Updated: Apr 25, 2021
After building the conviction based off of what is written in Acts 17:11 and Luke 5:16, that I needed to spend time with God in his word and through prayer every day, my relationship with God started to progress more deeply. I went from only reading a scripture a day to really trying to understand how the word of God applied to my life, and what God was trying to say to me during each season. I was not only reading the stories I was familiar with or verses that were comforting and uplifting, but as I was seeking maturity through Gods Word, I also drew nearer to scriptures that pointed out how I needed to grow and change in my character.
Some of the most difficult scriptures for me to embrace were the ones that spoke about God's sovereignty. As it says in Matthew 5:45, it rains on the righteous and the unrighteous. I remember going through a particularly challenging time of loneliness and disappointment. As I sat before a dear friend in despair and confusion about why God chose me to endure sadness in this way, she replied in a sweet, gentle, and soft voice "God is just Marcia." Yes, God is just. He is fair. He is impartial. I still don’t know why I’ve gone through certain rejections, failures, or embarrassments, but at the end of the day, God is God. I can think of many reasons for why God chooses to allow me to go through trials, like His desire to humble my heart, wanting to get the ultimate glory from a situation, for me to only be able to attribute a victorious outcome to His miraculous power, or simply just wanting me to keep feeling the need for a relationship with Jesus. Whatever the reason, at this point I’m trying to submit to the fact that above all else God is God, and he can do whatever He wants, even if it is at what feels like my expense. This is still so hard to grapple with but I think for me, although surrendering to this aspect of God is not easy, (maybe one day it will be easy) it’s important that my heart desires to get to the point of total surrender to all parts of God.
As I continue on my journey with Christ, and being completely at peace with how God has allowed my life to play out, I am feeling so much more desperate for my time with God in the word, through prayer, and worship. In recent weeks, I’ve found myself so afraid of making the wrong choice or walking down a path God has not intended. I’ve prayerfully and tearfully recited James 1:5 in hopes that all my decisions are aligned with Christ. Sometimes I’m still unsure and I think only time will tell, but I also have faith the all things really will work together for my good, and that even though I may not be able to see it at this moment, God will be able to do immeasurably more than all I could ask or imagine in every space I exist in my life right now. My hope is that after all the scripture reading and memorization, prayer walks, and prayer time with friends and family, that God is able to take all I’m investing in with my resources and time in this very tender and uncertain season and make it prosper. (Dear Heavenly Father please put your hand on every part of my life. Go before me. Please allow me to feel your presence in every space I exist, and I pray that you bless me beyond my wildest dreams).
In the past, even after realizing the importance of time with God, my quiet times went through phases. Sometimes I felt that they were really compelling and other days I felt they fell flat. There would still be days where I would just have what I’d like to call a "caffeine shot" quiet time. It was just enough to last me through work, but who knows, after I get off at the end of the day, I might be crashing with emotions everywhere. Part of that was also not sharing my emotions with godly women, and betting that my one verse for the day was always all that was needed to keep Satan away. Please know that I'm not saying that there is a specific formula for quiet times with God or that there is a specific amount of time one needs to have with God for there quiet time to count. I believe based on scripture and Jesus's example that time with God in His word and through prayer should happen every day. I feel that everyone's quiet time is going to look different, and that the Holy Spirt will reveal to each person what they need in order to grow their own personal relationship with God each day. I am certainly not the standard for which others should measure there quiet time with God, but what I can say is that there were days when I felt God nudging me to wake up sooner to spend time with him and I didn't. There where also times when God was saying "wait I still want to talk with you" but I rushed away to check out what was happening with social media or to get my day started in other much less important ways then listening to and communicating with God. Thank God for His grace because more often than not my one little verse helped me survive many challenges, but I am encouraged that God is allowing me to enter into a new phase of my walk with Him and develop a deeper yearning to spend time with Him.
Circumstances this year have shown me how imperative it is that I spend a significant amount of time with God and go further in my times with God because I'm gaining more responsibility, and my life has become more complex with unpredictable changes. I'm realizing that more frequently I may be called to make decisions really fast. Some days I don’t know what God is doing, but what I do know is that I never feel like my quiet times are quite long or deep enough. Over the past several mornings, I just want to keep praying and reading my Bible to become more thoroughly equipped for my day. Eventually, like Hannah in 1 Samuel chapter one, I find the strength to go on my way and fulfill my tasks for the day. I so desperately want to consciously make Spirit-filled wise decisions, and when I have a quiet time that cuts my heart and gives me comfort knowing God has gone before me, then I can be still knowing God is God.