How do I redeem the stillness? I attend to it. I don’t fight it. I respect it. I expect from it. I seek God in it. I listen. I let down my guard. I ask my thoughts to be quiet and listen to God and to my emotions. I absorb what’s around me. I practice gratitude. I meditate on Scripture. I must redeem the stillness – rather, invite God in to redeem the stillness for me, that His delight in me and mine in Him would increase.
“One reason why God usually doesn’t give us specific guidance in our sometimes perplexing decisions is that he places a higher priority on our being transformed than our being informed in order that we will be conformed to the image of Jesus (Romans 8:29). That’s why Paul writes, ‘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).
What does this mean? It means that God has a design in the difficulty of our discerning. The motives and affections of our hearts, or ‘renewed minds,’ are more clearly revealed in the testing of ambiguous decision-making.
In Scripture, God reveals to us everything we need to know to live godly lives (2 Peter 1:3) and to ‘be complete [and] equipped for every good work’ (2 Timothy 3:16–17). But the Father is not seeking workers, but worshipers (John 4:23). And he knows that if he made his will for our specific decisions more explicit more often, we would tend to focus more on what we do rather than what we love. Like the Pharisees, we would tend to focus more on our actions, rather than our affections.
But in decisions that require discernment, the wheat is distinguished from the tares. When we’re not quite sure, we end up making decisions based on what we really love. If deep down we love the world, this will become apparent in the pattern of decisions that we make over time — we will conform to this world.
But if we really love Jesus, we will increasingly love what he loves — we will be transformed by renewed minds. And our love for him and his kingdom will be revealed in the pattern of small and large decisions that we make.”
“I have wrestled with what that concept of “being home” means for me now. It has made my freedom-craving heart cringe a bit, not sure how to handle being locked into a place indefinitely. But per usual, God flipped my perspective to see the freedom He is actually giving me. I don’t HAVE to say goodbye anymore; I have the FREEDOM to stay. Once I was able to see the freedom instead of confinement in rooting myself here, I felt such joy flood in, like it was just waiting for me to lift up the gates of fear that had been holding back the joy from taking its rightful place in my heart.”
“Running to him was real; the way he did it the realest thing he knew. It was all joy and woe, hard as a diamond; it made him weary beyond comprehension. But it also made him free.” – John L. Parker Jr.
An example of how reading LOTR helped me understand a lesson the Lord was teaching me.
“Stale godliness is ungodliness. Let our religion be as warm, and constant, and natural as the flow of the blood in our veins. A living God must be served in a living way.” – Charles Spurgeon
Spiritual Gifts: Given by Grace, For the Good of the Body, Used In Humility.