One way God ministers to you in those quiet times alone with Him is to give you guidance and direction. For instance, someone may give you a legitimate “word from the Lord” about God’s plan for your life.

However, that word isn’t going to stay in your heart if you only hear it from someone else. You need God to speak to you about it on a personal basis as you spend time alone with Him.

God may speak to you from His Word, or He may speak to your heart in a time of fellowship and prayer. But once you know you have heard from God for yourself, no one will be able to shake what He has said from your heart!

One time, a very busy minister’s wife came to my church office desiring to pray with me. We talked for a while before we prayed, and we both came to a profound but simple conclusion: she and her husband greatly needed God’s direction in their lives and ministry.

So I talked to this woman about her need to spend time alone with God, seeking direction and guidance. She got out her little daily planner to find a time she could regularly put aside for God. But as she looked at her packed schedule, she began to talk herself out of it.

“Let me see now,” she said, “on Monday I don’t have any extra time at all. Tuesday is full too. Let’s see about Wednesday….”

As I listened, I wanted to say to this woman, “You’re treating this matter of spending time with God as if it were optional, and it isn’t at all!”

Since When Is It Optional?

Many Christians have come to that point in their Christian walk. Spending time with the Heavenly Father—the very source of their life, joy, guidance, direction, and strength—has become optional in their lives.

They actually have to be convinced that this most basic, bottom-line aspect of the Christian walk is an absolute requirement in order to enjoy God’s covenant blessings in this life.

So I began to do what I could to convince this minister’s wife of this fact. I said, “Now, Sister, wait a minute. We have both clearly seen by the Holy Spirit today that you and your husband have to receive divine direction for your lives. But how are you going to receive that direction if you don’t draw near to God and seek His face?”

I’ll tell you how a lot of people try to get it. They call their neighbor on the telephone, or they call the church and want someone to prophesy to them and tell them what to do!

However, God doesn’t work like that. The truth is, if you don’t know what God wants you to do in a particular situation, you haven’t spent enough time with Him. First, you need to spend more time reading the Word. Second, you need to seek the face of God in prayer.

Just think for a moment about where diamonds, rubies, and sapphires are found. They don’t lie scattered on top of the ground where anyone can casually pick them up and do whatever they want with them. Those precious stones lie hidden deep within the earth. Anyone who wants to find them has to be willing to spend a lot of time and effort preparing to dig for them.

It’s the same way in the spiritual realm. The wisdom and direction you need, the gifts God has given you—all these things are hidden deep down on the inside of you like precious treasures waiting to be discovered. But you have to be ready to receive these treasures.

How do you get ready? You do it through daily times of intimate fellowship with God.

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