– Helps for Sitting Alone With God –
“Walk ever deeper into the sea of
God’s love, become immersed,
buoyed by His Presence,
living out life’s purpose
to His glory.”
Going Deeper by Louise Bass
Dear one, when you first begin to sit alone with God, for the purpose of being with Him, just because He is God, it is common to soon regret that you did not make time for Him earlier in your life. Please do not linger too long on this regret. Instead, just be grateful that you are now seeking a closer relationship. For sadly, unknowingly, many Christians never do.
“Come near to God, and He will come near to you.” James 4:8 NIV
Preparations for Sitting Alone with God
This discipline is a battle to be won; preparation is necessary. If you have to run after something you need during your quiet time, it is likely that you will get distracted, cut short your time with God, or omit it completely. Believe me, even straightening a sofa pillow may lead to forgoing quiet time for a day. Satan is crafty and we are weak. The following suggestions are meant to be beneficial, but if any idea listed below becomes between you and growing in God, let go of it. Freedom in fellowship with God is yours.
How often should I meet with God?
Meet as close to daily as possible.
Do the best you can to meet with Him, while living in obedience, and He will be honored.
Prepare a day ahead – you will be more likely to succeed:
Explain to household members of your plans for a quiet time.
Decide what time will likely work best.
Satan hates this, so he will try to trip you up, don’t let him.
If necessary set an alarm for your starting time.
Early morning is less likely to be interrupted.
Prepare a quiet-time place:
Decide on a private place to meet with God, a place where you can be alone.
I know of a person who used a friend’s basement.
You will need an upright chair and a flat surface in front of you.
This can be as simple as a folding chair with a T.V. tray.
If your location is cool, have a blanket or sweater handy.
Arrange adequate lighting.
You will need a Bible – preferably one that you can write in,
writing paper, pen, tissues, and an alarm clock.
To Avoid Distractions:
If your time for sitting with God is limited, set an alarm clock for the time you must conclude. This will keep you from checking the clock, and losing focus. If your time with God is usually short, schedule a few other times during the week to meet with Him unencumbered. God is the lover of your soul, He waits for you to come to Him. And as you meet with Him your life’s focus will likely move toward that which most honors Him. Have beside you a pen and pad of paper. Each time a distraction pops up, write it down, and return to your quiet time. It may happen ten or more times. Writing it down will free you from worldly distractions, and allow you to remain focused. When you are done, you may find that you have your to-do list for the day. Also, use the notebook to record any insights God gives you. You may think that you will never forget such an insight, but from my experience, you will unless it is recorded.
Things to Incorporate: Also See Below ***Bible Reading
Before reading the Bible pray for understanding and retention for God’s ultimate purposes. Begin a prayer list in your notebook – let God will’s add to it. Continue to pray for those on your list. Do not use this time for completing a bible study. I have a friend who loves God, but was doing study, instead of a quiet time, and God said to her, “Why do you not have time for Me?” He wants our full attention. Sit in silence: no music, it can distract us from God’s still small voice, and take us away from the teachings of scripture. Omit all background sounds, no washer agitating, etc. Coffee? Will the making of it cause you to forego the quiet time? It has done that to me. Bible reading: read the Bible for what it is, God’s letter to you. Read it, not hoping, but believing. If you doubt, ask God to give you greater understanding. Enjoy it.
Do not read to finish a certain amount. Stop reading when you are not absorbing the content, and simply consider what you have read. Some days you may read chapters, other days you may become absorbed in a few verses. God can teach us a lot bit-by-bit. Quantity – if you desire to do a read-the-Bible-in-a-year plan, do it. But I suggest that you do such reading at the end of your quiet time. For quiet time is best carried out with the focus on sitting alone with God, not with a goal of accomplishment.
Quiet time is a time to share loving fellowship with our Holy Father. The Christian life will become ever more difficult until Christ’s return, so hold all your descendants up in everlasting prayer, for God honoring prayers never die. Spend some time sitting with only thoughts of God’s holiness, talking to, and thinking, about Him and who He is, for only God is holy. As you sit with God, you will develop your own unique time of fellowship. For each of us, according to God’s design, is unique, just as each child is unique to his, or her, parent. But please, please, don’t fall into the common belief that you are being still with God while simultaneously praying while walking, jogging, driving, or any other activity. True, we are to pray continually, it is good, excellent, but it does not take the place of a quiet-time with God. If that were true, our most intimate hours with our loved ones would be spent while multitasking? Time alone with God is singular, SINGLE, focused. Many do not want to hear this, for they are, as of yet, unwilling to give God their full attention. Sadly, Man generally prefers to give his full attention to others – rather than to God…that is…until a personal relationship begins to developed.
