If you haven't already figured it out, I'm a words girl! I love nothing more than getting lost in a good book, having a long conversation with a friend or having the opportunity to use my words to inspire and equip others. Words are my gift, but I am also well aware that my words have the potential to be my greatest downfall. Because sometimes I just say far too much!
Compounding this excess of words, is my tendency to be an external verbal processor - which is why God's word to me this year that in quietness and trust is your strength, is such a challenge. When I encounter obstacles, quietness is not my natural response - its not that you're likely to find me complaining and wallowing in self-pity, but I will talk and talk and then talk some more about my problem and how I think I can fix my problem. But the more I talk, the bigger my problem feels - and this preoccupation with trying to solve everything myself often fills me with fear about how things will turn out. Before I know it, words of impossibility, of negativity, of criticism and defeat are coming out of my mouth.
In this current season when I am tempted to open my mouth to speak about the challenges I face, I can sense the Holy Spirit saying, "just shush Aimee!"
Last week we looked at God's strategy that He gave the Israelites in Isaiah 30:15 saying,
“In returning [to Me] and rest you shall be saved, In quietness and confident trust is your strength.”
God puts the four aspects of His battle strategy into two groups – repentance and rest bring us salvation; quietness and trust bring us strength. The words for rest and for quietness have similar connotations in the original Hebrew. Rest meant rest, quietness, a quiet attitude; quietness – to be quiet, tranquil, at peace, lie still, to show or display quietness.
In other words the ability to be quiet is an essential part of experiencing God’s saving power and strength in our circumstances. But we will only have the ability to ‘just shush’ if we have reached that place of, as the amplified puts it, ‘confidently trusting’ God; we will only be able to display quietness when we know the One that we wait on.
Isaiah gives God two names in this verse:
This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says...
Our God is THE Sovereign Lord – that means that He possesses all power and authority; He He is on His throne and we can trust Him to rule and reign in our lives and circumstances. He is also the Holy One – He is sacred, and perfect, not a single flaw to be found in Him.
And if those two names were not enough to fill me with the confidence to wait quietly before Him, as I have meditated on the verses that follow on from v. 15 I have learnt that He also:
Longs to be gracious
That He rises to show compassion
That He is a God of justice
That He blesses those who wait on Him
That He is gracious when we cry for help
That He hears and He answers
That He guides
The more I give my attention to who He is, the quieter and stronger I become.
Life gives us equal opportunities to choose fear or to choose worship. I can spend my time and energy - my words - on the obstacles that I face, or I can view them as an opportunity to turn my heart to worship; to open my mouth in praise.
When we slow down from everything that feels so pressing and turn our attention back to Him; when we close our mouths, just shush, and consciously choose a posture of quiet, of trusting worship – that’s when the real quiet enters our souls and we find rest in Him.
Live today with purpose
One of my favourite pass-times as a kid was writing. I used to make my own books and write poetry on our old type-writer. Thankfully both my writing and technology have come a long way!
It is my prayer that these posts from both myself and guest contributors encourage you to embrace the season that you are in and to live it with purpose for God's glory.
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