The Lord has come secretly before disasters. How can we welcome Him?
says, “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints” (1Co 14:33). From this verse we can see that God likes us to quiet ourselves before Him in all things. Only when we are quiet in front of God will we feel that our hearts are closer to Him and will we achieve growth in our spiritual life. However, in real life, we cannot quiet our hearts before God due to various factors. Most of the time, our hearts are occupied by outside things such as jobs and families; or our minds are disturbed by the complexities of interpersonal relations, such as friction with our brothers and sisters and conflicts between us and our families; or we think about the interests of our flesh while expending and working for the Lord. These things leave us unable to quiet ourselves before God. I once was like this. After I read some content on a gospel website and listened to several brothers’ and sisters’ fellowship, I found out three ways to quiet myself before God and I gained a lot. Here I will share them with you.
God’s word says, “First begin with the matter of prayer. Be single-minded, and pray at a fixed time. No matter how pressed for time, or how busy, or what comes upon you, pray every day as normal….” If we wish to quiet our hearts before God, we should first start by praying. Sometimes, when very busy with work, we neglect to pray; sometimes we casually say a few words to the Lord in a rush. As a result, our spiritual condition is abnormal the whole day. Therefore, no matter how busy our work lives are, we should go before God and pray to Him with a single-minded and sincere heart every day. This is not going by regulations and procedures but practicing quieting our hearts before God in order to associate with Him. Just as thesaid, “the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeks such to worship him” (Jhn 4:23). “But you, when you pray, enter into your closet, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father which is in secret” (Mat 6:6). Why did the Lord Jesus ask us to pray in our closets? Because the Lord wishes for us to avoid all the people, things, and events around us, go before God, and pray with an honest heart. In prayer we should open up before God and speak from our hearts with Him about things that befall us or questions that we do not understand. For example, being busy working, we have no free time to work for the Lord. We feel like finding the time to expend and work for the Lord, however, when doing so, we, being pressed for time, want to finish the work as soon as possible to do our own work. Another example, faced with many family matters or complicated interpersonal relationships with our relatives, friends, or colleagues, we are distraught and do not know how to deal with them. As for all these problems that we often encounter in our daily lives, we can bring them before God and pray, tell Him what is on our mind, and beg Him to help and guide us, so that we can understand His will and find a practical path. With regard to the first example, we can pray like this, “Dear God! I want to expend for You and work in the church. But my stature is too small and I’m fully focused on thinking about and making plans for my flesh, wanting to earn more money. So when working in the church, I’m never able to concentrate on expending for You. Oh God! How should I reverse this condition? May You guide me and help me.” When God sees that our hearts are sincere and single-minded, the Holy Spirit will enlighten and guide us and move our hearts, and then we will understand that we should be content with having enough food and clothing and that obtaining the truth is the most important thing. As a result, we will have the resolution to forsake the flesh and entrust our difficulties and problems to God. As long as we practice like this step by step, when we are faced with difficulties again, our hearts will not be preoccupied or disturbed by them, but be quiet before God.
God says, “No matter how pressed for time, or how busy, or what comes upon you, … eat and drink God’s words as normal. As long as you eat and drink God’s words, no matter what your surroundings are, your spirit is especially pleased … ponder God’s words and try to obtain the light, find the path to practice, know what the aims of God’s utterances are, and understand without deviation.” If we want to frequently quiet ourselves before God, during our everyday spiritual devotions we need to ponder on God’s words more. We should not give God’s words a cursory read or only be satisfied with a surface-level understanding of them, but focus on understanding their esoteric meaning with sincerity. When reading God’s words, we should focus on seeking and contemplating what aspects of the truth they involve, what God’s intentions and requirements in them are, and how to satisfy. In this way, our hearts will gradually become quiet before God. For example, when we read the following words of God, “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30), we should contemplate why God makes such a demand of us. From this verse, it can be seen that God knows that we have been so deeply corrupted by Satan that we work and expend for Him for the sake of our own intentions and objectives. Some people work for fame and status; some sacrifice some things so as to obtain blessings; some expend themselves in order to be looked up to by others. If we have these impurities, once we do not gain the things we want after sacrificing certain things and enduring some hardships for the Lord, our energy in working and expending for Him will be less and even completely gone. From this we can see that we make sacrifices and expend ourselves not for loving God at all but for our own interests, and that it is just conducting a transaction with God. This is the reason for God requiring us to love Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, hoping that we can pursue to work and expend for Him with all our hearts and minds and without skating through or conducting a transaction with Him. The people who do so are the ones who God delights in. Just like Peter: He wholeheartedly sought to love God, could accept judgment and chastisement and also the poverty in his life, and did not even give free rein to his own preferences in food, clothing, and shelter. In addition, he did work and made sacrifices in order to satisfy God. In the end, God gave him the key of the kingdom of heaven. Through pondering God’s words seriously, we have some understanding of them, and we are willing to seek this aspect of the truth, enter into it, and strive for God’s requirements step by step. If we practice like this every day, our hearts will get closer to God and we will gain results in spirit. Over time we will achieve fast growth in life.
God’s word says, “Ordinarily, draw close to God normally in your heart, contemplate God’s love, and ponder the words of God, without being disturbed by external things. When your heart is at peace to a degree that you are able to muse, so that, within yourself, you contemplate God’s love and truly draw near to God regardless of what environment you are in, and you have ultimately reached the point where you give praise in your heart, and it is even better than praying, then in this you will be possessed of a certain stature.”
To quiet our hearts before God, we need to make it a usual practice to meditate on and contemplate God’s love. However, most of the time, once we are free, we will think about matters of the flesh, such as how to make more money and how to enjoy our flesh even more, or we will be absent minded. As such, we can never achieve the result of quieting ourselves before God. So let’s practice more along this path. For example, when going back and forth to work by bus in the daytime or lying in bed before falling asleep at night, we can think about how God has led us to experience the things that have befallen us during the day. Furthermore, we can also think of all the grace that God has bestowed upon us and give thought to His love. For example, when we were in a bad state living in weakness, God sustained and helped us many times through brothers and sisters and His words also encouraged and comforted us, so that we broke free from our predicament and felt His love for us was so deep. When we give thought to God’s love like this, we will feel that our hearts are very close to Him, and we will be so moved by the Holy Spirit that we will feel indebted to God because of our stature being too small to put into practice many of God’s words. Consequently, we will thirst for God’s word even more and resolve to pursue the truth. Provided that we meditate on and contemplate God’s love this way several times during the day, we will be able to achieve the result of quieting our hearts before God and living before Him.
If we practice quieting our hearts before God every day, unknowingly our spiritual life will gradually grow. The above are three ways to quiet our hearts before God. I hope that they are helpful to all the brothers and sisters who pursue growth in life.