Sunday, August 24, 2008

Quietness of heart #3

“I have calmed and quieted my soul.” David wrote that in Psalm 131. How did he get there? He forsook ambition. “My eyes are not raised too high,” he wrote. He was tempted. Otherwise, why say that? But he mortified that impulse of ingratitude and overreaching and attention-seeking. He settled into the role and place God had assigned to him, because he was confident of God’s providential care.

“Like a weaned child is my soul within me.” No longer fretful, demanding, impatient, infantile, David’s heart rested in a sense of God’s place, God’s timing, God’s plan.

The upward glance at that higher place of influence, visibility and recognition destroys our quietness of heart. The one who has helped me the most here is Francis Schaeffer. One of his printed sermons taught me to look by faith beyond my place, wherever it may be, and into the greater battle raging in the heavenlies today, the real battle of our time that bears no necessary relation to the seeming prominence or obscurity of the soldiers involved, and trust that the Lord of hosts is deploying me most effectively right where I am, moment by moment.

If I do climb up to a higher place, I might actually become less consequential than I was before. Unless I was “extruded” (Schaeffer’s wonderful word) out of the lower place by the force of God’s own hand, my life counts less than before, not more.

“For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned” (Romans 12:3).

Quietness of heart awaits us there.