Quiet moments are rare these days, especially at Christmas. We live during a time in history when there is always something available to divert our attention. Have you noticed kids rarely say “I’m bored” anymore? Adults don’t say it very often either. We can always glance at a screen and find something interesting to fill our thoughts.
God said, “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” (Psalm 46:10). There is something about complete silence that fills our thoughts with the greatness of God.
WebMD has an interesting article saying, “Even just five minutes of sitting quietly can have a transformative effect on your entire day.” The article paraphrases a quote from Blaise Pascal saying, “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”
How would a few moments of silence change our day?
Scripture says, “Be still, and know that I am God.” Could it be that when people do not take time to be still, they forget there truly is a God? Is the pace and noise in our world one of the reasons for our statistics these days?
The WebMD article encouraged five minutes of silence and then discussed all of the many things that can distract us from that time. The article suggested people focus on their breathing to gain a sense of silence. God would suggest we focus on the One who gave us the air and the ability to breathe.
How would it change our day if we spent at least five minutes quietly thinking about God and all he has done for us?
How would those moments change your relationship with your Creator?
How would those moments change whom you spoke with or helped today?
Five minutes with the Lord
People will spend an hour waiting for their children to see Santa this week. People will wait in long lines to check out just so they can purchase a gift for someone they care about. How long would you have waited in line at the Bethlehem manger if it meant you could have glimpsed the baby Jesus?
Habakkuk 2:20 says, “But the Lᴏʀᴅ is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him.” When Jesus died on the cross, the veil in the temple was torn from top to bottom. The veil was the thickness of a man’s hand. Only God could have “torn” it that way. God wanted us to know that, because of Jesus, we could come into his holy Presence. Christians can spend our “five minutes” of silence each day at the feet of the Creator God.
We can be still and know God. We can recognize his perfect greatness and exalt him as our King. We can realize that he is our Abba Father and we are his children.
If I could spend five minutes with my dad today, I would do whatever was necessary to be there. That five minutes would not feel like enough time, but I would do it every day if I could. Who would you love to spend five minutes with each day?
We have the gift of God’s presence anytime we seek him. Words aren’t even necessary. We can just enter the holy temple and sit at his feet. He invited us to do that the moment his Son died for us. The God of the universe wants you to know him and spend time with him.
Just do it
Silence is a spiritual exercise. It doesn’t help to think about it; it only helps if you “just do it.” I’ve written before about becoming a “Nike Christian.” Sometimes the greatest weakness we have is that we “know” enough about God and we believe that means we actually “know” him.
We can know God if we take the time to “be still and know” that he is God. Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8). If we spend our moments of quiet for the sake of purifying our hearts and minds, we can enter the temple and “see God” with our hearts and minds.
Paul taught that Christians should make their lives a “living sacrifice” in Romans 12:1. The next verse helps us understand how to do that: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:2).
How would our minds be renewed and our lives be transformed if we stepped away from the world, even for just a few minutes each day, to sit quietly at the feet of our holy God?
Don’t just think about it—do it.
Silence is strength for your soul
God told Isaiah to tell the people, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength, but you were unwilling” (Isaiah 30:15).
It must be difficult for God to know he has our greatest help and is willing to give us all that we need. Yet he honors our free wills, even when we refuse his blessings.
How will your Christmas season change with quiet rest?
This might be the perfect time of year to discover a daily time of pure quiet rest in the Presence of God. We could develop a new habit that would carry us through the holiday rush and lead us into the next year knowing God in deeper ways.
Will you choose now to spend five minutes of pure silence at the feet of God?
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise. Now, in complete reverent silence, climb the steps to the Holy of Holies and enter through the torn veil. God is there and waiting for you, his child.
Be still, and know he is your God. Keep complete silence before him. You aren’t there to “ask” as much as you are there to listen. Remain at his feet, undistracted for at least five minutes. That time will change you as a result.
Keep returning to the temple each day and that time with God will become your favorite time of the day. Remember: it is in “returning and rest” that God can accomplish his work in your life. Quietness and trust will become your great strength. And don’t we need that for the rest of the day!
The only question left is will you just do it?
The God of the universe, your Father, is waiting for your visit. Start with five minutes of complete silence each day and he will take it from there. He is a good Father and wants to bless and guide your life.
God is worthy of our time, our praise, and our attention.
Will you freely give all that he deserves?