Guest post by Jeff Medders
Please, stop having quiet times.
Read your Bible. Meet with God. Take up your coffee and sit with the Word — but realize this is not a quiet time.
Twice our Sacred Book calls itself a sword (Hebrews 4:12, Ephesians 6:17). Swords are not quiet instruments. Swords cut, pierce, defend, kill, and advance — quite loudly. Clang is the sword's soundtrack.
A sword is only quiet when it's not being used.
It may be quiet as we open the Bible in the wee hours, but inside of us — it should resemble the Battle of Mordor. Either a war is raging or a solider is readying (Ephesians 6:15).
Gospel soldiers don't read and memorize the Bible like one collecting antique swords; they collect to wield them — to fight. An arsenal is being built because the Enemy prowls (1 Peter 5:8). The cosmic forces haven't gone quietly (Ephesians 6:12). Therefore, we train. We wield. We fight.
Imagine the spine of your Bible. Picture grooves, like the handle of a sword, from where your hands have been. Envision pages littered with pen-tina — not rust — but circles, underlines, notes, comments, prayers. Signs of use.
The spirits of the age are nasty but they aren't our only nemesis. Our ever present foe remains — the Old Man, the Flesh. He loves to pick a fight and that creep is not quiet. Memorize and read to become a quick-draw with that which cuts to the quick. Our hearts should be filled with the screeching echoes of the Old Man and his little hobgoblins, our sins, being taken behind the woodshed. As the saying goes, our hearts aren't big enough for the both of us.
The Sword of the Spirit takes no prisoners. It cuts through the thoughts and intentions of the heart (Hebrews 4:12). It calls our bluff. It swacks through the jungle of fig leaf weeds and shows what's really there — what's hidden, phony, self-righteous, and where the gospel of grace is needed. Reverberations of the Sword's presence spill out on our lives. Nuclear bombs envy the force of the Word.
Pick up the Word to meet with the King and enjoy His reign and rule. Then put down the coffee, walk into the world and say, "Long live the King!" (1 Timothy 1:17).
Have an intentional time with the Word — and may it be anything but quiet.