How to Build Consistency Into Your Quiet Time
By Rick Warren
— February 26, 2012
“But more than anything else, put God's work first and do what he wants. Then the other things will be yours as well.” (Matthew 6:33 CEV)
Everyone struggles with quiet-time consistency from time to time. Know that if you’re struggling with it, you’re not alone! The good news is that with a common problem comes some common solutions. Next time you find yourself struggling with your daily quiet time — or even before you start to struggle — try some of these solutions:
1) Make a covenant. Commit to God that you’ll spend at least some time — even if it’s just two minutes — with God every day of your life. Put your commitment in writing. A covenant is just a promise that you’ll spend time with God every day, not because everyone else is doing it, but because you want to spend time with Jesus.
2) Put it in your weekly schedule. Put it on your Day-Timer, your computer, your phone, or wherever else you keep your schedule. Block out a set of time in advance to meet with God every day, just as you would a doctor's appointment, a business lunch, or a meeting with your boss.
3) Be prepared for the attacks of the devil. To be forewarned is to be forearmed. The devil will do whatever he can to keep you away from your time with God. Be on your guard and prepared for the attacks.
4) Do it for six weeks straight. Psychologists say it takes about six weeks for a habit to develop. It takes about three weeks to get familiar with a new task or new behavior. It takes about another three weeks before it becomes a solid habit in your life. Most people have never been successful in being consistent in their daily time with God because they've never made it past the six-week barrier without missing a day.
A habit is kind of like a ball of twine. Every time you drop it, a lot of strands are unwound. During this time period, you can’t allow the just-this-once mentality. When you drop that ball of twine, it doesn't just unwind once, it unwinds a whole bunch of times. Any act of yielding to a temptation weakens the will and strengthens your lack of self-control.
5.) Depend on God-power, not willpower. You can only succeed by the power of God's Spirit. Ask God to strengthen you and give you the mind of Christ, so you'll depend on him to help you develop this habit. If you just depend on willpower, you don’t have any hope to stay consistent.
Jesus wants you to spend time with him. He died on the cross to give you fellowship with him. You don’t have time not to do this. Jesus said in Matthew 6:33, “But more than anything else, put God's work first and do what he wants. Then the other things will be yours as well.” Make time for God, and it’ll change your life.
Talk About It
- What steps will you take today to become consistent in your quiet time?
- Why do you think a consistent quiet time with God is critical to your Christian growth? How does your answer to this question line up with the way you have a quiet time?
Learn how to be a DOER of God’s Word.
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller The Purpose Driven Life. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.
This devotional © 2012 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.