One of the enriching outcomes of practicing Christian disciplines is the close connectivity we experience to Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. Being intentional about creating space in our lives through developing the discipline of keeping “quiet times” will help deepen our relationship with God. Jesus assures us that the Holy Spirit
“…will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you (John 14:26b-27).”
We don’t have the face-to-face relationship with Jesus that the disciples enjoyed, but as followers of Jesus we can experience his presence in our lives and receive his peace, the peace that he’s already given us, through the presence of the Holy Spirit. Sometimes that peace and our connection to Jesus feels so distant, but if we bring our awareness to the Holy Spirit’s presence and power in our lives, the work he’s already doing, we can experience that depth of closeness to the Lord. In an earlier verse found in the Gospel of John 14:17, the evangelist uses a special word in Greek to describe the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. It’s the Greek word μένω (menō) and it means to dwell, reside, remain, abide. The Holy Spirit not only dwells with us, but he actually dwells in us… that is, the Spirit of God lives inside of us and he’s at work reminding us of the things that Jesus has taught and gives us the peace that Jesus gives.
This picture of God’s abiding and dwelling with us is illustrated dramatically in the fifteenth chapter of the Gospel of John. Jesus says,
“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing (John 15:5).”
Not only does the Spirit abide in us, but Jesus is calling us to abide in him. To dwell with him and remain. Jesus Christ is our vine and we are branches off of that vine. The nourishment and the strength we need to see growth in our lives comes from Jesus; he is our source and he invite us to remain in him. This idea of residing and abiding is emphasized so much in the first ten verses of chapter fifteen. John records Jesus using the word μένω (menō) eleven times in those ten verses!
The question for us is are we abiding in Jesus? Are we dwelling in his presence? Are we remaining connected to the vine? Making space in our schedules and developing a quiet time is a needed way of making sure we are living our life in the abundance of Jesus’ peace and drawing strength from our Lord. The discipline of maintaining a quiet time gives us the opportunity to practice other disciplines as well such as the discipline of solitude in which we can attempt to break away from the distractions of other people or circumstances, the discipline of listening in which we silently wait on God to speak to our hearts, or the discipline of meditation in which we ponder and absorb the words of scripture. Prayerfully consider how your quiet time can help you live and abide in Jesus’ presence
Although it is specifically addressing the disciplines of silence and solitude, this video may be helpful in helping you develop and direct your development of a quiet time with God.