Ron read his Bible every day. In fact, he read through the Bible every year. He did this for six years… until the day he left his wife and family to indulge his lust, fulfilling his deepest fantasies. Eventually he ended up divorced and in prison.
Can it be possible to be in the Word daily and it not impact your life?
According to James, the answer is yes! James gives us the picture of a person who looks at himself in a mirror then walks away forgetting what He has seen. He warns, “Do not merely listen to the word and deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” (James 1:22)
How can you deceive yourself as you read the Bible?
In Matthew 7, Jesus tells the story of two men. Both of them heard the word. Both of them had houses that looked great. Both of them faced a storm. There was one key difference – what they did in response to what they heard. The wise man put into practice what he heard and it laid a solid foundation for his life. The foolish man heard, and did nothing.
Can’t you just picture…“I have a quiet time every day. I’m so spiritual.” and then boom, down crashes the house! The foolish man may have even had a bigger and better house than the wise man….before the storm! He was deceived into thinking because he spent all that time hearing the Word he was secure.
Applying what you are reading is so vital. But this doesn’t come naturally. It takes time to learn how to intentionally do this.
Recently I met with a student and asked what she did for her quiet time. “I usually read a few chapters in the Bible and write down notes about the things that stand out to me.” When I asked her how she was doing applying what she was reading she replied, “Not very good. I just never know what to do.” Too big a bite can choke you! After we shared a quiet time together where we meditated on one verse she found it much easier to apply. It wasn’t anything huge but did it ever impact her life!
A good way to begin is to encourage them to do an application they can accomplish in five minutes within the next 24 hours. Remember, they are learning a new life skill, and a new discipline. You don’t tackle a marathon your first time running! As Jesus said in Luke 16:10, “He who is faithful in a very little thing will also be faithful in much.” (NAS)
As we get together weekly, she sees how I apply the word to my life. This “picture,” along with seeing the results in my life, is helping her learn how to apply what she hears and reads. Granted, this means I have to be diligently applying what I’m reading!
About a year ago I went back through my quiet time notebook to highlight the applications I’d completed. It was very humbling! So in January I got out a new calendar and used each day’s box to record my application, checking it off when completed. Each Sunday I would take time to evaluate how wise I’d been the previous week. As a result, I started to complete more of my applications – and have been astounded at the transformation effected in my life.
Want to teach someone how to have a quiet time? Check out these resources you might find helpful in sharing a quiet time with someone.