Luke 9: 23 says, “If anyone would follow me (be my disciple), let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” The point I want to focus on right now is about our daily habits. We can’t go many days without eating (and we certainly like to eat every day); we cannot live more than a few days without water; we have to sleep regularly, mostly every night. If we don’t go to work or school every day, we won’t last long in those endeavors. If we don’t do these things every day, we will languish, and diminish, and die.
I submit that if we don’t focus attention on our spiritual lives every day we will eventually wither and die spiritually. Because God wants so much to have a personal relationship with us, He gives us many, many extra chances to choose Him, so we won’t die forever (2 Peter 3:9). If we want to have a vibrant relationship with God, we must do it daily. We have to choose, this day, to serve Him. (Joshua 24:15) If we don’t eat daily, we won’t grow and develop properly physically; and if we don’t seek God daily, then we won’t grow and develop properly spiritually.
If anyone wants to draw near to God; if they want to develop a personal relationship with God; then they must focus their attention on God every day. The best times I have getting to know God better are the times when I take the time to: 1 Read the Bible and a devotional and let it soak in a little; 2 Read the prayer requests that I have received and think them over; both about the physical needs requested and about the spiritual needs that are represented by those requests; and then 3 kneel and talk to God; tell Him how much I want Him and how much I need Him in my life; about how thankful I am that He loves me and is taking care of me; about how much I love Him and how much I want to be more like Him and less like me, how I want to die to myself so He can live His life in me; and then I 4 wait; (and while I’m waiting), I try to 5 listen for God about the needs in the prayer requests and how they relate to the Bible passage and the devotional. .
I am truly astounded at how God speaks to me and helps me focus on the issues that are most important, and understand and discern 1] the meaning of His message(s), 2] exactly what to pray for; and 3] what He wants me to do about the prayer requests. And in the process I develop a better, closer, more intimate relationship with God. When I experience the morning quiet time in that way, I’m astounded at the things that God tells me, and the sense of God’s Presence I feel.
This must be what Mother Teresa was talking about when she had an interview with a reporter who asked about her prayer life. He inquired, “You must pray a lot. What do you say when you pray?” She said, “I don’t say much, mostly just listen.” He said, “Well, if you mostly just listen, what does God say?” She replied, “He doesn’t say much, He mostly just listens.” The confused reporter asked, “If nobody is talking, what is the point of praying?” Mother Teresa calmly indulged him, “If you don’t understand, I’m not sure I could explain it to you.” (source unknown). From Study Guide for Out o’th’ Bushes, © 2016, by Tex Tonroy