Every now and then while driving home from work and listening to worship music, podcast, or sometimes just in silence, the Holy Spirit grips my heart and I begin weeping. Sometimes I weep for the joy of being in Christ. Sometimes I weep for sin that has grown into something wicked in my heart. Sometimes I weep for those I know who do not know Christ.
Regardless, these moments are always accompanied with a desire to get home and get in my closet and pray or go to my shed in the back and read the Word. Sometimes I am overwhelmed by the love of God and want to spend time with him. Other times I am driven by a need to repent. Always, I feel God calling me to him and my heart jumps like a middle school crush, as I know He wants to spend time with me and I with him.
Then I get home, and somewhere between my car and the back door, I begin to think of all the things I can do other than be with God. A few weeks ago, I played a game instead of read my Bible, which was what my heart was yearning for. Another time, I felt God calling me to pray for my coworkers and I laid down and took a nap instead. Recently, I felt God beckoning me to come out to the shed behind my house to pray and write, and instead I mowed the lawn.
Let me make something very clear, not as a boast, but as a warning. I read the Bible and pray every single day. I start every morning with God in his word. That is what is so scary; it is so easy for daily disciplines to become excuses for ignoring the moments God calls us to, because we have spent time with him in the morning!
It is usually not in my morning quiet times that I feel this call from God. It is usually later in the day when I am by myself or when I am driving home from work by myself. It is when God has arrested my attention and invited me into something amazing that I take note. And when I accept that invitation, my heart is full. My wife reaps the benefits when I am bursting with God’s love in my heart. Even the chores that need to be done get done and they are done with care. Yet, too often, I do not fight for these special and intimate moments in which God is pursuing with me.
Daily quiet times shape and form us over a lifetime. These moments God invites us to shape us in that very moment. Both are essential to holy leadership and godly living.
If we are to become leaders in prayer, we cannot rely alone on our morning disciplines. If we are to become leaders in prayer, we must fight for the moments in which God calls us to relationship with him. Everything else can wait. Fight for those moments and say with David, “I have calmed and quieted my soul.”