I almost missed the sound as I drove by the church, but then the refrain just barely caught my ear. I rolled down my window to see if I could identify the tune, but the noise of the cars kept coming, frustrating me that I couldn’t hear well enough.
I wanted to listen – to identify the song they played.
If I could have just stopped, if the distracting noise had disappeared, if…
I believe that this is a little like God’s voice. He is speaking, but the clamor of the world and the busyness of life keep us from hearing clearly. We catch the bare hint of the refrain, but we just can’t comprehend.
We read His Word in a hurry, getting in a minute of quiet time, sending up popcorn prayers, but our minds continue racing down to-do lists and plans overwhelming the stillness of His voice.
God calls us to quietness, to a calm and settled spirit that rests in Him. This isn’t a compliance command but an invitation to peace.
Isaiah 30:15 For thus saith the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not
Isaiah 32:17 And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance forever.
Lamentations 3:26 It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.
1 Thessalonians 4:11 And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;
1 Timothy 2:2 that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty
How do we accomplish this? How do we practice quietness in a noisy world?
- First, we recognize the omnipotence of God and the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Often, our busyness springs out of our attempt to be in control of all the circumstances in our lives. Recognizing that God is the One in control is a daily exercise of faith and obedience. We have enough time to do what He wants us to do.
- Second, we consciously choose quietness. Someone has wisely said, “We have time for what we really want to do”. This may mean rising a little earlier or using a part of a lunch hour to have time to focus on God and His Word. It may mean simply being more aware of God’s work in our lives as we move through our days, stopping to thank Him and ask for His guidance.
- Third, we remember we are practicing. It won’t be perfect. We don’t live isolated lives that are undisturbed by noises of life. Spouses interrupt. Children rush in. The pot on the stove boils over. Life happens. But we don’t stop practicing. Gradually, we will find that the time becomes a necessary part of our lives, and it will no longer be a burden.
You may already have a quiet time or this may be a concept that it totally foreign to you. God didn’t encourage us to practice quietness in order to satisfy some ritual; He wants us to practice quietness for our own good. I know that my day goes better when I take time in the morning to focus on God. The fruits of His Spirit are more evident in my life when I am in communication with Him.
Take a moment today to be still in His presence. Don’t consider the time a part of your to-do list. Instead, think of it as an opportunity to get to know your Father.
Psalm 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God.