I grew up going to church and expected to have a daily “quiet time,” or devotions. The pastor taught this was an integral part of every Christian’s life, and anyone who didn’t do it probably wasn’t really saved. God would separate these fakers out with the goats and not allow them into heaven. So, I read my Bible. Or tried to anyway.
I overstated the results of skipping your quiet time, but not the importance placed on the practice. My problem was I struggled to see the meaning. Every year, I started out strong in my Bible reading plan. Every year, I got bogged down in the boredom of the numbers in Numbers and the rules in Leviticus, and I couldn’t see the point. 2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” What was the usefulness of knowing the tribe of Reuben had 46,500 men in it? Or what was I supposed to do with the details of who got what piece of meat in the sacrificial system?
My quiet time didn’t have much relevance in my life.
If I talked about my struggle, I would reveal my obvious lack of spirituality. Others talked about “God speaking” to them, or how precious those moments digging into the Word was to them, and I did not understand. I must be doing it wrong and missing something. No matter how hard I tried or how many different types of reading plans or devotionals I used, this practice always fell by the wayside. How important is it, really?
If you’ve had these same thoughts when someone encourages you to “do your quiet time,” Bob Beaudine brings us hope in his new book 2 Chairs. Throughout this book, Bob pulls in stories and examples of what it is we could be doing, and how many of us missed the point in the past.
The daily devotion is not a task to be accomplished (or dreaded), but is an opportunity to sit down and talk to God.
Bob makes a cup of coffee, and uses two physical chairs. This is not a practice in imagination, but an establishment of atmosphere. He describes it like this: If you were in legal trouble and one of the Supreme Court Justices would meet with you to discuss it, you would probably jump on that opportunity. Or if you were coaching your son’s basketball team, wouldn’t you meet with Roy Williams or Coach K for some drills and pointers? Maybe you were planning your retirement, and Warren Buffett offered to give you advice—would you meet with him and take it? The secret of the 2 Chairs is we have the opportunity to hear from the King of Kings, the creator of the universe, God our Father. He wants to meet with us, but we need to take the time to listen.
In his meetings with God, Bob asks three questions:
Does God know my situation?
Is it too hard for Him to handle?
Does He have a good plan for you?
The challenge comes because we don’t know the exact plan God has, and our blindness is the key reason to set up this meeting. To find our next steps. To be reassured when things are bleak. To celebrate victories and blessings.
Bob does an excellent job drawing in real life situations and applications of why this 2 Chairs time is so important. He offers 7 small changes to tweak our outlook and get our hearts and ears tuned in to the frequency of God. In the weeks after I finished 2 Chairs, I find myself sitting in front of an empty chair and finding God answering my call. Bob asks: “If there was even a one percent chance that God would meet you tomorrow morning, wouldn’t you set up your chairs?” I would hope you would. And when you do, you won’t be disappointed. And if you read 2 Chairs, you won’t be disappointed either.
I received this book from BuzzPlant in exchange for my honest review.