Hello! Every day I bustle about, being busy with my work and serving in the church as well as taking care of my family. So every day I find myself occupied with these things. Although I’ve dealt with many things, my heart is always empty. Not only do I have nothing to say to the Lord while praying to Him, but I become dry and barren in spirit. Besides this, I find it difficult to quiet my heart while reading the, as my heart is always occupied with these external matters. For this reason, I feel rather upset and have no idea how to resolve this difficulty.
Hello Sister Zhuiqiu,
The difficulty you have exists among most brothers and sisters. So why does our relationship with the Lord become abnormal when we are busy? The main reason is that we don’t know how to quiet our heart before God when our heart is always occupied with other matters. If we can understand and grasp the principles in practicing how to calm ourselves before God in all things, then whatever circumstances we encounter we can live in His presence, with peace and joy in our heart. Then we won’t feel so troubled and depressed.
Today, let’s explore this together: What is being quiet before God? And what is the path to practice it?
First, what does being quiet before God mean?
The words of God say: “Being at peace before God does not mean not cooking or doing chores, or not living one’s life; rather, it is being able to quiet one’s heart before God in all normal states, and to have a place for God in one’s heart. When you pray, you should kneel down properly before God to pray; when you do chores or prepare food, quiet your heart before God, ponder God’s words, or sing hymns. No matter what situation you find yourself in, you should have your own way to practice, you should do everything you can to draw close to God, and you should try with all your might to quiet your heart before God. When circumstances permit, pray single-mindedly; when circumstances do not permit, draw near to God in your heart while doing the task at hand. When you can eat and drink God’s words, then eat and drink His words; when you can pray, then pray; when you can contemplate God, then contemplate Him. In other words, do your utmost to train yourself for entry according to your environment.” It can be seen from God’s words that being quiet before God means always keeping our heart before God, genuinely praying to and interacting with Him, normally getting close to Him and not keeping away from Him. In other words, no matter what we’re busy with, our heart shouldn’t be occupied by these external things. Rather, we should practice getting close to the Lord in our heart, pondering His words and contemplating His love. Then, we can live before the Lord. However, it doesn’t mean that we do nothing but think about God in our heart. What really matters is that we can practice quieting our heart before God in our daily life. If we train and practice like this, we’ll always be moved by the Holy Spirit and have the way to practice for the matters and difficulties in our daily life. And then no matter how busy we are, there will be peace and joy in our heart and we’ll no longer feel empty.
Then, how do we quiet our heart before God?
1. We Should Pray and Open Our Hearts to the Lord as Much as Possible Whenever and Wherever We Can
If we are moved when singing to praise God, we should offer God our gratitude and praise. “God! Today when listening to this song, I’m especially moved in my heart. I know this is the outcome of the work of the Holy Spirit, which makes me feel Your love for us mankind. God! I’m willing to be much closer to You and live before You.” As we pray like this, it’s much easier for us to quiet our heart before God. Regardless of the situation and location, as long as the circumstances permit, we will be able to practice quieting our heart before God anytime and anywhere. For instance, in the kitchen, while doing something with our hands, we can practice quieting our heart before God by singing hymns, praying to God, or pondering the words of God. And also when we are waiting for a bus in public places or on the bus or in the place where we perform our duty, and so on, we can still practice quieting our heart before God. We pray, get close to God, and try to figure out His words, without rules and regulations and without circumstances restricting us. We can do it at anytime and in any place. For example: During our spiritual devotions in the morning, we have a quiet environment, we should kneel down and pray to God and then read God’s words; in public places, on the road or at work, we can open our heart to God and then ponder His words. That is to say, actually, getting close and praying to God is not influenced by any factor or circumstances. So long as we’re willing to be close to God, we can keep a normal relationship with Him in any place. Thus, we can live before God at all times. This is also one aspect of the path of practice for quieting our heart before God.
