Continuing from last week’s post, we are learning how to quiet ourselves and really enter into the presence of God.
In our busyness we miss many important things. But how do we learn to quiet ourselves? I do not wish to imply that this is a simple matter and those who don’t know how are somehow inferior. On the contrary, even people who are fairly quiet to begin with find it challenging to still their thoughts and focus only on the Lord. There are many reasons for this. The biggest reason is because we have an enemy who tries to block our communication with God. Since his time is shorter now, he has stepped up his attack. You’ve probably noticed this in the last several months. But the good news is that God, who is in us, is greater than the enemy who opposes us. ( 1 John 4:4 )
Let’s look at some practical things that may also help.
One of the first things we should do when our thoughts are disquieted is to go through a short mental checklist. What have we been watching on t.v. or the internet? What have we been reading? What have we been listening to, even in our choice of music? Sometimes we are subjected to these things not by our own choosing. However, they have negative effects regardless of how they entered. If there are things we need to repent of, that’s the first step. Repentence means being sorry enough to turn away from wrong and ask for the Lord’s help to keep us from repeating our sin. In this way we close the doors that have been opened to the enemy and we deny him access.
Our spiritual garments can become stained just because we live and walk in this world. Make it a practice daily to ask for cleansing from all that would come between you and the One you love.
Sometimes it’s a simple matter of displacement. If there is more of the world and its thoughts and ways in us than there is of God’s thoughts and ways, we will find ourselves in a dangerous position. We are in this world to change it, not to become like it. The solution is in God’s Word. Simply reading it on a regular basis will begin to change how you think and feel. Ask Him to show you how He feels about things and to align your thoughts with His.
Spending time with Jesus, really with Him, is the goal. More often than not, this will require much discipline of our mind, will and emotions. But this is not a religious exercise. It’s a desperate need to be with the One we love. When we try to sit quietly and focus on the Lord we will usually have to keep throwing out the parade of other things that comes trickling or flooding into our thoughts. Those thoughts may range from what we should be doing instead of sitting there, to the trouble we are in at the moment, to random things we haven’t thought of in years. We have to take authority over it all and command our thoughts to be silent and centered on the Lord. And we have to keep on doing it till we are finally quieted as David said in Psalm 131:2. “Surely I have behaved [adjusted, yielded] and quieted [silenced] myself as a child that is weaned of his mother.” (KJV with Hebrew meanings in brackets)
Is this really possible? Can we really reach a place where we can tune out or escape all the things that bombard us? There is a secret place in the Spirit realm where it is so quiet that every other voice is stilled. And in that place you can also hear the Lord’s voice. The distractions of the world are far away. When we are seated with Christ in the Heavens (Eph.2:6), wrapped in His loving embrace, we are above the reach of the enemy. Our perspective changes and we see things from above. He prepares us to bring Heaven to earth, to see His Kingdom come and His will be done here on earth as it is in Heaven. (Mt. 6:10)