March 23, 2023
Getting Out of My Quiet-Time Rut
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“You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.” Psalm 63:1 (NIV)
Do you ever find yourself in a rut with reading your Bible?
Uninspired, unmotivated … and maybe a little guilty that you feel that way?
Even as a Bible teacher, I have days when my quiet time with God just feels more routine than full of revelations.
Having quiet time is a good thing. Prayer and Bible reading are spiritual disciplines I want woven into my life every single day. But I’m realizing even good things need to be switched up sometimes.
Otherwise, I might start seeing my time with God as less important. It becomes the second or third thing I do. After other things. Seemingly more pressing things. Before I know it, it’s been days since I connected privately and personally with God and His Truth.
And then my soul feels off-kilter and sluggish. Like the time in between breakfast and lunch when my stomach has been denied food, and desperation starts creeping over other parts of my body. That happens with soul hunger too.
The triggers for stomach hunger are much more apparent. My brain quickly reminds me, You feel awful because it’s lunchtime and you need food! But sometimes my brain isn't as quick to pick up on soul hunger.
So I just keep moving forward but wondering, What’s wrong? I think of a list of reasons: I’m tired, I haven’t had enough fun, the weather has been blah, or my hormones are off. And some of those things may be true, but they’re not why my soul is depleted.
I need more time with God. And not just more quiet time. I need more listening time. Like the writer of Psalm 63:1 needed when he said, “You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.”
Recently, as I sat with God with nothing but willingness to listen, some fresh ideas popped into my mind, and I want to share them with you. Here are three ways I'm listening to God:
I read Bible verses or my morning devotional before I check anything else on my phone. I ask God to help me apply what I'm reading to my life that day. I worship. I listen.
I pick up a biblically based book written by someone I admire, and I glean from their godly wisdom. Right now, there’s a book I’m reading that is whimsical and grounded all at the same time. It makes me feel like this writer gets me. They get my struggles and offer up advice I know I can trust. I listen.
Rather than trying to predict the future, I can trace God’s faithfulness in my past. He was faithful then. He will be faithful now. I can breathe in His promises for today. Shake off the anxiety. And be filled with deeper assurance of His presence. I listen.
Maybe you think all this still sounds like quiet time, but to me it's different. It's listening time. A time to shake things up a bit and get outside my normal routine. A time to listen to God speak. And He does speak — through His book of wisdom, through people I admire and trust, and through His own faithful character.
And this morning? My soul felt that thrilling and comforting full feeling. Complete. Satisfied. Deeply nourished.
Friends, time spent in God’s Word is indeed never wasted.
Dear Lord, my deepest desire is to grow a stronger relationship with You. Help me to break out of any rut I’m in so that I can connect with You and hear You speak. I want my faith to be the most reviving and energizing thing about my life. Cultivate in me a heart that longs for time spent in Your Word. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
OUR FAVORITE THINGS
Do you ever feel like it’s hard to hear God’s voice above all the chaotic noise competing for your heart’s attention? The struggles. The worries. The hurts and betrayals. That’s why we’re so excited about our next Online Bible Study! Together, we’ll be reading Lysa TerKeurst’s new devotional, You're Going to Make It: 50 Morning and Evening Devotions to Unrush Your Mind, Uncomplicate Your Heart, and Experience Healing Today, as we develop an intentional plan for staying connected to God that can apply to the rest of our year. Sign up now.
Find real-life encouragement when you connect with Lysa TerKeurst here on Instagram.
FOR DEEPER STUDY
Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (NIV)
Seeing how this verse describes the Bible as “alive and active,” how might that change your perspective next time you begin your quiet time? Let us know in the comments!
© 2023 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
P.O. Box 3189
Matthews, NC 28106
Originally published Thursday, 23 March 2023.