How would you rate the quietness of your life on a scale of 1 – 10, with 1 being the goal? Here’s another way to ask the same question, if you were to spend an hour sitting in your favorite chair for the sole purpose of seeking God, if there were no interruptions or outside diversions where would your mind go? Would you be comfortable with the quiet engulfing you? Or would you crave a diversion? If you answered the latter, you are not alone. In fact, we believe most of us struggle with standing alone before God for an extended amount of time.
It is not in our nature to embrace holiness on such an intimate level.
Yet this is necessary if we are to know ourselves and know God in Spirit and in Truth.
On page 106 of Seeking The Face Of God, Gary Thomas quotes Pascal by saying:
Young or old, rich or poor, it doesn’t matter–the thing we fear most is quiet. Yet inner peace is conceived in the quiet. Without this quiet, we grow restless and unrooted. Our lust for diversion proves our unhappiness, for if we were truly happy, Pascal noted, “we should not need to divert ourselves from thinking about it.”
Our chaos of the soul and busyness of the spirit robs us of our created destiny to find fulfillment in a relationship with God. A voice deep within our souls tells us something is wrong, but we are too afraid to slow down and find out how life could be different…Pascal said the boredom that drives us to diversion could be the catalyst that calls us to change–if only we were not afraid to do the necessary work.
Day after day we make choices based on our priorities.
Do we say one thing about our love for God, but practice something that says otherwise? This is a hard question to answer honestly. It is one where you may need your spouse’s help in order to see yourself more clearly. We can be afraid of coming this close to our Creator. What might He say? Will I want to hear it?
We get used to making excuses for our lack, so much so that we can sear our conscience. Our conscience is a gift from God to lead us to higher level of fellowship with Him. If it is ignored often enough it’s pull on our actions weakens. Not because the Spirit isn’t willing to draw us, but simply because we’re not being receptive to the Spirit’s still small voice within. Time passes, yet we are no better for the wear.
Thomas addresses this tendency by suggesting:
Much of our television watching is a quiet, sleepless death in which we kill our souls by letting time race by. We can spend several hours in front of the television, and what have we gained? We haven’t talked to anyone, we haven’t accomplished anything, and we usually haven’t gained any insight or inspiration. Yet time has slipped by, and it will never return again. In essence, we have willingly forfeited a precious slice of the time God has given us on this earth.
Since this book was first written in 1979, Mr. Thomas doesn’t include the pull of social media into our possible daily diversions, and it’s ability to rob us of precious time. This tendency can be even more dangerous than television because we have a false sense of fellowship with others because we’ve read their status updates on a regular basis.
A drug addict cannot expect to give up drugs without paying the price of withdrawal. We who have been drugged by diversions cannot expect to enter the quiet without a struggle. Our souls will roar for diversion, the fix that saves us from God’s presence.
You may ask, what does all this have to do with marriage?
Everything! For our marriage is made up of two people who are growing in their relationship with Christ. The more we grow personally in our relationship with Him, the better our marriage will be. Your spouse cannot give you inner peace. This is the work of the Holy Spirit at work in you. As you cultivate this quiet heart that is willing to wait on God to speak to your spirit in specific ways, you will change.
When Moses descended from his mountain experience with the Holy God, he was changed, and all the Israelites knew it.
- What if we were to let God come this close to us in our quiet times?
- What if we were to not pursue anything else until we heard Him speak?
- What if His Word and worshiping His name were our highest priority of each day
- How do you think it would change the way we interact with our spouse? our children?