Seeking after God in the power of ‘Stillness and Quietness’
Have you ever sat and relaxed with a good book beside a quiet meandering stream, along with the warm rays of the sun on your face, a gentle, caressing breeze blowing through your hair, and with the sound of the leaves rustling in the distance, with the measured cooing tone of a wood pigeon, and felt in that moment of time the natural unhurried rhythmic movement of nature? Such times as these when all human activity is suspended are moments to savour, for they are great times of refreshing of body, mind and spirit. ‘’Be still and know that I am God’’ declared he Psalmist. “A place to grow richer in Jesus; to hide into the shadows where we could confide; I needed the quiet so he drew me aside’’ wrote the poet.
When I was young in the faith, the words ‘Quiet time’ was a regular expression by many in the fellowship who sought a closer walk with God. They carried a desire to draw more near to the their Lord and Creator and feast in His presence, undisturbed, in solitude and peacefulness – far away from the ‘madding crowd’ where the moment is deepened, and His presence is real and fulfilling. If our desire is to enter into a greater knowledge of God and obtain a further addition to our present resources, then we must practise the ‘Quiet times’ and seek out the ‘Rest of God’ – for ‘He leads me beside the quiet waters’ wrote David, and ‘He restores my soul’ (Psalm 23).
Stillness is not something that comes easy to many people; for that which at times is seen to be motionless and appears to be doing nothing, or going nowhere, is very often neither inactive nor impotent – but is pregnant with life and activity. God never intended his creation to feel under pressure to prove themselves on a constant treadmill of activity, service and duties; or on a ceaseless round of sacrificial labour. God purposed that we should experience seasons of refreshing, of quiet hours; times of stillness spent with Him, where the inner man is renewed and fortified, where we become rooted in spiritual inwardness. We must learn to take knowledge of and harness the great spiritual forces that act in an inward divine way; it is often a silent operation – but a potent one. Its currents are both invisible and intangible, but its power is felt by those who are connected to its flow.
The greatest creative ‘powers’ and ‘energies’ work in silence. The invisible forces of gravity operate unseen, but with great power, holding together the mighty universe; sunrise and sunset take place without a whisper; the rising of the sap is a quiet phenomenon. Within the four seasons, tremendous life and activity are taking place. Winter is preparing for the rush of spring, the season that restores life and energy to meadow and dale, to mountain and moorland – and it all happens in silence. The laws of faith are the greatest in the spiritual world and although natural life finds its limits and boundaries within the organic, spiritual man, who is the lowest form of life in the spiritual world, is capable of a greater work being formed in him by the living seed of faith (for who can define the he limits of the spiritual) – and it all happens in silence. Real spiritual people don’t just happen, they take time to grow and develop; and it is in the relational and devotional ‘Quiet Times’ that we set aside before God where the greatest discoveries and advances are made, and the increase in spiritual status is gained.
Here’s to spiritual enrichment and greater knowledge as we wait upon Him.
Jack has been a faithful member of the Free Methodist Church for 34 years, spending many of those years in leadership. He lives in Lancashire, UK, and has recently celebrated 60 years as being a Christian! Find our more about Jack and the story behind Jack’s corner: Treasures of the Word here.