Although the black ink on the fine paper of the Bible tells an accurate history, supplies data and universal truth, let’s read between the lines and pages to discover something more.  The Word of God overflows with rich personalized revelations and applications for everyone with open ears and hearts.  “Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says ...”  (Rev. 2:7).  This principle of  having a readiness in hearing God is throughout Scripture.  After all, we live by every word that comes from God’s mouth.

We naturally want to spend time with the one we love.  We find great pleasure in being alone and intimate with our closest friend.  We share and exchange our deepest, personal thoughts and secrets.  Can anyone on earth qualify for this “Best Friend” position more than Jesus Christ?  Can you agree with Psalm 73:25?  “Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.” 

In ancient times Christians entered a time of prayer by reading Scripture and listening with their hearts to hear what God was speaking.  He is the Word.  When we read the Bible we position ourselves to engage with HIm.  What a shame to neglect the One who loves us to death - His own death! 

Jesus had a quite time.  “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place where he prayed” (Mk. 1:35).  Surely we see the results of Jesus’ example who grew in wisdom, stature and favor with God and man (Lk. 2:52).  Maturing Christians follow the Lord’s life style, while casual Christians settle for mediocracy.  They are stunted in their spiritual growth.  To “quiet-time or not to quiet-time” demands an answer that rules your destiny.   

There are only two reasons.

Old Testament Law required a daily sacrifice - the continual burnt offering, a sweet-smelling aroma to the Lord.  In the New Testament, Hebrews 13:15 illuminates the outworking of the continual sacrifice of praise: “... let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.”  Our Father finds great please in those who worship Him (Jn. 4:23).  

We logically understand that spending time with God is a wise thing to do... for our sakes; but what about for God’s sake.  “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord: but the prayer of the upright is his delight” (Pr. 15:8).  We want to delight the Lord.  Listen with your heart to the exchange of flirtatious words between the Lord and his lover from the Song of Solomon: “My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away... Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away” (SS 2:10, 13).  Do you hear Him calling you to be alone with Him?  We bring great pleasure to the Lord when we purposefully make ourselves available and vulnerable to His influence.  We position ourselves to engaged in courtship that could lead to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. The bride makes herself ready; she has personal quite times with the Groom, and she reads His love letters (Scripture).  She brings Him much pleasure.  

“Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart” (Ps. 37:4). “Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full” (Jn. 16:24).  To quote these verses, hoping Jesus is the your Santa is absolute foolishness.  Scripture is lifeless ... until the on-fire Christian walks in deep fellowship with the Lord, knows His heart, fully agrees with Him and asks according to His intentions.  We can have anything we want as long as we want what God wants.  

How about doctrine, correction and righteousness!  Second Timothy 3:16 tells us that, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”  According to Hebrews 4:12, “... 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.”  Jesus plainly said that we cannot truly live life to its fullest on bread alone.  We need every living word that comes from God’s mouth.  We must hear Him speaking to us.  

From cover to cover, the Lord promises to provide
    Information for right living
    Encouragement to press toward maturity
    Power to overcome enemies, to be a witness and to glorify Him
    Peace to conquer and to rule well in His kingdom 
    Joy to demonstrate His strength to made perfect in our weaknesses.

Let’s listen, let’s feed, let’s live!  
All we need to do is set aside time with Him.  

1  Step One: Be still.  Find a private place where you can quiet yourself to intently read the Word, freely talk with the Lord and patiently listen to Him.  Let the Holy Spirit guide you in every aspect of this adventure.  He will probable lead you to get unplugged - ditch the electronics.  The key here is self-discipline to be where you should be, when you should be there and why - for the noble cause of becoming more like your “best friend forever.” 

2  Step Two: When?  Prayerfully select a time of day when you are most alert.  Jesus arose before sunrise.  Generally speaking, the world is not yet awake, and our minds are not cluttered with the clamoring demands of the day.  Musicians tune their instruments before their performances.  What a great example in “orchestrating” your day.  Intentionally schedule your sleep time so that you can rise early for devotions. 

Some prefer the end of the day which, biblically speaking, is the beginning of the tomorrow.  

