I don’t know that I have ever heard a sermon on the need for quiet. Yet, the Bible teaches that God will “quiet you by his love” (Zeph. 3:17). Peter lauds the need for a quiet spirit, which is very precious in God’s sight” (1 Peter 3:4).
Habakkuk instructs all people “…the Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him.” (Hab. 2:20)
We need to stop talking so we can listen. We need to turn off the screens so we can meditate on God. We need to shut off the radio, CD player, iPod and turn down the noise of life so we can truly hear God’s word.
Being quiet helps us to concentrate on what needs to change in our hearts, minds and lives. So often the voices of worldly passion, selfishness, lust, fear, hatred are present within us. We have skillfully ignored them so long that they blend in with noise of life. As Christians, we can silence those worldly callings as we put off the old man and put on the new.
T.O. Chisholm penned these beautiful words that teach just what I’m trying to say:
Buried with Christ, my blessed Redeemer,
Dead to the old life of folly and sin;
Satan may call, the world may entreat me,
There is no voice that answers within.
Dead to the world, to voices that call me,
Living anew, obedient but free;
Dead to the joys that once did enthrall me–
Yet ‘tis not I, Christ liveth in me.
Quiet forces us to listen to our inner man as he calls us to reform our character. Many of us don’t hear our own soul’s cry to seek God’s saving grace.
We’ve turned up the distraction volume knob squelch the pains of guilt and remorse and the cry for repentance.
Why are we so afraid to hear the call of our own broken lives? Some try to drown out the quiet with booze or drugs. Some try to hush the Word of God from working on their conscience by filling every moment with some noisy distraction, foolishly thinking; “if I don’t hear it I won’t have to deal with it.”
Habakkuk knew that focusing on the Holiness of the Lord takes a halting of everything else. That is why he calls for silence in God’s temple. I wonder if we remember that we are God’s temple. God should occupy the throne room of our hearts. This calls for our lives to be sober and reverent reflections of the Heavenly Host reigning in our hearts.
Another need for being quiet is that we should be more careful what we say. We really don’t have to insert our opinion into every conversation. We don’t need to try to say everything we think. In fact, we would be much better off if we were “quick to hear, slow to speak” (James 1:19).
Being quiet includes refraining from gossiping, slandering, bragging, boasting, vainly flattering, lying, swearing, cursing, talebearing, criticizing, speaking words of contention, course jesting, idle words, and euphemisms etc.. Imagine how much quieter we would be if all this speech was removed from our conversations.