Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Quiet Time

When I first got saved, people would talk about their morning quiet time with God, and I thought they were Spiritual GIANTS! I mean really. Who could talk to God and read the bible for an hour every morning.

As time went on, I figured most people were lying about it... trying to get a little holier than though action.

Then I joined a church that held me accountable for my time with God. A 5:00 am phone call from the pastor's wife summoned me with "get out of bed, it's time to go talk with God." 60 + INTENSE minutes of on my knees prayer, on my pastors lead. I pressed, and pressed for miracles, not for relationship, but for a display of God's power. Did I grow? Heck yeah. I grew enough to hear God say "I don't want your prayers out of obligation and duty, I want your time because you love me.. oh, and leave that crazy church while you're at it."

This season was one of the most difficult spiritual time of my life. For the first time I heard God... I mean I HEARD God. He spoke to me in dreams, I heard his voice, I had visions. The experience made me into a full on believer of Spiritual gifts (where as before I doubted them) because I experienced them first hand. It scared me. God is big. SO BIG. Then to have God say, "leave this place. Your loyalty is off, you are you here for the wrong reasons".

I took a sabbatical from morning prayer. I would pray, but the formality and schedule were gone. I leaned on worship. I loved his presence, but honestly, I didn't want to talk anymore. The things of God were so much more intense, with so much depth, so much unknown. I was scared by his power. Scared of being THAT close. Scared of myself.

Then began a season of Spiritual shallowness. The less I talked to God the less I could hear his voice. "Yeah God, we can hang out, just don't talk to me about anything but shoes". That's where I would take my Christian friendships too. Don't go deep... it's easier to swim in the shallow end.

For three years I would "try" morning quiet time. "I'd wake myself up at dawn and try to create intimacy with my God, but I didn't know his voice anymore."

Worship was all I had. He was there, but I was STARVING for more. I wanted my "best friend" back, but I couldn't find him.

Then, I heard a small voice whisper "Go to my word, I'm waiting for you there." It started slow. I read, I prayed, with little "nuggets" of gold along the way, but nothing substantial. I had to really want it! So I persisted. I got up, and had an hour long "quiet time" not because I had to, but because I wanted to. And would you guess. THAT is where God met me. Not in the place of obligation, but in the place of love.

His miracles don't scare me anymore. I laugh with delight when I see his powerful hand, when I hear his voice. Sometimes our time is intense.. like before, but usually I just have coffee with him while he gently leads me through his word.

I finally get it.


EEEEMommy said...

Communion with God that is not contrived is a beautiful and powerful thing.
Thanks for sharing this awesome testimony!

Anonymous said...

You're awesome! I loved this post.

Gayle said...

So good. I just love you Karlie!

That certain "pastor" (I think it's the same one?) came up in conversation last night with hubby. It's been a while since I even thought about it. It was just kind of wierd to also read about it here and I'm half scared that means God's gonna require something of me.

ConservaChick said...

Usually I think "I'm SO over it". Then something happens and it rears it's ugly head again. I think part of me (hidden way down deep) still thinks that all pastors are corrupt. Healing is a L-O-N-G process. I know you understand. ~Karlie

Anonymous said...

My pastor once said "how often do we seek God's hand and not his face?"

How many times do I seek God out of need or desire to see his power and not simply out of relationship?

Love God. Love Others. The two great commands - and still we try to make Christianity so complicated.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. It is a good reminder.


Cindy-Still His Girl said...

Karlie, what a powerful post and testimony!

I was thanking God today that I've escaped a pit I was in... one where I felt like a failure if I didn't spend time each morning praying, journaling, studying, memorizing. If I didn't do ALL of them, it was worthless. How I even bought that lie I don't know. But now my time with Him- and I HUNGER for more- is sweet, not something to be checked off my list.

I'd (again!) love to hear more of your story.

This was beautifully written, too... you should print this one out and save it somewhere good.

javamamma said...

Great post. I see my relationship with Jesus much like my relationship with my husband. We have intense, grand, romantic moments sometimes but usually we just hang out. I need it all.

Terri said...

Oh my word, you have no idea how much I needed to read this right now. This was so encouraging to me. Exactly what I needed. Thanks!

Mrs. Darling said...

Great post! Our friendship with God needs to be approached like the friendships we have with humna flesh friends. From there we can get the idea of how we are suppose to approach God. I'm almost done reading the book of Genesis and I cant tell you how that book always makes me faith grow.

I cant believe that pastor lady. Oh my!!!

carrie said... beautiful and such a testimony!!! Thanks for sharing...

Halfmoon Girl said...

oh, that is such an awesome post! Love it!

Kimmie said...

So glad you got it...hope it is contagious to all of us who read ;-) If you got it, share it!

So glad you are again hearing His voice, there is indeed nothing quite so good. Glad your life has brought you closer to his heart.

mama to 6
one homemade and 5 adopted

Kingdom Shifts said...

Great post! Found your blog via Christin Dienner.

In the past year I've grown so much closer to the Lord and I can't even say that I've spent MORE time in prayer, fasting, reading, etc. In fact I can't even give you a "formula" for what has happened. One aspect that I can point to that brought me into a fresh revelation of His love is the root of shame being uprooted. The voice of shame in our lives belittles everything we do. It causes us to strive in our own strength instead of simply resting in Him, enjoying Him for WHO He is.

So, time with the Lord is definitely critical, but we must have the proper perspective on WHY we need to spend time with Him.

Great post! God bless you!