Begin by spending a natural about of time in scheduled devotion.  Five to ten minutes may be a great start.  As your heart is warmed up and won by the Lord, the length of your reading and praying times will naturally increase.  When you miss a day, you’ll sense His absence. 

3  Step Three: Select the appropriate portion of Scripture.  Perhaps there’s a particular topic you feel led to study.  Use a topical or reference Bible to focus on your subject.  Perhaps you have been reading through the Bible from cover to cover; you need not interrupt that reading sequence.  The important thing is to 
read with a readiness to receive. Underline and highlight, draw lines between verses and phrases to visually connect the truths that God is speaking.  This works in paper Bibles and electronic Bibles as well.  Marking your text documents God’s history of speaking to you.  His personal word to you constitutes your only everlasting treasure.  It’s heaven’s gold in your spiritual pocket.  Get it while the getting is good.  God wants us to treasure and horde His word; it should never be lost.  These Bible markings become powerful references for future needs.   

4  Step Four: As you read the Holy Spirit will make connections between the words on the page and what is happening in your life.  At that moment God’s word begins to take on personal relevance, pause and reflect, meditate on what He is saying.  Engage in conversation with Him.  Talk with Him about His word and how it applies to your thinking, your conversations with others and your behavior.  

Talk to the Lord with thankfulness.  He’s been gracious.  Praise Him, for He deserves it.  Adore Him, because He is magnificent.  Intercede, because we should be caring for saints and sinners who need a fresh touch from heaven.  Petition Him, because He delights to answer our prayers.  Be sure to ask largely of the Lord; such requests honor Him and prove that we believe in His almightiness.  Contrariwise, ask for His involvement in the minutia of daily life.  He loves to show up in the details of our lives and prove His loving friendship. 

5  Step Five: Journal your thoughts.  Journal His thoughts.  Journal your growing relationship.  Written expression heightens the impression that God is making in your life.  God is a God of books.  He keeps meticulous records of innumerable details.  To be like Him, we too ought to keep records, especially of growing love relationship with Him.  Journal a little or journal a lot.  The only thing that matters is we keep and treasure, even horde, His everlasting Word to our hearts.  

Some prefer leather bound journal, other use restaurant napkins and sticky notes from which they build a scrapbook of God’s word.  Other prefer digital notebooks, even cell phone notepads.  Everyone has a preference.  What’s yours?  Meet with God, get your gold, record your gold and finally, share your gold.

6  Step six:  Share your experience with someone.  Your testimony of how you and God met through reading His word, prayer and journaling brings life to others.  We are judged by every word we speak.  Make it good.  Use your words wisely to accrue spiritual wealth. “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof... the tongue of the wise is health” (Pr. 18:21, 12:18).  

When our words are His words, we creatively set in action the course of His life.  He created all things through His word ... and He continues to do so with your mouth.  He actually used you and me to speak His life into others, to bring His will on Earth as it is in Heaven.  Share.  

Your conversation with the Lord may lead to surrender, confession and repentance, or thankfulness, praise and worship.  
Don’t limit where God may lead you 
in your thoughts, your will and your emotions.  
He gets you; 

MY WEAKNESS: My fallen nature caves to distractions and naturally resists approaching God as did the children of Israel in the wilderness.  They told Moses to go meet with God because they didn’t want to die.  Yes, meeting with God might result in the death of our fallen nature; yet, this is the process by which we enter into the life of our new nature in Christ. There is a supernatural exchange of our sin for His saintliness, our trash for His treasure.  Is it worth the effort? Interestingly ... we make this choice every day ... even by not consciously making a choice, we are making a choice.  
THE DEVIL’S STRENGTH: The devil is a liar and a thief.  He has an array of tricks designed to hinder you from meeting with the Lord.  He knows that when you get with Jesus you will become more like Jesus, and this his demise.  He is defeated and will be further defeated by Christians who are becoming more Christ-like.  Ask the Lord to restrain this enemy and empower you to get the rest you need so that you can rise early.  Ask the Holy Spirit to help you prioritize your values and place meeting with Him at the top of your list.   
You will always do whatever you want to do.  
Do God! 
Your priorities rule! 
Challenge: Create your personal priority list as you prayerfully journal before the Lord. Pray for grace to act upon that which you know is right.