#MeditationMonday – Out of the abundance of a man’s heart, his mouth speaks.
“Who among you fears the LORD? Who obeys the voice of His Servant?
Who walks in darkness And has no light?
Let him trust in the name of the LORD
And rely upon his God.
— Isaiah 50:10 (NKJV)
Sometime last week, I was listening to an Elizabeth Elliot message about the importance of keeping a quiet heart. It caused me to realise that many of us are afraid to blindly follow God. I found Isaiah 50:10, to be a very curious verse on the issue.
If a person is walking in darkness (this doesn’t mean operating in sin, it means going through hardship or a dark time), it doesn’t say stop walking or give up, it says: trust in the name of the LORD and rely upon your God. First and foremost, it means that for this verse to even apply, such a person must have a God to rely on, and must know the name of the LORD to trust in that name.
Moving ahead, trusting in the name of the Lord amidst darkness, when you can’t see or sense what God is doing is one of the most difficult aspects of having faith but keeping a quiet heart during such a time can be very helpful.
The passage below is one of the shortest and quickest illustrations on keeping a quiet heart:
Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?”And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!”
— Mark 4: 36 – 41
We often marvel in this passage about how Jesus calmed the storm, but what we often miss is that despite having the son of God with them on that boat, in the midst of a storm the disciples all had fearful hearts because their faith was little and they couldn’t just blindly trust this man who said: Leave all you’re doing and follow me!
They would all have been rethinking their decision to follow Jesus, their hearts would have been as noisy as hell with thoughts like:
“who asked me to follow this man, look where it’s brought me now”
“I could have been at home enjoying a good meal you know, instead i’m here fighting for my life on this wretched boat!”
They would have been mumbling about the fact that Jesus was asleep while they were doing all the work and struggling to survive. Just picture it like you were in a scene out of a Pirates of the Caribbean movie;
The storm got violent, everybody was running helter skelter to do what they can to save their possessions and save the ship from capsizing. The captain says, “All Hands On Deck!” At that point each of the disciples would have used side eye to search for Jesus on the deck and realised He wasn’t there. Their hearts would have been making so much noise, Jesus probably heard them in the spirit. After mumbling inwardly, one disciple gets the courage to speak up to the others
probably Judas or Peter, who knows
Yes, they were afraid, but do you see that this presumptuous question directly revealed the state of fear in their hearts; they presumed that Jesus, the same person who healed so many people in their presence would just abandon them to perish. They were still babies in faith! And indeed you see that Jesus heard their fearful, noisy hearts! Which is why He asked them “How is it that you have no faith?”
For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and presumption is as iniquity and idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the LORD,
he has also rejected you from being king.
— 1 Samuel 15:23 (ESV)
Noisy Heart = Presumption = Dictating to God = Unbelief
This is why the Israelites were punished in the wilderness. Their hearts were not quiet. It probably started as thoughts in their hearts, which graduated to whispers in tents and then full blown mumbling and grumbling! Instead of eagerly awaiting the instructions of God from Moses, they were always rebelling and complaining for one thing or the other! To the extent that they built another god and said that idol brought them out of their bondage in Egypt, what an insult to the Most High!
Their fearful hearts longed for Egypt, longed for the bondage that God had delivered them from and God punished them for their unbelief, they spent years wandering in the wilderness!
To presume evil of God is really the highest opposite of keeping a quiet heart. Once you let your heart make enough noise and rebellion against God, even though you aren’t speaking these things out at some point, the noise in your heart will feed your flesh and you’ll eventually erupt out with anger towards God.
Many times we are like the Israelites, instead of following God blindly, we would rather have answers.
When you would rather have answers than Holiness, you are no longer keeping a quiet heart, your heart will be questioning God and running wild with ideas and so sometimes God won’t answer because he wants you to be Holy instead of challenging His authority and the work he is doing in your life. At such times, it is best to keep a quiet heart so that you can hear clearly once God decides to speak.
By having a noisy heart, many people end up losing out on God’s blessings because the noise in their heart drowns out what God is trying to say when He speaks.
A fearful heart is not quiet, it’s frantic, here and there, searching for solutions to all sorts of problems.
To keep a quiet heart, we must not be presumptuous regarding God’s will or desires for us rather, we must trust in the name of the LORD and rely upon our God.
When your heart is panicking, know that it’s your flesh trying to rule you and say “Peace Be Still, I have faith that God is my lot (i.e. Inheritance) and God is my maintenance.” Always set your eyes on God, when you take your eyes off God, you lose His peace and then your heart starts mumbling like the Israelites in the wilderness. It is wrong to think that God owes us anything like the israelites did. Always rebuke the noise of rebellion in your heart so that it may be quiet and ever ready to hear from God when He speaks.
PRAYER: Lord give me a quiet heart that doesn’t ask to understand but completely steps forward in the darkness, guided by the light of your hand. – Elizabeth Elliot.
Let’s also turn Psalm 19:13-14 into a prayer for the rest of the week!
Grace & Peace!