December 17
Two Extremes
Psalms 68:11-20
"Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens." (v. 19)


The next thing we must do if we are to go deeper with God is to spend time with Him. This means taking time to regularly read His Word, talk to Him in prayer, and cultivate the spiritual sensitivity to listen for His voice speaking directly to our souls. One of the great tragedies of our day is that spiritual leaders fail to emphasize the need for all Christians to regularly spend time with God in this way. In my opinion, this de-emphasis is due to two things in particular. First, it is a reaction to the legalism of past days.
At one time, most Christians were told that the life of discipleship turned on whether or not you established a daily quiet time and never wavered from it. In my youth I heard one Bible teacher say: "If you don't begin every day by reading a chapter of the Bible and spending at least thirty minutes in prayer then you have no right to go into the day expecting God to bless it." What about those times when circumstances -- such as sleeping late, a family emergency, personal sickness, an unexpected turn of events -- make it impossible to begin the day with the reading of Scripture or a time of prayer? In turning from the legalism of past days many, however, have replaced it with a more casual approach to personal devotions. If they don't feel like it they don't have a quiet time. And that, I suggest, is as harmful as the legalism from which they might have turned away.
O God, if, as Your Word says, You daily bear my burdens, is not this worth a daily response of prayer and praise? I may not be able to spend much time with You every day, but I can spend some time. Help me never to forget this. In Christ's Name. Amen.
For Further Study
1. What did the psalmist say he would not do?
2. What did Jeremiah liken God's Word to?