Finally, we are at the fourth and final part of my quiet time, which includes Bible Reading, Meditating on His Word, Listening to the Holy Spirit and Speaking in Tongues.
First, I Read the Bible.
I usually start my Bible reading with a devotional written by a Christian writer whom I trust. I love reading insights into God’s Word from different perspectives. I have read many devotionals — new and old, written by men and women and written by a diverse group of writers — and some I’ve read more than once. They are short, edifying and filled with insights that I may not know or that I need to be reminded of. Or I’ll listen to a Podcast or watch a sermon from a Christian leader. I’m an audible learner, so listening to biblical insights helps me to grow in my spiritual understanding. Then, I read my Bible, so I can be “equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy3.16-17). Sometimes, I’ll focus on one book in the Bible, like Isaiah. Other times, I like to read the Bible from beginning to end. I’m currently reading it for the fifth time. I highlight verses. Make notes. Contemplate what I read. Imagine the story in my mind. And apply it to my life and current situation. That leads to the meditating portion of my quiet time.
Second, I Meditate on What I Read.
The world would like to tell you that meditation means clearing your mind of everything, which in my opinion is impossible. We are described as vessels in the Bible and vessels are meant to be filled: “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us” (2 Corinthians 4.7 KJV). Instead, meditation means filling our minds with God’s Word — both His Written Word (found in the Bible) and His Spoken Word (found when He speaks directly to us). A verse or word from the Lord will resonate with me, and I’ll think about it, allowing the Holy Spirit to guide me into a deeper meaning of its truth and that truth will give me a new freedom that I never had: “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8.32 NLT). Meditation takes what we read and hear and brings it from our minds to our hearts, transforming us closer to the image of Christ (2 Corinthians 3.18).
Third, I Listen to the Holy Spirit.
Sometimes the Holy Spirit has a lot to say. Other times not so much. However, I open my ears to His spoken words. I also keep my ears open to His words throughout the day, but during my quiet time, it’s more of a focused measure to listen. God is looking for people with whom He can share the secrets of His Kingdom plan. In fact, the Bible says that God doesn’t act until He has revealed His plan to someone: “Indeed, the Sovereign Lord never does anything until he reveals his plans to his servants the prophets” (Amos 3.7 NLT). A prophet is someone who simply sits with God and listens to His Words and shares them with others, and you and I are both called to listen and share. What an exciting concept that our mighty God wants to share His thoughts with us! Plus, the Holy Spirit wants to guide us. He knows the beginning to the end, and we get an edge in life when we ask His opinion, listen for what He wants to reveal to us and secure the insights He has for our life, family, friends, callings and circumstances.
Last, I Speak in Tongues.
I wasn’t blessed with an instant ability of words of tongues pouring out of my mouth like I’ve read and heard others have experienced. My speaking in tongues started with a desire to learn it because I knew it was valuable. I read books about the topic, and I started practicing in the privacy of my closet. Now I can do it easily, and I have faith that what I am saying is making a difference. There are many things happening in our world and our lives that we don’t know and, therefore, we can’t pray about. However, the Holy Spirit knows everything. So when I speak in tongues, I’m allowing the Holy Spirit to pray on my behalf because I don’t want to miss a single blessing, opportunity, breakthrough, etc. that God has for me. “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God” (Romans 8.26-27 NIV).
So there you have it. My quiet time in a four-part nutshell. It may seem like a lot, but I can go through the process fairly quickly because I’ve done it for so long. However, it may change. God may add more. Life is always unfolding and morphing, and God loves doing new things. We just need to perceive them and move with His Holy Flow (Isaiah 43.19 NIV).
And like always. Be blessed.
Listen to the Podcast for this meditation.
This meditation is based on an article in my book, Reframing: 40 Days to Reframe and Refresh Your Life.