2. We Should Always Read and Ponder the Words of the Lord and Regard His Words as the Foundation of Our Existence
In many cases, we’re just satisfied with the outward formalities while reading the Bible, but pay no attention to pondering the words of the Lord. Without His words in our heart, in actual life we’ll have difficulty quieting ourselves before Him. As a matter of fact, every day when we read the Bible, we should ponder His words with a pure heart, pray and seek as much as we can in His words. When we practice like this, God will see that we have a heart of thirsting for the truth and then He will enlighten and guide us to understand His will. Thus, every day we can gain something new and unconsciously quiet our heart before God.
For instance, when reading the words of the: “Truly I say to you, Whoever shall not receive the as a little child, he shall not enter therein” (Mark 10:15), we should try to figure this out: Why did the Lord Jesus say whoever does not become like a little child will not ? What is His intention in saying so? What are the specific manifestations of the likeness of a little child? And how should we practice to live out the likeness of a little child? When we bear this burden and pray to God and try over and over to figure out His words, God will enlighten us to understand the true meaning of these words. As for little children, they are innocent, simple and honest, and say whatever they want to say without any disguise and hiddenness. They neither tell lies nor deceive others when they speak. From their words, we can see their inner heart in which there is no insidiousness or craftiness, so we feel at ease when getting along with them, without any worry. If we fail to become like a little child, and instead, with our heart full of craftiness, we make deals with God in our service in order to gain blessings, the crown, and satisfy our own ambitions and desires, and our heart is full of these impurities, then we are not truly fulfilling our duty as a created being, but using God. How can such work and service gain God’s praise? When pondering over this, we can know the reason why God demands that we become like a little child. God likes the honest, for they are of one mind with Him, do not have rebellion and resistance and are compatible with Him. Only such people can enter into His kingdom, because God’s substance is holy, and He has no disposition of crookedness and craftiness. Those with Satan’s corrupt disposition won’t be allowed to enter into God’s kingdom, which is determined by His essence. Therefore, God wishes for us to all pursue the truth, to cast off these satanic corrupt dispositions and to live before Him like a little child who is simple and lively. Only in this way can we receive the blessings of God. The more we ponder like this, the more we will understand the words of the Lord, and the more we know how to practice His words in our actual life. Then the relationship between the Lord and us will become closer and closer. This is also the outcome of quieting our heart before God.
3. Always Contemplate God’s Love and Ponder His Work of Salvation He Has Performed on Us as Well as His Good Intentions for Us
Normally, we should always think of the Lord’s love, recall His work He has performed on us, and ponder His salvation for us and His good intentions. In this way, we will always be moved by the Holy Spirit, and in our heart we will be willing to get close to and satisfy the Lord. For example, in the evening, while lying in bed, we should figure out in our heart the protection and love of the Lord we’ve experienced during the day or in the past days. For instance, we should figure out how the Lord has guided us step by step to get through the difficulties and hardships we met with in our service to the Lord. The more we try to figure this out, the more we understand God’s intention in these difficulties and hardships. Moreover, we will be aware that through these difficulties, God wants to perfect us and make us obtain the truth. The more we experience like this, the greaterwe will have. Furthermore, we’ll have more knowledge of God’s work of salvation that He does on us. We’ll also understand even more of His good intentions in saving us. Sometimes we may think about the fact that for the purpose of His salvation of us corrupt people, God humbly came hidden among us, atoned for us, and was nailed to the cross. When thinking back on these things that God has done for us, we will always be moved by His love. At this time, we will be possessed of an endless power in our heart and will be willing to forsake the flesh, refuse to live in difficulties, and do all we can to satisfy God. While pondering the Lord’s love, we can also experience that God is right by our side and is accompanying us. The more we ponder and practice like this, the more we can quiet our heart before God. Besides, we will have more knowledge of God and then we will develop a heart of reverence for God.
I hope that my fellowship will be helpful to you and that you’ll keep a normal relationship with God. I believe that so long as we practice quieting our heart before God according to the above principles, we will gain God’s guidance and blessings, with peace and joy in our spirit. May the Lord be with you!