by Rick Warren — June 30, 2023
From 40 Days in the Word
“The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
1 Samuel 16:7 (NIV)
If you’ve been a Christian for long or visited a church a few times, you’ve probably heard about a “quiet time.” It’s a time that you set aside every day to spend time with God—and it’s essential if you want to grow as a Christian.
There are different ways you can go about having a quiet time, but the most important thing is that you start with the right attitude.
In God’s eyes, why you do something is far more important than what you do. It’s possible to do the right thing but with the wrong attitude! God told Samuel, “The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7 NIV).
When you come to meet with God in a quiet time, you should have these attitudes:
Expectancy. When you meet with God, it should be with eager anticipation, like you might have when you meet with a close friend. Expect that you’re going to have good fellowship and that you’ll receive a blessing from your time together. That was what David expected: “O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you” (Psalm 63:1 ESV).
Reverence. Don’t rush into God’s presence. Instead, prepare your heart by being still before him as you begin your time together. The prophet Habakkuk said, “The LORD is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent before him” (Habakkuk 2:20 NIV). Starting with quiet reverence helps clear away any thoughts that might be distracting you.
Alertness. Don’t start your time with God sleepy and exhausted. Instead, get wide-awake first. The best preparation for a morning quiet time begins the night before. Go to bed early so you’re rested and alert and ready to meet God in the morning. He deserves your full attention!
Willingness to obey. You come to a quiet time expecting to hear from God, and you should decide beforehand that you’re going to obey what he says. Jesus says, “Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own” (John 7:17 NIV). Come to meet God having already chosen to do his will—no matter what.
Come to your quiet time with expectancy, reverence, alertness, and a willingness to obey. And get ready to see God work through your time together!