Every minister needs a corner, a quiet place where he can retreat from the duties of the day, where he can be himself and find himself, as he communes with God.
Not a place for him to study theology or to prepare sermons. Rather, a place, where he can be still enough to hear God speak within, a place where he can get better acquainted with God and with himself, a place where joyful worship can well up within him as he enjoys God.
All of us are too busy. Our bodies run ahead of our souls, and we start to rip apart at the seams. We become so involved in helping others that we neglect the Source of our help-and then we ourselves need help. Slowly, we start to manufacture ministry instead of bear fruit, because the life within us has been neglected.
It’s not enough for us to depend solely on our morning quiet time, as important as that is in the life of every believer, and especially the pastor. We need to “take time to be holy” in the midst of the busy day. After all, we take coffee breaks; so why not take “blessing breaks”?
I have a “quiet corner” in our home where I retreat only for prayer, devotional reading, worship and the spiritual nourishment of my own soul. I do no studying there; I prepare no sermon outlines (although I do write down whatever ideas may come); I make no plans; I solve no problems. All I do is invest a few minutes-the length of time varies-centering my thoughts on God and making sure my heart is happy in Him.
This is not my main devotional time. It is an interlude, a “blessing break,” a parenthesis that steadies and strengthens me for the work yet to be done. I try to go there at least once each day.
Of course, your “quiet corner” need not be in your home. (“A quiet corner in our house?” I hear some pastor ask.) Perhaps the best place for you is at the church, or the public library, or in the front seat of your car. So be it; but just be sure it is the best place for you. The important thing is that the place be devoted only to the spiritual discipline of communing with your Lord. If you do anything else there, you may rob yourself of enrichment.
Have available the resources that help you the most: a Bible, a hymnal, one or two classic books of Christian devotion. I keep in my “quiet corner” The Imitation of Christ, Fenelon’s Spiritual Letters, Joe Bayly’s Psalms of My Life, and (from time to time, as I sense the need) a book of short devotional messages. George Morrison is a favorite; so is George Matheson.
The important thing is that I calm my soul before God and focus on Him alone-not on my work, my problems or my needs. I begin with praise, using one of the Psalms and emphasizing the character of God. I lift my heart and seek to express joyful worship in the Spirit.
The great danger is that we use our “blessing break” as an escape from life, when in reality it is a preparation for life. “God is our refuge and strength” (Ps. 46:1, italics mine). We take refuge in Him, not to be sheltered from life, but to be strengthened for life with its many demands and duties. To be “under His wings” does not mean to be out of His work or avoiding His will!
The minister who tells himself that he is “too busy” to invest time in this way is actually confessing that his priorities are confused. His first obligation in life is to worship God and cultivate the sanctity of his own soul. And it is amazing how much easier the “wheels of mortal life” turn when we take time to be holy.
Get into the habit of saying to yourself each day, “It’s time to take a blessing break!” Retreat to your quiet corner, commune with the Lord, meditate on His Word, worship Him, and let Him renew your strength.
©2002 WWW Used by permission. This article is copyrighted by the author and is for your individual use. Reproduction for any other purpose is governed by copyright laws and is strictly prohibited. This material originally appeared in Prokope, March-April 1986.
Dr. Warren Wiersbe (1929-2019) was an internationally known Bible teacher, author, and conference speaker. He graduated in 1953 from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary in Lombard, Illinois. While attending seminary, he was ordained as pastor of Central Baptist Church in 1951 and served until 1957. From September 1957 to 1961, Wiersbe served as Director of The Literature Division for Youth for Christ International. From 1961 to 1971 he pastored Calvary Baptist Church of Covington, Kentucky south of Cincinnati, Ohio. His sermons were broadcast as the “Calvary Hour” on a local Cincinnati radio station. From 1971 to 1978, He served as the pastor of Moody Church in Chicago 1971 to 1978. While at Moody Church he continued in radio ministry. Between August 1979 and March 1982, he wrote bi-weekly for Christianity Today as “Eutychus X”, taught practical theology classes at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois, and wrote the course material and taught a Doctor of Ministry course at Trinity and Dallas Seminary. In 1980 he transitioned to Back to the Bible radio broadcasting network where he worked until 1990. Dr. Wiersbe became Writer in Residence at Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids and Distinguished Professor of Preaching at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. In his lifetime, Dr. Wiersbe wrote over 170 books—including the popular Be series, which has sold over four million copies. Dr. Wiersbe was awarded the Gold Medallion Lifetime Achievement by the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA).