By Becky, United States
It’s not easy for us Christians to learn to keep quiet before God in daily life, because our life is always occupied with something. We either are busy working and doing service or immerse ourselves in social media and the Internet, and even those trivial matters in life are great bondage to us.
In many cases, when you ask some brothers or sisters: “What have you been busy with recently?” They would probably tell you that they are busy working, supporting brothers and sisters, or helping their children find partners. … Few of them would answer that they are busy keeping quiet before God and pray-reading His word.
In the past, I also busily rushed about every day, and my mind was often occupied with things like where to go and what to do. When Sister Zhang was weak, I went to support her, reading God’s words to her, and communicating to herand how she should experience in such situation; when Sister Li absented herself from meetings because of the housework, I helped her do chores in order that she could have time to worship God. After returning home, I also had to take care of household affairs, and so I barely had time to quiet myself before God.
When I calmed down and recalled my experience of the whole day, I, to be honest, just knew what I had done yet didn’t know what I had gained.
Thinking carefully, I found that though I was bustling about all the day, I spent little time keeping quiet before the Lord or pray-reading God’s words. Even if I read some God’s words, it was just for helping my brothers and sisters solve their problems, not for solving my own difficulties and problems. As a result, I neither had progress in spiritual life nor gained more knowledge of God, and I was still bound in sin and living in the cycle of confessing and sinning.
It’s recorded in the Bible: “Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word. But Martha was encumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said to her, Martha, Martha, you are careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary has chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:38-42).
Martha was busy working, but ignored the’ sermons and words. As a result, she didn’t gain the Lord’s approval despite her hard work, and she was beset by worries and troubles. Compared with Martha, Mary, though not doing anything for the Lord outwardly, gained His approval because she thirsted for the Lord’s words and firmly remembered His requirements. She focused on keeping quiet before the Lord and listening to His sermons, and thus the Lord Jesus commended her, saying, “Mary has chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”
In fact, God hopes that we can gain the truth rather than work hard on the outside, so only if we pursue to gain the truth can we attain His approval. This is the most fundamental thing in our belief in God. The more frequently we keep quiet before God, the closer we will get to Him. In that case, we will obtain more enlightenment and guidance from God, know what He loathes and how to act in harmony with His will, and our relationships with Him will become more and more normal.
Additionally, our spiritual life, whether it is pray-reading, praying, pondering God’s words, fellowshiping, or attending meetings to praise God, is based on peace in our hearts before God. If we can’t quiet our hearts before God, then no matter how hard we work on the outside, we’re not putting truth into practice or being considerate of God’s will, but are doing things according to our own thoughts, and what we do has nothing to do with God. In that case, we cannot possibly gain the Holy Spirit’s guidance or achieve a good result in anything we do, and gradually we would lose faith in God, living in darkness, and even misunderstand and complain against Him.
Thinking carefully, I found that I had never focused on keeping quiet before God. I had been devoting myself to working just like Martha, and seldom quieted myself before God to read His words or pray to Him. When doing service, I also failed to keep quiet before God and never prayed to seek His will when encountering problems. As a result, I was often entangled in difficulties and sins, and after a busy day, I still felt a kind of indescribable emptiness and even lacked motivation to continue working. Now, I understand it was all because I had no God’s place in my heart but just relied on my own thoughts to act.
The Bible says: “In returning and rest shall you; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and you would not” (Isaiah 30:15). “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6).
When praying, we shouldn’t just say a few simple words for the sake of following a process, or enumerate a bunch of nice sounding words about God, for God will not listen to such prayer. Instead, we should keep quiet before Him, speak the words within our hearts to Him honestly, and bring our difficulties before Him to seek His will. Only after gaining God’s enlightenment and illumination can we understand His intention, which is also the prerequisite for acting in harmony with His will.
Even when we are busy with work, we should also pay attention to drawing close to God. Sometimes when the external environment doesn’t permit it, we can pray to God in the heart to seek how to perform in accord with His intention. If we practice this way, then however busy we are, we’ll be enriched in our spirits. Besides, there is also a principle to do service. If we want to do service well, we should keep quiet before God to seek the principle of work rather than act according to our own thoughts. Only in this way can we gain God’s enlightenment and guidance, achieve good results and understand more truth. Whatever we do, we should pray to and get close to God in the heart, and seek the truth to act on principles; this is what should be achieved by those who have a heart that reveres God.
Every day we will face with varieties of things, some of which are what we’ve never encountered before. If we reflect on all the things we have done in the daytime, in what matters we practiced God’s words, and in what matters we followed our own thoughts and corrupt disposition, then we can be aware of our states. After that, we should integrate God’s words to examine what we did contradicted God’s will so as to reverse the deviations and act in accordance with His will. In this way, we will make greater and greater progress in spiritual life and be more and more in line with God’s will when doing things.
As long as we focus on keeping quiet before God and pray to and seek Him in everything, we will attain the Holy Spirit’s enlightenment and illumination, understand more clearly God’s will and requirements, and have more knowledge of the truth; when encountering adversities or something troublesome, we will no longer act according to our own will. With the guidance of God’s words, we will be able to rid ourselves of the painful life of sinning and confessing.
Later, I found my state changed a lot when I focused on keeping quiet before God and sought His will regardless of what circumstances befell me. Though I was still busy as before, I knew I should seek and practice God’s words in everything. When unhappy situations happened to me, I would pray to God and ask Him to lead me to experience them. Practicing like this, I found my relationship with God closer and closer and I myself more and more enriched in spirit. Besides, my troubles and concerns were gradually eliminated and resolved.
I believe if you focus on being quiet before God and spend more time drawing near to Him, you will have a surprising gain.