Keep doing your best to meet with God. The time alone with Him may become the greatest blessing of your day…of your life. Always be aware that Satan will try to convince you that you will never be able to keep it up, and that your efforts are useless. Don’t listen to him! Remember Satan condemns, God convicts.
***Bible Reading: If you are newly seeking God through His Word, please do not read a devotional before reading His Word, and completing your time alone with Him. One needs to develop the ability to discern whether or not a devotional was written for God’s purpose or the author’s purse. For a devotional, I can confidently recommend My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers. His book is spiritually deep, at first difficult to understand, but readers grow into depths of greater understanding throughout years of reading. I am on my second copy, having completely worn out the first. But even though it is excellent, I do not read it until the closing of my time with God. If ever I do, I am determined to throw it away. Many people talk about wanting to know God, while skirting around the Bible, reading who-knows-what, instead of God’s, known to be, Inspired Word. This has never made sense to me. If you want to know God, sit with Him, read His Word, pray, talk, and listen to Him. And then lovingly, gratefully obey Him. For Jesus says, in John 14:15, “If you love me you will obey my commands.” God’s commandments are meant to protect us, while bringing glory to our only source of Holiness, God the Father, through Jesus the Son, and the Indwelling Holy Spirit.
I did not accept Jesus Christ until I was sixteen. Before that, I had lived with a reverence for God, and had attended church regularly. At the time that I accepted Jesus nothing noticeably changed. I thought I was living as God would have me, but I was not. How do I know? Because change happened – eighteen years later. The change came when I began sitting alone, reading my Bible, and praying. From time alone with God I began living in the daily reality of God. The difference was amazing then, and is even more so now.
No, the change did not make life easier, at times it seems more difficult, but easy does not necessarily equate with good. Such change gives life purpose, God’s purpose. Nothing, absolutely nothing tops that. This website has been prepared to help believers make room in their lives for God to become their mentor. For you cannot know, what you do not know, until you know it. The saying, “Ignorance is bliss,” is a lie. Knowing about God, but not knowing Him is a tragedy, even the life that society deems hugely successful. For daily dying to self for the sake of God’s glory is life, life in spiritual abundance.
If you have not had years of sitting alone with God, and want to discover what often happens when one does, please consider reading Bob Sorge’s Secrets of the Secret Place. BUT please, do not read it during your quiet time. Don’t cheat God of yourself, or you of Him. God desires to be your mentor, and He is the best! Read Sorge’s book later. I found that Mr. Sorge is very gifted in his ability to organize and excellently state many of God’s quiet-time teachings, making Truths easier to share with others.
Oh, remember this. On the ‘days’ that you do not want to meet with God, and there will be some, respectfully tell Him, ask for forgiveness, and do it anyway, even if it is only for a few minutes. So, are you wondering why I say this? Just do it, and you will know. 🙂
(I don’t know who wrote the following essay. In 2008, I found it tucked in a stack of discipleship material.)
Quiet times work. Prayer and Bible study change us, and the people around us. Our values alter once we start meeting regularly with God. Some things that once seemed important shrivel, while others swell in significance.
We see people differently. We pity people we once feared, and pray for people who once enraged us. We will, to be sure, approach problems differently, feel different about our work, our studies, our job, our future. Our goals will have changed so that life slowly takes on new meaning. The changes are understandable since we are influenced by our creator God who we spend time with daily. But do I recommend that we have a daily quiet time solely for these reason? As a matter of fact, no. There is much more to be gained. To commune with God is to touch both infinity and eternity. We have opened a window to both a beyondness and an immediacy which time and space are powerless to provide and which we can experience in no other way. The most widely read person has only rubbed shoulders with a few obscure professors or dipped into a selection of the world’s great books, a contradictory jumble of finite perspectives. Yet we are invited to private tutorials with the ultimate fountain of wisdom.
We are invited to collaborate in the creation of destiny, not be a mere spectator but a coauthor. God does not want to determine all things in splendid solitude by the word of his power. He wants the painting of the future to be a family project in which we all play a part under His benign direction. Earth’s policy makers are but actors in a drama written in heaven, and we are offered a pen to do some of the writing. Can we imagine anything better?
