Isn't it true? We pursue countless things without pursuing the one thing that matters most—time with God.
I was raised to believe in the importance of a "quiet time." To the surprise of some, that concept did not originate with the late Dawson Trotman, founder of The Navigators. It began with the Lord Himself.
The Scriptures are replete with references to the value of waiting for the Lord and spending time with Him. When we do, the debris we have gathered during the hurried, sometimes frantic hours of our day gets filtered out, like the silt that settles where a river widens. With the debris out of the way, we are able to see things more clearly and feel God’s nudgings more sensitively.
David frequently underscored the benefits of solitude. Most likely he became acquainted with this discipline as he kept his father's sheep. Later, during those tumultuous years when King Saul was borderline insane and pursuing him out of jealousy, David found his time with God not only a needed refuge, but also his primary means of survival.
When he wrote, "Wait for the Lord; / Be strong, and let your heart take courage; / Yes, wait for the Lord” (Psalm 27:14), David was intimately acquainted with what that meant. When he admitted, "I waited patiently for the Lord; / And He inclined to me and heard my cry" (40:1), it was not out of a context of unrealistic theory. The man was hurting; he was in great pain. And when he wrote: "Vindicate me, O Lord, for I have walked in my integrity, / And I have trusted in the Lord without wavering. / Examine me, O Lord, and try me; / Test my mind and my heart" (26:1–2), he wasn't whipping up a few pious thoughts to impress the reader. Those words splashed from the depths of his troubled soul, like the salty spray that explodes when waves crash against rocks.
Time with God? Who experienced its value more than Job after losing it all? In worship he wrote:
"Naked I came from my mother's womb,
And naked I shall return there.
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away.
Blessed be the name of the Lord." (Job 1:21)
His quiet trust didn't wear thin; the man continued to commune with his God. Remember his confession? What makes it even more remarkable is that he stated it while surrounded by those who accused him:
"But He knows the way I take;
When He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold.
My foot has held fast to His path;
I have kept His way and not turned aside.
I have not departed from the command of His lips;
I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my
necessary food." (Job 23:10–12)
That's it! That is exactly what occurs when we remove ourselves from the fast track and keep our appointment with the One who seeks our worship. His words become more satisfying than a good meal. What great thoughts He has preserved for us—what insights, what comfort, what reassurance!
The best part of all is that such divine breakthroughs come so unexpectedly. Though you and I may have met with God in solitude morning after morning, suddenly there comes that one day, like none other, when He reveals His plan . . . and we’re blown away.
Who would ever have guessed that an otherwise ordinary dawn would find an 80-year-old, over-the-hill shepherd staring straight into a bush ablaze but not consumed? F. B. Meyer wrote with eloquence about it in Moses: The Servant of God:
There are days in all lives which come unannounced, unheralded; no angel faces
look out of heaven; no angel voices put us on our guard: but as we look back on
them in after years, we realize that they were the turning points of existence.
Perhaps we look longingly back on the uneventful routine of the life that lies
beyond them; but the angel, with drawn sword, forbids our return, and compels us
forward. It was so with Moses.
Understand that those phenomenal moments are the exception—not the rule. If God spoke to us like that everyday, burning bushes would be as commonplace as traffic lights and ringing phones. The fact is that never again in all of time has the voice of God been heard from a bush that refused to be consumed with flames. You see, God is into original works, not duplicated recordings.
But never doubt it: He still longs to speak to pursuing hearts . . . hearts that are quiet before Him. Let’s start there.
A Daily Pursuit was written by Chuck Swindoll and used by permission of Insight for Living
Insight for Living's Bible teacher, Chuck Swindoll, has devoted his life to the clear, practical, application of God's Word and the communication of God’s grace. A pastor at heart, Chuck has served as senior pastor to congregations in Texas, Massachusetts, and California and most recently to the newly formed Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas. But Chuck's listening audience extends far beyond a local church body. As a leading radio program in Christian broadcasting, Insight for Living now airs in every major Christian radio market, through more than 2,000 outlets worldwide, in 11 languages, and to a growing webcast audience. Chuck's extensive writing ministry has also served the body of Christ worldwide, and his leadership as president and now chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary has helped to prepare and equip a new generation of men and women for ministry. Chuck and Cynthia, his partner in life and ministry, have four grown children and ten grandchildren.