PDF of Study Guide available HERE
How does someone learn to quiet their mind, soul, and body in a world full of chaos, drama, and noise? This has never been an easy task, but is an important discipline for a Disciple. We grow in our faith through quietness.
When we lean into Quietness we lean into good Counsel. So what is “Good Counsel”.
Psalms 1:1-3 (NLT) 1 Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. 2 But they delight in the law of the LORD, meditating on it day and night. 3 They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.
What is Your Moral Authority? We need to begin here because the counsel that guides your life comes from the things you trust. What do you trust? The truth is that most people trust themselves. They determine what their sources of information should be. Then they patch together some kind of faith. Many may even say they have no faith and see no purpose in it, but that belief in itself is a faith.
But, I know Jesus is smarter than me. I base that upon the fact that his teachings are utterly countercultural for all cultures. I base that upon the fact that the records we have of His life and death hold nothing back. His own followers lost faith. His arrest, condemnation, and death were corrupted by evil men. His crucifixion was utterly humiliating, But an event occurred that changed everything. His disciples didn’t just believe, they laid down their lives. They sacrificed EVERYTHING so that others might know what happened. That event was and is the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.
So, I trust the Bible. I trust the Old Testament because Jesus did. I trust the New Testament because God promised to preserve his Word. And those Disciples who gave up all, considered the writings of the New Testament to be Scripture. For these and many other reasons, I have come to trust that the Bible is from God. I consider it the very best counsel and worthy of some quietness to reflect upon. Quietness also drives our roots deep into truth and love.
John 15:5-8 (NLT) “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. 6 Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. 7 But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! 8 When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.
The Father as the Gardner. Quietness is about STAYING somewhere. We exist In a world that is always planning the next journey. Quietness stays. “Grow where you are planted,” was a phrase I heard early in my ministry. It’s important to stay. That is what faithfulness is about, staying. Where? In the place that the Master Gardener has planted you.
Quietness is about BEING somewhere too. In the cool of the late day, the Father came to enjoy Adam. He came to the place where Adam was planted. He came to the place Adam was meant to flourish, design, create, and preserve.
Jesus as the Vine. Jesus came from the Father. Jesus displayed the Father. Jesus is everything the Father has to say. Jesus is ROOTED in the Father. And, we are anchored in Him. He is the vine. We are the branches. Everything we have, could have, or could be comes from Him. It is wise and we are instructed to remain in Christ. He is our salvation. He is our eternal life. Everything good that will come to us, comes because of and through Him.
Ephesians 3:17 (NLT) Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.
Love as the Source. This is where you will find the Love which drives out all fear, failure, and weakness. It has been said that in the summer, at night, when it is quiet, that if you were standing in a young corn field, you could hear it growing. Love is the sound of Disciples growing. It is the sound of sacrificial giving. It is the sound of serving. It is the sound of praying. It is the sound of tears, of shouts, of hope, and help. This Love comes from Jesus, who came from God, Who IS LOVE!
So, Quietness opens us up to good counsel, drives our roots deep, and builds deep courage within us.
John 4:23 (NLT) But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way.
We Need to Know what We Cannot. When we worship in quietness and stillness, our focus is upon God. Our hearts are “aimed” at God. Then what we cannot know becomes more knowable to us.
1 Corinthians 2:10 (NLT) But it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets.
The modern age falsely determined that logic, reason, and observable information were all that was needed. Yet, Paul said that we live by faith, not by sight. It seems then that we need God to have any hope of a correct understanding of anything. We need God to know God and …
We Need to be Charged Up. The world is a drain. Quietness and stillness refuel our souls. Fear overwhelms us and steals our courage. We also lose battles even though we have won the war. Quietness is like triage and health to the soul.
We Need Enjoyment of Our Lord. Religion is a drag. Relationship is a blast. Do you love loving Jesus? The Psalmist spoke of delighting in the Lord, Psalms 37. Have you ever asked Father to teach you delight? If not, why not?
Have you ever considered that maybe you are far too easily satisfied. If God is the only thing that truly satisfies, then our pursuit, the one we are created for, must match our purpose. We need to learn what the early church fathers understood so well. The chief end of man is to glorify God and ENJOY him forever.