Monday, July 09, 2007

Quietness

...and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire, and after the fire a still small voice. --1 Kings 19:12

"The accent in the Church today," says Leonard Ravenhill, the English evangelist, "is not on devotion, but on commotion." Religious extroversion has been carried to such an extreme in evangelical circles that hardly anyone has the desire, to say nothing of the courage, to question the soundness of it. Externalism has taken over. God now speaks by the wind and the earthquake only; the still small voice can be heard no more. The whole religious machine has become a noisemaker. The adolescent taste which loves the loud horn and the thundering exhaust has gotten into the activities of modern Christians. The old question, "What is the chief end of man?" is now answered, "To dash about the world and add to the din thereof."
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I have been guilty of adding to such a mindset in the church. Busy, busy busy! As Chuck Swindoll once observed, "We more resemble a stampeding herd of cattle than sheep by still waters."

It is taking a long time, but the Lord is teaching me -- in small doses -- the value of quietness. This is definitely a discipline that I want to make a part of my spiritual practice. I've tasted enough to know I want more.

2 comments:

Kyle R. said...

I cherish the still and the quiet.

But it is soooooooo unamerican and counter to our culture, which makes it tough to enjoy the serenity.

Anonymous said...

"Be still and know that I am God."

Even our worship services are busy. When it comes time for a prayer, we want the person praying to be making their way up when the song is over, or else we begin to panick. We usually have the people participating in worship sit up front so that we don't have to wait for them to walk all the way to the front. I love singing during the passing of the trays. But even that can sometimes take place because we don't want 3-5 minutes of silence while the trays are passed.

Sometimes, I have invited congregations to be silent before God for 2 minutes during our worship service. I've never seen so many people looking at their watches.

Be STILL!

-Josh