As 2013 was drawing to a close, God had begun to shake my spiritual foundations to the core. I suspect so He could put down new ones.
I had my one goal in place for the upcoming year and was attending a new Bible study that had revolutionized my relationship with Jesus. One night a wonderful lady stood up and gave her testimony about her quiet time with the Lord, and her words left me speechless. When she enters into her quiet time, she sits in her favorite place and visualizes she’s there with Jesus, simply having a conversation with Him. Her place is her front-porch swing, but you can really pick any place that represents peace and calm and openness to you. (You can actually do this wherever you are, even if you are on the other side of the world from your special place. Just close your eyes and picture yourself there! That’s the beauty of meditation.)
Why had I never thought of this before? Why had I just always talked at Him and not to Him?
In case the concept of spending quiet time with God is unfamiliar to you (as it was to me for a long time), it’s basically taking time either within your normal prayer time or throughout the day to get silent before God and listen for His voice. The Bible tells us in John 16:13:
But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.
The Holy Spirit wants to talk to us. But He is a gentleman. He will not attempt to compete with the noise around us, or shout to be heard over Netflix, or force us to listen at all, if we are determined not to.
Think about it. If you had a friend who was always talking, talking, talking but never stopped to take a breath and listen to what you had to say, would the friendship last very long? Our relationship with God is much the same way. It can be either as shallow as we settle for or as deep as we are willing to go.
Well, I decided I was tired of the kiddie pool. I wanted to go deeper with Him. I wanted to know Him more.
I wanted to know Him all I could.
The place where I began to visualize myself talking to Jesus was in front of my fireplace with a cup of coffee. And that is where my quiet time is spent to this day. Warmth to me fosters communion and closeness and conversation. I sit by my little fireplace with my cup of coffee and picture Him there with me and invite Him to join me in my quiet time and tell me anything He wants me to know. Most days don’t start until I’ve had my fireside chat with Jesus. My prayer time has never been so rich or so sweet. We don’t hurry, Jesus and me. We take our time. Sometimes I talk first; sometimes I simply wait. It’s becoming easier and easier to close my eyes and see Him sitting there beside me, coffee mug in hand.
Sometimes He speaks to my spirit. Sometimes we sit silently. I tell Him funny things. I tell Him serious things. I ask Him questions. Sometimes He answers. Sometimes He doesn’t. Sometimes I picture us toasting our coffee mugs together in celebration when something really good happens.
But whatever we do, it’s beautiful.
It’s beautiful and uncertain and even a little vulnerable, inviting Jesus to join me in the midst of whatever mess I’ve created this week.
It’s all about patience and childlike faith and a willingness to wait.
As are most worthwhile endeavors in life.
I’m learning God wants to speak to us, and we have to offer Him the beautiful silence to do so. When I quiet my heart and my thoughts and just draw close to Him, I begin to hear His still, small voice in my spirit. Today I urge you to stop talking and stop asking and stop begging and stop requesting and just get silent in His presence and listen. Who knows? His still, small voice might just blow your mind.
God, thank You for the sweetness of Your presence. Show me how to not just talk at You but to listen to You. Remove any distraction that would keep me from hearing Your still, small voice.
Excerpted with permission from Beautiful Uncertainty: Singleness, Surrender, and Stepping Out on Faith by Mandy Hale, copyright Amanda Hale.
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Today’s assignment for those of us who realize we’re in the kiddie pool and want to go deeper: Sit quietly with God and listen. Take your time. Don’t hurry. One of the things God spoke to me about recently is that while I pray with audacity, boldness, and tenacity, it’s not nearly often enough with gentleness, peace, and quietude. I tend to pound Heaven’s doors fervently praying for family, my kids, and friends who are in trouble or in need instead of sitting quietly (in body and in spirit) asking Him to speak. To my surprise, the Lord very lovingly told me to quit my prayer monologue and give Him a turn! He invited me to listen and to enjoy His company. How lovely is that? Today, will you join me in listening? What is God saying to you? Join the conversation on our blog! We’d love to hear from you about your daily coffee with Jesus! ~ Laurie McClure, Faith.Full