5 Traits of a Fulfilling Quiet Time

5 traits of a fulfilling quiet time

A few weeks ago in my Sunday school class our teacher asked us this question:

What do you want others to notice and remember most about you?

The answers were as varied as the women sitting around the room. Most centered around relationships, though. These friends of mine wanted to be known as women who loved their families, cared for their friends, and invested in the lives of others. As I listened to their answers, I nodded along, knowing I wanted all those things to be true about me.

But there is something more I want, something I am passionate about and hope is a defining characteristic in my life. When it was my turn to share, I spoke with a little fear mixed with a lot of conviction, “I want to be remembered as a woman who was passionate about the Word of God and invited others to be the same way.”
It isn’t that being a mom and a wife and a friend aren’t important to me. But I’ve found I can’t live out any of those roles when I’m not rooted in what Scripture tells me about them. I don’t know how to love others until I’ve studied the God who IS love and seen the example of His Son’s love in the pages of my Bible. I can’t be humble and serve without first understanding how it is that “the first shall be last and the last shall be first.” I can’t be the friend my friends need if I’m not investing in my relationship with the one who said, “No longer do I call you servants … but I have called you friends.” {John 15:15}

Often as I’m speaking at women’s events or even teaching at my own church, I will have someone ask me about my personal time with the Lord. Typically, the questions are centered around what I’m reading, how I structure that time, and what resources I use.

Today, I want to share five traits of a fulfilling quiet time. This isn’t a checklist or a how to guide. Instead, these are qualities I have observed in my own personal devotions and had affirmed by others who have vibrant relationships with the Lord. As you read over these, I pray you will find grace here and encouragement for wherever you are. Because above all, I believe this:

God is not interested in your quiet time or devotions or personal Bible study … His interest is YOU.

5 traits of a fulfilling quiet time

  1. A fulfilling quiet time is motivated by love. Is your desire to abide in Christ? To grow in your love for Him and from that, grow in love for others? That is the heart of a quiet time that fills us up. It’s not about when or what tools … it’s about our hearts.
  2. A fulfilling quiet time is focused on understanding more about God’s character. When we come to God with a list of wants and needs, He loves us and is glad to hear our requests. But, a fulfilling quiet time is more than that—it is an opportunity to learn the character of God and have our own hearts and minds bent toward Him.
  3. A fulfilling quiet time involves more listening than talking. {Enough said?}
  4. A fulfilling quiet time improves our fruit. Jesus said we bring glory to the Father when we bear much—MUCH—fruit {John 15:8}. I love John 15. Jesus’ words about abiding in Him and knowing we can’t do anything without Him … we all need that! A fulfilling quiet time is rooted in abiding that’s what the first three items on this list are all about. And as we spend time with Him, as we grow in our love for Him, as we understand more about His character, as we learn to listen instead of talk, the fruit of our faithfulness will be improved! We’ll be able to say, like John the Baptist, “He must increase and I must decrease” {John 3:30}.
  5. A fulfilling quiet time changes our days. For me, the best gauge of my quiet time’s meaning is how it changes me throughout the day. Am I drawn back to what I read? Do I see others differently or respond with more grace or tenderness? Is there a question or quote I can’t shake? When we encounter the Living God we are changed!

So there are five truths about a fulfilling quiet time. I hope you are encouraged!

Would you share in the comments which of these ideas most resonated with you?

You may also enjoy these posts on my personal blog relating to this topic:

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Teri Lynne (20 Posts)

Teri Lynne is a word loving, idea slinging, encourager of rest, focus, and embracing life's seasons. Her priorities include good coffee, excellent books, and lingering conversations. She is the author of Parenting from the Overflow and Prayers from the Pews: The Power of Praying for Your Church and the co-author of Self-Publish: Moving from Idea to Product. Teri Lynne and her worship leading husband live with their growing-up-way-too-fast teenage daughter and their ever pitiful basset hound in North Alabama where she finds time to write in between the car line and rotating laundry.


Comments

  1. Dear Teri Lynne … I cherish my quiet time. I so enjoyed the inspiration that you have shared here today. I just wanted to let you know that my name is Teri Lyn as well. Warmest blessings for your day. ♥ Hugs

  2. All of these five traits,to fulfilling a quiet time with God are great. Would be hard to single out just one.

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