?  Have you forgotten to eat lunch or dinner during those days?   Where exactly does your devotion lie?  Are you truly seeking after the things of the kingdom and the righteousness of God?
Religious denominations have things backward today.  The emphasis is on things and activities-- going to church regularly, attending bible study, dressing in a certain way, helping out at the food pantry or homeless outreach.  But any sinner can do those things.  Those things aren’t evidence of our relationship with God.  Evidence of our relationship with God shows in our dedication to living our lives pleasing to Him; it shows in our willingness to lay aside sins and habits of the flesh and being determined to comprehend all that he wants us to d;  it shows in our desire to spend time with Him in our 'closet' of prayer and time with the Word.  Instead we rely on providing outward evidences of our salvation—being in church services and bible studies, working in the congregation etc.
If we are having to schedule our Bible reading and prayer in order not to forget it, we are taking hold of the wrong end of the stick.   The bible reading and prayer times come AFTER and BECAUSE OF our consecration to the kingdom of God and His righteousness.  If our Bible reading and prayer times are difficult to maintain, we should be searching our heart to see how consecrated we are to the kingdom and His righteousness.
Once the consecration is there you will WANT to spend time with Him.

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