Throughout the entire book of Daniel, we see Daniel subjected to intense peer pressure and a value system which violated his views on God. Yet in the midst of it all, he remained pure and undefiled. He chose the right response to the situations he encountered. He exhibited great knowledge in all matters and God blessed him abundantly. What was the source of Daniel's knowledge? It was based on his intimate, loving relationship with God.
This is seen more fully in Daniel 6. The other leaders were jealous of Daniel, and they devised a trap to remove him from power. They put together a document which disallowed worship of anyone except their king. Was Daniel intimidated by their plans? Certainly not. He continued to kneel three times each day, praying and giving thanks to the one true God, just as he had previously done. He knew that when he knelt before God, he could stand before men. Daniel had grown in knowledge through his personal, private time before the Lord. In today's terms, Daniel had a consistent "quiet time."
What is a "quiet time?" I define it as time alone with God, allowing Him to speak to me through the Bible and communicating with Him through prayer. This intimate time with God is the key to deep Christian growth and maturity. Every committed Christian has this discipline as a core priority!!
The amount of time you spend is not the most important factor. Invest the first few minutes in preparing your heart in prayer. Then read your Bible. Pick a place to start (initially I'd suggest the book of John), and then read consecutively-verse after verse, chapter after chapter. Don't race! Read for the pure joy of reading and allowing God to speak. You may want to also use a devotional book or a Bible study. The last few minutes should be set aside for prayer. Establish, renew or enliven your personal prayer time by giving God quality time each day. When you're actively reading and praying, knowledge will follow.
The above noted character quality is an excerpt from Rod Handley's latest book, "Character Counts For Quiet Time and Small Groups" (Volume 1).In addition to sixteen different character qualities, you get a number of Scripture references and appropriate small group discussion questions. This book is perfect for any age, giving helps on how to live out the Christian life. It's retail price is $6.95. Additional character qualities will be put into future volumes.