Tuesday, August 20, 2013
FIRST, BE QUIET
Do you know anyone who can never do anything unless they are doing everything? This can take many different forms from micromanaging people they supervise to never letting their children help with housework because they just don’t do it right. The need to be totally involved or not involved at all is very strong and unrelenting.
In particular, this morning, I am thinking about someone I know who avoids going to church because if she does, she is compelled to throw herself into service, whole hog. But she realizes that she is too totally involved in too many other things to have time and energy for that. Taking anything easy is “against her religion,” so she avoids worshipping God because she doesn’t feel right about doing that while not running the whole show somewhere in the background.
It breaks my heart for two reasons: 1. She is missing out on the best times of her life and 2. I started my new journey that way. It didn’t work. And I still try to run my life according to being fully involved the way others are and I stumble into a mess everytime. It is hard for me to understand, but that is not what God wants me to do. Little by little I have come to understand that He wants me to be quiet and follow His directions on a daily basis rather than set myself up for a schedule of activities that will keeps me from listening to Him. (And keeps me from writing.)
Now, some of you will say, what’s wrong with her attitude? Would that we might have many, many more people in the church with that attitude! Wow. Think of what we could accomplish.
But how many examples of that do we find in God’s Word? Abraham walked the desert for many years before God gave him the son who would carry on his blood line to Christ. Moses had forty years to quietly grow in faith before God sent Him back to retrieve His people. David had years to grow up before he became King. Even Jesus had 30 years of preparation before His ministry. And, when He sent out his Apostle’s to preach the gospel He had first taught them the Gospel they were to preach. After the resurrection He sent them to “be quiet” and prayerful for a time before beginning their ministry. Paul got three years of training before he began preaching in earnest. The pattern of “first be quiet” is very clear in the Bible.
When I came back to following Christ, I had been a Christian for 53 years, but for most of those years I had really not ever been quiet, listening to God, and I had walked away from Him to follow my anger wherever it led me. I was not at all equipped to handle teaching His Word or leading in any way. I had healing and growing to do.
But, in my excitement, I managed to find ways to help without needing to teach and threw myself into things that were not what He wanted for me. Each took a nearly disastrous turn. I guess I have a really hard head, because I didn’t get it until now, 8 years later: First be quiet – then see what God really wants from you, regardless of what others think He wants of you. And it very well may be that He will want some to also be quiet in what they “do,” working with Him in ways few will ever know.
True Joy in the Lord, comes from “being” in the Lord, not from doing. Should we do? Of course. But doing comes after learning to “be.” Without Him we can “do” nothing… And trust me, that is absolute.
May we all seek to “be quiet” first and “do” later, when we have established a pattern in life of listening to Him every day and leaning on Him to guide us through each hour of each day. May we never avoid worshipping God and studying His Word because we feel we must throw ourselves into activity to live up to the standard we created in our own heads. And may we never fail to take breaks from the service we gladly do, to just listen to Him for a time of refreshment of our souls.
May God be guiding us today, in everything we do and may He bless us all with His great love.
Note: My own plans were to post to this blog once a week (Friday) and my new blog once a week (Monday), but God said write and post this today. I do pray that someone will be comforted or challenged by this page today or in the days to come.