God wants for us to be life-long learners. We must be looking and listening to know what He is teaching us. He has been pretty clear with me lately, which is wonderful, but also humbling! He may be teaching you something very different and I would love to hear you share about your own journey. Whatever He is doing in your life, I think it is very important to turn these teachings into goals: An Action Plan.
The Word tells us: let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says, “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when He rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one He loves, and He chastens everyone He accepts as His son” (Hebrews 12:1b-6).
So here is one of the teachings He has given me, and the bible verse that accompanies it: make it your ambition to lead a quiet life. For quite some time, He has been calling me to learn to be quiet. Of course to me, this feels like asking the sun not to shine; but if anyone can keep the sun from shining, or can teach me to be quiet, it is God Almighty ‘“ El Shaddai.
“Being quiet” means literally being quiet, allowing God to speak for you and to you in difficult situations. But, more specifically, “being quiet” means a quietness of spirit, resting in His ability to manage: (1) conflicts in your relationships with others, (2) the day to day crises which arise, and, in general, (3) the path that your life takes.
I find that when I am in difficult situations I am in need of both inner and outer quiet. I need to be calm on the inside and calm on the outside. I need to listen and pray, rather than respond. Yet, sometimes I find myself, without the peace I need to do this. Yet Jesus said: Worldly ideas of peace have to do with the absence of conflict. But Jesus gave us His Spirit as a reserve that we can draw upon during times of conflict. The Spirit gives us peace in the midst of any circumstance. Jesus is the peace-giver because He is the One Who Reconciles.
- To reconcile is to make compatible or consistent. The Lord can reconcile us to those things that seem to run in opposition to us – difficulties in a job or with a relationship, illness.
- To reconcile is to bring oneself to accept. When we remember that He is in control, we can accept the things we cannot change.
- To reconcile is to establish close relationship. We are loved by God. The close relationship we have with Him allows us to trust Him and rest in His love. We can be at peace when we know that He is for us and not against us.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered. No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:35-39).
When we remember to trust in His love for us, we can be at peace. When we are at peace we can be quiet. I am beginning a Bible study with my daughter this week: Putting on a Quiet and Gentle Spirit, by Elizabeth George. (amazon.com link) I will start posting about it next week. Please feel free to join us!