(Based on a breakout session I led at the AriseAZ Women’s Conference 2021)
Do you have your devotional time, also known as a Quiet Time, so you don’t have to feel guilty for not doing it? Do you do your devotional time to cross it off your to-do list? Ever have “squirrels” running around you that cause you to get distracted? If so, let’s take a fresh look at the why? we have a dedicated time with Jesus. Answering the question why? might help us remember for what purpose we’re doing our Quiet Time.
Paul wrote in Philippians 3:10, “My goal is to know him and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings, being conformed to his death.” Notice his goal is to “know” Christ. This Greek word is “ginóskó” and it means to understand, to comprehend, to be acquainted, to know intimately. Paul’s goals had changed once he was introduced to Jesus, face to face with Christ. He no longer had a goal to be zealous for Judaism, his new goal was to actually know Christ, in an intimate knowledge of who He is. He already had some fast facts about Jesus, enough knowledge pre-conversion to want to destroy the new believers and prevent Christ’s church from going forth. However, post-conversion, post Damascus Road experience, his new goal was to know this Jesus.
Lee and I have been married for 4 years. We met online and on the website I was able to put in the basic facts of who I was looking to date/marry. He had to be a Christian, living in Tucson, 6’5” tall, had a job and could spell (I know, aiming high!), age 42-52 years, and be a widower (a widower sticks it out to the very end!) When I entered those qualities, Lee’s profile was the only one that popped up on my screen! So, I saw his profile picture. Then I read the first sentence of his profile introduction which read,
“The important things to know about me are as follows:
I am a Christian, I have been for over thirty years. It is the single best decision of my life. I seek to live my life in a manner that is pleasing to Jesus – not always successfully, but that is what grace is for.”
With my mouth and jaw open, I quickly looked at his photos again. This time I saw one of his selfies and he had the best smile in the picture! I was smitten. This guy loves Jesus. This guy knows the importance of knowing Jesus and living by grace. I finished reading the rest of his profile introduction and quickly pushed the “FAVORITE” button. I said a quick prayer, “Lord, let this be the one.” He contacted me the next day. We dated for two months, got engaged for two months, and married on June 24, 2017.
Now, if I showed up on our wedding day and said, “I know enough about you now, that’s all I want,” that would make for a miserable ‘until death do us part.’ I knew on my wedding day, without a doubt, that I wanted to do life with this guy. I wanted to laugh, cry, debate, discuss, play basketball, go fishing, take walks, eat at yummy restaurants, watch movies, watch dumb tv shows, and just do life with him! I wanted to know his likes, his dislikes, his cares, his concerns, his favorites, his goals, his personal traits. This is the kind of relationship I wanted when I stood at the front of the church that day in June 2017. This is the kind of relationship I want with my Savior, and this is why I spend time with him every day. “I want to know Christ.” Paul was so passionate about this that his life pre-conversion and post-conversion looked radically different. He wanted his life to be about Christ.
When you think about your “why” when you have your devotional time, is your goal to know Christ?
Jesus said to his disciples in John 15:15, “I do not call you servants anymore, because a servant doesn’t know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything I have heard from my Father.” Jesus called his disciples friends. As believers now, we are called friends. He has revealed everything to us through his word, just as he told his disciples. We are his friends! We are friends with God! How is that possible? God loved us so much that he made this possible through Christ. Do you spend time with Christ through prayer and His word because you are friends? Or, do you get bogged down into the head knowledge of the Bible and never have a conversation with him as friends? He calls us friends and He’s a very good friend to have.
Finally, one of my favorite why’s of spending time with the Christ is because He invites us to be with Him. Revelation 3:20 says, “See! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” Jesus invites us to be with him. One of my favorite activities is eating out, but not just by myself. I love eating out with those I love. Eating good food, talking, and just being with my friend is such a life-giving time for me. Not only do we need our time with Him, He actually wants to share that time with us as well! What a privilege we have.
Maybe when we get distracted, too busy, or just don’t even show up to spend time with Christ, we will double check our why. What’s our goal, what’s our desire? Jesus died on the cross, raised to life from the grave, and wants to have fellowship with us. Now, don’t go beating yourself up if you miss a day, or a few days. Return to him, and delight in him whenever you take the time. He is with you all day long and loves you all day long. Do life with Him.