“Lessons from 2019”

Quiet Time Coaching: Episode 119

It’s important from time to time to pause and reflect. Moses reminded the people of Israel that they must not forget what God had taught them:

“Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.” (Deuteronomy 4:9 NIV11)

God knew how important it was that his people did not forget what he had done and that they were prepared to pass those lessons on to the next generation.  How can we make sure we have noticed what God has done this year in teaching us about our times of quiet with him? Let me offer three suggestions:

  1. What has been different about your last week’s times of quiet with God compared to a year ago? It might not be easy to compare specifically with such a long time ago, but perhaps as you reflect, and pray about it, it will become clear what is different now compared to a few weeks or months ago. Why have things changed? There’s a lesson in there somewhere.
  2. What aspects of God’s character, or scriptures have come to be more meaningful to you in your times of quiet with God? For me, “by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”” (Romans 8:15) has become a tremendously helpful phrase.  I studied this passage amongst others as preparation for the Thames Valley Holy Spirit series this year. As part of the preparation I decided to use it as a regular part of my prayer times. For two or three months I started almost every prayer time by praying through the fact that I have been adopted as God’s son, that through the spirit I can cry (pour out my heart) and call on God to be my “Abba” – dadda, and trust him as my loving father.
  3. Highs and lows. Think through some of your most meaningful times of quiet with God, and also, if you had them, some times of barrenness and distance from God. Can you draw any lessons for the reasons behind, or the contributory factors involved in those highs and lows?

Write all these lessons down. There’s something in putting them on paper (into a computer) which solidifies convictions.
Could you share some of your learnings here? Leave a comment and let us know your main lessons from 2019. You never know, God might be about to teach us the lessons he’s taught you in the last 12 months. Help us to get a head start!


Retreat update

There are still a few places left for the spiritual disciplines retreat, “Wait for the LORD”.  You can find details on the dedicated page of my website.  If you have any questions, please drop me a line: malcolm@malcolmcox.org.  I’m working on the booklet which I will send out in advance. This will contain information about the area, the details of the schedule, some tips on how to make the most of the retreat and an exposition of Psalm 130.


Please add your comments on this week’s topic. We learn best when we learn in community. 

Do you have a question about teaching the Bible? Is it theological, technical, practical? Send me your questions or suggestions. Here’s the email: malcolm@malcolmcox.org.

If you’d like a copy of my free eBook on spiritual disciplines, “How God grows His people”, sign up at my website: http://www.malcolmcox.org.

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God bless, Malcolm

PS: You might also be interested in my book: “An elephant’s swimming pool”, a devotional look at the Gospel of John