Tuesday, November 29, 2011

what I have learned in the discipline of stillness

Busyness is (one of) my idol(s).
A frantic spirit is my drug.
I am addicted.  Enslaved.  I cannot let it go or give it up.
I don't know how.

Even in prayer, I have found myself frantically checking off my list -- pray for this, thank Him for that -- as if prayer is another way to feel accomplished in my day.

This is not what God wants for me -- for His children.
It is not how He asks me to live; it is not the fullness of life He has promised to me.

I easily fall prey to the busy idol that our culture upholds.  But it is not the way of God.
He does not ask me to "fit Him in" in the midst of a swirling schedule.
God asks me to be still and know Him.

So recently -- and by recently, I mean over the last few months -- God has convicted my busy heart and frantic spirit.  He wants to put an end to its rule in my life.  I have wanted to see its end as well.  Instead of coming before Him each day with a pen, ready to check off the next Bible chapter read and prayer prayed, I come before Him in silence.

I sit.
I am still.
I listen.
I quiet my frantic mind that tries to burst in.
I am stilled by Him.
I strain again to listen.

Will He say something to me?  I wonder each day.

In my life, I have definitely experienced the voice of God speaking to me -- very audible and unmistaken to me, although quite silent to others.  I figured when I started this discipline of silence, I would begin to hear from the Lord more and more.

I waited.

And waited.

And waited some more.

I haven't heard Him.
But I have heard from Him.
And I have learned a few things in the process of being still.

I have learned that following God's convictions does not mean that we will see the results we think we will, but the blessings we will get will be exactly what God wants for us.  He will work in our hearts and give us faith like a child.  He will renew us and restrengthen us and give us His peace (the one that surpasses all understanding, you know?).

I have also learned that it is difficult to be still.  It is difficult to quiet a mind that races -- a mind that has been 27-years-conditioned to the way of the world.  These are habits that need to break, and so I cannot give up because it's hard or because I just don't think I will ever be able to do it (and I won't be able to do it, which is exactly why I must continue to give myself over to the Lord).

You see, God hasn't been "speaking" to me -- not the way I assumed He would.  Instead, God has slowly let peace rule in my heart on even the most frantic of days.  God has allowed me to read His Word with a newfound vigor and understanding.  He has opened my eyes to the reality of the whole situation -- you know, the reality of the Gospel and Christ's eventual return.  It's honestly like I've been reading the Scriptures for the very first time -- like a child's discovery -- and I get to wonder at chapters and verses I have read hundreds of times before.

I have (re-)learned that God is real, and He still transforms my life.

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