Overcoming invasions of intimacy with God
1 Kings 18:42; John 15:4
We all have problems in our quiet times. Of all the problems of meeting with God, there are four big ones that loom like giants:
Giant 1: Loss of Concentration
“How do I increase concentration and keep my mind from wandering?” Before you go any further, answer this question on a separate sheet of paper. What are four causes of concentration loss for you? Prayer is our most effective giant killer for all kinds of concentration breakers. After that, preparation, planning, and the pad and pencil can serve as weapons to spring us from the trap of confusion and small accomplishments brought on by the confinements of concentration loss.
Giant 2: Loss of Feeling
Do these statements sound familiar to you?
- “Sometimes I just don’t sense God’s presence and I don’t know why.”
- “How do I worship when I really don’t want to?”
We tend to live by our feelings. Yet as Christians, our responsibility, according to the Bible, is to be in control of our feelings. God doesn’t want us to dismiss our feelings. We must learn, however, to acknowledge them and then express them in a way that honors God.
Giant 3: Lack of Discipline
The thorniest problem in discipline is keeping priorities. When we properly view faith as our responsibility but still struggle with discipline, we may have a problem with priorities. The Devil is no fool. He wants to keep us bottled up. Encouraging fuzzy or faulty priorities is his favorite trick. When you think of priorities, ask these questions:
- “What do I want in life—do I really want to know God?”
- “How can I get there—what steps do I have to take?”
- “How much am I willing to pay?” It’s going to cost something.
Giant 4: Lack of Practice
Once we understand time with God as an expression of a love friendship, we understand how crucial practice is. We learn to do God’s Word and continue its work over the long haul. That is what makes permanent changes in our lives and the lives of others.
- What is the biggest giant preventing your time alone with God?
- What one goal can you make (and measure) to improve your fellowship with God? What steps can you take to help achieve your goal?
- What might God want to do for and in you through prayer and reading Scripture?