Yet not even for any of these reasons but for love’s sake would I urge us to met God daily! As the deer pants for water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? Psalm 42:1-2 Our quest must be that of a suitor, too blinded by beauty to descend to calculating self interest, too intoxicated with love to care about the cost or the consequences of his suit. It must be the love of Mary, sitting at Jesus’ feet, enchanted by his words and grace, but deaf and blind to the frustration of her resentful sister. An enchantment of that sort will not be broken, nor its pleasures denied. It is time we forgot about our spiritual performance and our spiritual needs and give ourselves up to passion. Beautiful” you sigh. “I wish I felt that way. But I don’t love God like that. So what can I do? How do I love when my heart is cold? When all I experience is the nagging guilt of knowing my love is a sorry thing not worth offering?”
But wait. A moment ago when you read the words of the psalmist, wasn’t there a faint stirring of envy in you, an echo of the longing the psalmist expressed? If there was, and it matters not how feeble, then your love is not absent but suppressed. It lies dormant beneath the weight of unbelief and discouragement.
Our love for God lies within many of us like a coiled spring, inactive but straining for release. It is a potential volcano, a dangerous thing that we fear to set free lest we shall have to cope with raging fire. Unless we take the risk of loving, we will only be half alive. But we should not be afraid of the longing within; it is more than matched by the greater longing of a God who planted it there.
Come then for love’s sake. Come boldly defying fears. Enter into a love pact to meet Christ daily. Come trembling to confess inadequacies. He is gentle and will understand. He will not force us or hurry the pace beyond what we are able to tolerate. Come to His footstool. Come trusting. And come for love of Him.
O LORD, I KNOW I AM NOT WHAT I OUGHT TO BE;
AND I KNOW I AM NOT WHAT I COULD BE;
AND I KNOW I AM NOT WHAT I WILL BE.
BUT THANK YOU, LORD THAT I AM NOT
WHAT I USED TO BE. AMEN
(I have found the following article a wonderful encouragement to have tucked inside my Bible. For occasionally, the reliability of God’s written Word is challenged. When it is, I pull it out, and read it, or give it, to the one doubting its authenticity, and replace it with a new copy for the next time it happens.)
THE RELIABILITY OF THE BIBLICAL DOCUMENTS
The Bible was written over a sixteen-hundred-year period by 34 to 40 different writers in twelve different countries. Though it is composed of 66 different books written in three different languages, there is a profound unity of its teachings and message. Modern scholarship and archaeology have examined manuscripts and Biblical records. The findings substantiate the reliability of the Bible.
The Old Testament is composed of 39 books. For many years the oldest known manuscripts in existence were dated at 900 A.D. These manuscripts were the product of a group of Jewish scribes known as Massoretes. How could one know whether the Massoretic Text was pure or whether it had been contaminated by time and multiple transmissions? If a manuscript much older could be found, the comparison of the two would prove the validity of the Massoretic Text.
In 1947, in the caves around the Dead Sea, ancient scrolls were discovered which contained Isaiah 38-66 in thousands of fragments. These Dead Sea Scrolls were dated at 150-70 B.C. That is a text 1,000 years older than any other known Old Testament manuscript. A comparison of the Massoretic Text with the Dead Sea Scrolls showed very insignificant variance in the text, primarily spelling and word choice.
Scholar R. Laird Harris concluded, “We can be sure that copyists worked with great care and accuracy on the Old Testament, even back to 225 B.C. Indeed, it would be rash skepticism that would now deny we have our Old Testament in a form very close to that used by Ezra when he taught the Law to those who had returned from Babylonian captivity.” The Old Testament is reliable.
The New Testament, composed of 27 books, was written in Greek and was substantially complete about 100 A.D. About 4,000 Greek manuscripts, in whole or in part, are in existence. (4) One of the oldest fragments, John 18:31-33, was discovered in Egypt and dated at about 130 A.D. This is not more than 40 years after original composition.
Regarding the New Testament text, Sir Fredric Kenyon says, “The interval, then, between the dates of the original composition and the earliest extant evidence becomes so small as to be in fact negligible, and the last foundation for any doubt that the Scriptures have come down to us substantially as they were written has now been removed, Both the authenticity and the general integrity of the books of the new Testament may be regarded as finally established.” The New Testament is reliable. No other book of antiquity has as many manuscripts or evidence of validity as the New Testament.
Taken from the workbook: ‘Lessons in Christian Discipleship.’ First printed in 1979.