If you’re a Christ follower you have probably experienced a gamut of emotions surrounding the words, “quiet time,” or “daily devotions.” Like me you have felt great peace when having an especially uplifting time with the Lord, but you’ve also felt frustration at the times when your quiet time wasn’t so quiet and more often than you’d like you’ve felt guilty for not having your devotional time often enough.
As believers we know Jesus set the example for spending time alone with God (Mark 1:35, Luke 5:16, 6:12, etc.) , and we know that the best relationships are built on spending quality time together. But how many of us can truthfully say that we are as constant and consistent in spending time alone with God as we would like or think we should? In other words, how do we do this quiet time thing when we’re not good at it? This is at the very heart of Gene Edward’s book and why it peaked my interest. His title addresses the truth that not every believer finds what they know is important to be easy.
In a nutshell this is worth the read. Basically this book is a personal story of one man’s desire and struggle to learn how to walk close to God. I will say that the book is primarily for those who may find detail and structure a challenge in their life. But please understand: if you approach this book looking for a detailed, step by step, fail safe way to live close to God you’ll be disappointed. But that’s the point of the book – there is no fail proof way to do this! But… there are ideas that can help you pursue a healthier relationship with your Heavenly Father and Gene Edwards suggests many.
The book, if nothing else, is thought-provoking. One of the things that hit me especially hard is that many answer those who find it hard to have meaningful devotional time with the cliché: “just read your bible and pray.” Well, duh! Of course that’s the answer, but wait. Gene Edwards brings out the point that most of the people in Jesus’ day and the early church days were illiterate. In fact a majority of people in this country couldn’t read in the days preceding the 20th century. Does that mean they could never be close to God because they couldn’t “read your bible.” And when we pray what do we mean? To be honest for most of us we mean prayer requests not meaningful fellowship through conversation with our Maker. The author addresses those kinds of issues and has solutions for them.
This is a refreshing book written by someone who admits that he is not a naturally spiritual person. He admits that the necessary is difficult. But he doesn’t just leave you feeling guilty, he gives helpful advice on how to make living close to God a reality. I would recommend this book both for those who feel they are adequate in their devotional life and for those who know they are not. There is much here worth considering and implementing.
This book also contains a study guide both for groups and individuals.
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