On Saturday I listened to an inspiring Christian woman speaking about godly priorities while cleaning my room. Later that same day, while I was folding underwear and sorting socks, I heard another famous woman interviewed on a highly revered Christian website. As her voice streamed through my laptop, my hopes for a meaty message quickly faded. I was left feeling parched. Yes, she mentioned God, spoke about prayer as well as other true and good things, but never communicated God’s own words. Most of her words were about her.
More than any other time in human history, we have countless opportunities to hear and learn from God’s Word: radio, television, internet, books, church, CDs, Sunday school, small groups, conferences, magazines, DVDs, blogs, YouTube, email, Facebook, etc. Certainly there are messages and interviews worth hearing that point us to God. It takes some work, but we can wade through fluff and find solid biblical teaching.
My concern, as I get to know myself better and listen to others around me, is that we too easily depend on the testimonies of other humans. Before realizing it, my own quality time with God slips away. Unless the words of others springboard me toward further personal study in my Bible, munching from the crumbs of other people’s spiritual meals soon leaves me depleted, hungry.
If I allow this spiritual malnutrition to continue, my starved self turns to my husband and children, friends and pastor, to feed me, to fill me. I open my refrigerator, go shopping, listen to music. My emptiness echoes in my soul, and when women come to me for counsel I give them my helpful opinions and good ideas instead of God’s. At times my family feels the brunt of my ugliness. I’ve allowed the potential fruit of the Spirit to wilt and rot. Then finally, after the damage has been done, I end up where I should’ve been in the beginning: on my knees and in His Word.
Do you have a daily quiet time with God alone? I understand, it can feel nearly impossible at times with the busyness of life. Do you enjoy listening to Christian radio but sometimes let that take place of your quiet time? What about church – do you tank up on the sermon and small group lesson, hoping it will carry you through your stressful week?
Dear sister, we need “just God and me” time. If it means getting up earlier, staying up later, shutting down the computer, getting away from the house for awhile, turning on a good video for our kids, declining an invitation from a friend, hiring a baby sitter . . . we will only be PEACEFUL and USEFUL when we spend time with God. Alone.
Stay tuned for ideas to help you develop a quality daily meeting with God.
Special thanks to The Narrow Gate for the picture above.