Sunday, January 5, 2014

Be Still and Know aka The Value of an Empty Mind

I am drawn to books that are categorized as “self-help”.  I always have been.  However, as I have gotten older I’m more careful about what I read and what information I apply to my specific circumstances.

For example, books that tell me that I can do it all on my own are not helpful.  Because I know for a fact that I cannot do anything on my own.  “Self-help” is not a term that I am a fan of because I know that my help comes from God (Psalms 121) not from myself.  That’s not to say that these other resources don’t make a valid contribution to my growth.  It’s just important to me that I balance the secular and biblical.

I’ve been writing recently about the Michael Neill book The Inside Out Revolution (TIOR) and how much I’m enjoying it.  I’m rereading the book now and just finished a chapter entitled “The Value of an Empty Mind”.  Coincidentally, (or not by coincidence at all) we are starting a series at church entitled “Knowing God” which emphasizes being still (Psalms 46:10).  In my estimation, the two go hand-in-hand. 

TIOR – When we listen without anything on our mind we become receptive to a wisdom that comes from beyond the reach of our own experience

Psalms 62:5 – Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in Him (New Living Translation)

I am amazed at how much I actually hear when I stop talking and just be still and listen.  It’s not easy to drown out the distractions of everyday life.  Why do we always feel like there should be noise in the background?  I have been so guilty of this even though I have proven it to myself time and time again – the answer is truly in the silence.

In the near future my pastor will be leading a 40-day exercise to assist us with getting quiet in order to better know God.  To know God is done by spending time with him.  Here are some steps to assist:

            Give God your best time
            Find a suitable place
            Get still
            Read the word of God
            Write down what God says
            Pray and give thanks

The key here is to listen first and then talk. 


1 comment:

LadyLee said...

Wow... Can I come to church with you? Good stuff.

The problem here is one thing: DISTRACTION. I've been thinking about that for a long time. The amount of distraction is getting worse as time goes on. And I know that is just not a coincidence. No it's not.

I like self-help books too. But I lean more towards the spiritual ones, concerning my major issues and struggles. And I heard a minister say some 15 years ago, "When you read, you are not trying to get everything. Only the one or two things that apply to your situation." As long as I am looking at it from that point of view, I draw out principles that stick long term.