I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time with quiet and stillness. Not that I don’t desire it, but more that I have trouble just taking the time to be still in my busy season of life.
Can you relate?
When we stop and really take in what He has done and is doing in our lives.
So, why do we find it so hard to do?
I think for me, it’s partially my season of life. I’ve got kids going in all directions, all day long. And then there are household responsibilities: laundry, cleaning, meals etc. Sometimes these things seem to completely take over my time.
We live in a society in which busyness and activity are the norm. It’s just what we do. Moving from one thing to the next, without pause.
With 6 kids, 3 of whom are teenagers, I see how technology has begun to steal our time, focus and even personal interaction with others. We’re on information overload. Our senses are at full capacity.
Cell phones. Social media. Video games. Computers.
While we can find great benefit from the many advances of modern technology, I think for many of us, we lose the ability to just sit and be still. To think and be intentional with our time. To focus on what really matters in our lives.
I know I’m guilty of this.
I was recently explaining the difference between God’s conviction and the enemy’s condemnation.
The enemy comes to steal and destroy, bringing condemnation and guilt. This guilt tears down our identity and self-esteem.
Scripture tells us that Jesus came to bring us life while the enemy tears it down.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Jn 10:10 NIV
So, if you’re in the same boat as me, don’t let your struggle for stillness bring the enemy’s condemnation. Let God’s gentle conviction for a deeper and more personal relationship with Him drive your spirit. Allow that conviction to take hold of your heart and look for opportunities to sit and be still before God, resting in His presence.
If this resonates with you, let that leading of the Holy Spirit move you toward a deeper encounter with Our Heavenly Father.
As followers of Jesus, we all long for that closeness, that relationship – don’t we?
When we take time to focus on our relationship with God, time to be still and be in His presence, it is then that we will see 3 beautiful blessings unfold in our lives.
I think we tend to be very task-driven people. We move from one thing to the next, marking off each task as we go. Even our quiet time with God can get this way if we aren’t careful.
Read our Bible. Check.
Say our prayers. Check.
Memorize a verse. Check.
But God wants to be more than a checked box on our to-do list. He wants to be close in relationship with us. God knows our schedules and how busy we have become. He knows how tired our minds and bodies are. And most of all, He knows how desperately we need rest and time to be still.
So, He commands us to rest. In this rest, we stop striving and let go of all the cares of this world. We find God’s perfect peace and time to sit in His presence with no boxes to check off on our to-do lists.
Scripture tells us:
Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him.” Ps 62:1 NIV
From the beginning of time, God created rest. Even God rested after breathing the world into existence and He wants us to enjoy this sacred time as well.
Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.” Gen 2:3 NIV
God desires our stillness and for us to find rest in His presence. He gently tugs at our hearts when life gets too busy and overwhelming. He calls out to each one of us. The question is, will we hear Him over all the noise?
Be still, and know that I am God.” Ps 46:10 NIV
Close your eyes, listen to Him calling and find the rest that only He can give you.
HEAR GOD’S VOICE
In that silence of being close to God, we are able to listen more clearly. To hear God in a way that we are not able to do in the midst of all the chaos of our daily lives. Rest and stillness are vital in being able to hear God’s voice. In being able to hear the leading of the Holy Spirit.
One of my favorite stories in the Bible is found in 1st Samuel as we hear God calling Samuel into a relationship. If you remember, Hannah dedicated her son Samuel to the Lord’s service when he was just a young child. Samuel served God while ministering to Eli the high priest in Shiloh.
The story tells us how it was quite rare for the Jewish people of that time to hear God’s voice. It goes on to point out a very important detail about Eli that is often overlooked.
One night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual place. The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the house of the LORD, where the ark of God was. Then the LORD called Samuel.” 1 Sam 3:2-3 NIV
Eli was tired and worn out. He needed rest. And because he needed rest, he was not able to hear God clearly as He called Samuel. As the boy’s mentor and spiritual guide, you would think Eli would have been the first one to recognize as God spoke, but he didn’t. He wasn’t able to hear the voice of God.
Thankfully, God is faithful and persistent. He continued to speak to Samuel even though Scripture tells us that Samuel himself did not yet know God. And what happens next is the beginning of Samuel’s beautiful ministry.
Then Eli realized that the LORD was calling the boy. So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, “Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.” 1 Sam 3:8-9 NIV
And Samuel went and laid down, resting. He rested and then God spoke to him once more. Having rested and heard God calling him, Samuel responded in a way that we all should answer when we hear God’s voice in our lives.
Speak, for your servant is listening.” 1 Sam 3:10 NIV
God speaks to us in the same way He spoke to Samuel back in the Old Testament. He speaks when we are well rested and waiting in His presence. That rest allows us to hear when God calls us, just like He did with the young boy Samuel. Want to learn more about hearing God’s voice? Check out this post Walking in Obedience – Discover 3 Ways to Hear God’s Voice!
As we begin to hear the voice of God, our thoughts and insights shift. We desire God’s wisdom and understanding in our lives and relationships. Scripture gives us a beautiful promise that as our faith grows, God wants so much to give us the gift of His wisdom.
And it’s okay if we don’t have everything figured out in the beginning.
He will provide exactly what we need at the moment we need it most.
I love this verse in the book of James that talks about wisdom.
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” Js 1:5 NIV
All we must do is sit and be still in God’s presence, listen for His voice and ask for His wisdom. That wisdom will rule over every aspect of our lives. Turning the ordinary into the extraordinary and the mundane into miracles for His Kingdom.
Scripture reminds us of the value found in God’s wisdom that He wants to impart on each one of us as believers.
But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.” Js 3:17 NIV
Isn’t that the kind of wisdom and understanding that we all want in our lives?
I know I do.
When we choose rest over busyness in our day, we choose to bask in our relationship with Him. That relationship leads to being able to clearly hear God’s voice and the Holy Spirit’s leading in every aspect of our lives. God will not only breathe His wisdom into our hearts and souls, He will bring peace and understanding to the most difficult situations.
Will you take time today to sit and be still in His presence?
Will you let yourself find rest and listen for His voice?
And will you hear the wisdom and understanding that He so desperately wants to give you on your journey?
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for creating rest and stillness. Help us to make time to sit and be still before you. Show us how to listen for your voice in that quiet. Give us your wisdom and understanding in all things. In Jesus’ name. Amen.