WHY Have Quiet Time with God?

Inspiration for Meeting God in Solitude

You can no longer ignore meeting with God. You’re too broken. You’re too busy. You’re too preoccupied. You’re living in a cesspool society. But, you need good reasons to do so…a powerful WHY that will inspire you to keep at it no matter what. You need a vision that resonates deep within that keeps calling to you in times of struggle and confusion.

A WHY is a reason, belief ore cause that motivates and inspires.

WHY

Made popular by Start with WHY and his TED talk on the subject, Simon Sinek presents an alternative way to live life and motivate others. Inspiration comes when people know WHY a company, organization, or product exists. Answering WHY helps capture the heart and motivates people from the inside out. 

The problem with evangelical Christianity is that many WHYs are presented which do not measure up. Why do we exist as Christians? What’s our purpose?

The answers are all over the map. Often, one phrase is taken from scripture and is made the absolute purpose for our existence. For example: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16.15). Or, “What does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6.8). Or, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matthew 6.33). Or,”Here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil” (Ecclesiastes 12.13-14). Or, “Love the Lord with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22.37). 

Then there’s St. Paul. In Philippians 3.9-10, Paul says that he wants nothing more than to know Christ and “be found in Him,” to have His righteousness and to live by faith in Him, even if it meant suffering and dying. Paul’s purpose was knowing Christ. Are we to be like him? 

Good Presbyterians would answer WHY with: “To glorify God and enjoy him forever.” That sounds good. I wonder how it works out in real life. 

This all sounds confusing. Maybe there isn’t just one WHY to the Christian life. Or, maybe the answer is so simple we miss it.

Could it be that we’re trying so hard to find the answer in the Bible when the answer is a person? What if our purpose – our WHY – to the Christian life is Jesus Christ? He is our source, inspiration, cause, purpose, life, and reason for living. As we experience Him, we experience all we need to know to “live, move, and have our being.”

That sounds really good. Now, how in the world do we get to know Jesus Christ? 

The Heart 

Christians talk about the heart when they talk about knowing God. Yet, they primarily think this means engaging God with the intellect or emotions. It is good to use these faculties. However, knowing God is not just an intellectual understanding or emotional feeling. Knowing God includes the whole person – body, soul, and mind.

Knowing God begins and continues by engaging the heart. God wants your heart. You need God’s heart to be yours. 

An overlooked but trustworthy means to know Jesus Christ is to be with Him in solitude. It is in quiet, secluded time with the Trinity that Christ’s life in you can be experienced and can begin to be lived out. 

WHY solitude?

I share with you three WHY’s for your spiritual journey, especially as you commit to being with God in solitude. 

1. To experience communion with God; to know God. Is there any greater reason for living? Most of what we think about the Christian life has to do with WHAT we do or HOW we do it. But the reality that we exist to live IN the Triune God blows everything else away. To know God is to live in union with Him; it is not primarily an intellectual experience. Think of this in terms of your relationship with your spouse in marriage. To be in solitude with God is to learn to be in communion with Him all the time. 1 Cor. 1.9 God is faithful, by whom you were called into the communion of his Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord. John 17:3 And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.

2. To enter the Mystery of the Trinity. This is similar to #1 but with an emphasis on the mystery that God is. God is beyond our knowing. This seems to contradict what I’ve just said about knowing God. But they are both true. I like how Dr. Thomas Hopko says it, “We cannot know God, but we have to know Him to know that.” What he’s saying is that we can’t know the essence of God but we can experience some of what He reveals to us about Himself. God is a Mystery we’re invited into, not to solve (as we often think of “mysteries”) but to explore. The Trinity is a mystery we enter into and spend a lifetime searching and probing. 

3. To know that you are being obedient. There is something to the feeling of assurance – a sense of goodness – when you know that what’s going on in you and in your actions is right. It’s a feeling of “shalom” — peace, delight, goodness, fulfillment, satisfaction, wonder, and joy all rolled up into one real awareness of the presence of God. All of this comes in true obedience as you “seek first the kingdom of God,” “come after [Jesus], deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow [Jesus],” and “love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and body.” Why be with God in solitude on your journey? Because of the shalom of obedience  that comes from actually being with God.  

Please take some time to think about and meditate on these WHYs. It will make a difference as you meet the Trinity in solitude and as you struggle in these times. 

Dr. K