When was the last time you were quiet enough to actually hear Jesus?
AUGUST 30, 2023
Matt Heard: When was the last time you were quiet enough to actually hear Jesus? Let’s talk about it, on Key Life.
This is Key Life. We’re here to let you know that because of what Jesus has done, God will never be angry at you again. Matt Heard is a speaker, teacher, writer, pastor, coach, and the founder and principal of a ministry called Thrive. And he’s been teaching us all this week.
Matt Heard: Thank you Matthew. And welcome to all of you. And if you’ve not been joining us up to now during this week, welcome to the will of God once again. And if you were in God’s will earlier in the week, you’re where we’re talking about calibrate. What’s it look like to calibrate our lives in the midst of a busy season, especially as one that’s about to start as this school year gets underway and our work here in the summer’s over, like those ships and the harbor long ago that would get into a quiet, still harbor with no wind, no waves in order to calibrate. And that’s what we need to do regularly. And we’re basing this on the discipline of sitting at the feet of Jesus. It’s a beautiful privilege, not just a discipline. It comes out of Luke chapter 10: verse 38. That’s our passage for this week.
As Jesus and his disciples were on their way. He came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. And she had a sister called Mary who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. And she came to him and she asked, Lord, don’t you even care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me, Martha, Martha, the Lord answered, you’re worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed. Indeed, only one. And Mary has chosen what’s better. And it’ll not be taken away from her.
Often Martha gets the short end of the stick and that’s not the intent of this passage. Really, we all need a bit of Martha and Mary in us. Not all Mary, with no Martha, but really most of us gravitate to all Martha, with very little Mary. We’re busy, busy, busy. We’re doing stuff, we’re doing stuff. And it’s appropriate to regularly in a rhythm. to sit at the Lord’s feet. And what happens there? Well, Monday, we talked about the necessity of stillness, just pure and simple hitting the pause button. That enables us to, as Melville said in Moby Dick.
To throw our harpoon, not out of exhaustion and toil, but out of a stillness, out of a strength.
Yesterday, we talked about adding to that stillness, a posture of submission, of being pliable, think Play-Doh, not Play-Doh that’s been out of the can, out of the container for months and is as hard as a rock, but Play-Doh that’s soft and it’s malleable. Well, today we come to the practice of silence. The third thing that happens, go back to that text, it’s just a, it’s a very simple word, little phrase that we can fly over.
Mary was sitting at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he said.
Now, my spiritual gift is clarifying the obvious, and so it’s hard to listen when you’re talking, when you’re not being silent. So, silence is something that I need in my life in order to hear Jesus. And silence is something that has become more and more difficult to come by. I ran across this quote by Jean Arp.
Assume silence will have passed into legend. Man has turned his back on silence, day after day, he invents machines and devices that increase noise and distract humanity. From the essence of life, contemplation, meditation, howling, screeching, booming, crashing, whistling, grinding, and trilling bolster his ego.
He didn’t actually write that recently. He was a German French sculptor and artist and poet, who lived the latter part of the 19th century and the first part of the 20th century. Long before cell phones, long before all of our technology, but even then he was noticing as the industrial age was gaining momentum, the way that silence was being robbed from our lives. And there are a lot of people that just get scared to death of the quiet, but it is vital, if I’m going to remain healthy, if I’m going to be able to thrive as a human being and not just survive the toiling every day and throwing my heart harpoon, the harpoon of my career or whatever I’m up to in exhaustion. Ecclesiastes chapter three: verse seven says.
There’s a time to care and a time to mend. And there’s a time to be silent and a time to speak.
And oftentimes, we use this phrase quiet time, which I do like better than doing devotions. You’ve already heard my disdain for that where it’s just doing devotions where you’re going through the motions. But it’s ironic that the phrase quiet time, often we’re not quiet. We’re always saying something. We’re always reading something out loud. What about just being quiet, Habakkuk 2:20.
But the Lord is in his holy temple and let all the earth be silent before him.
How silent am I before God? Not just passively so, but I’m being still in his presence. I’m submitting myself, I’ve got a submissive posture and I’m going to be quiet, Psalm 62: verse 1 and then verse 5 says.
For God alone my soul waits in silence.
From him comes from my salvation. For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence. My hope is from him. Ueno said.
Silence is not native to my world. Silence more likely is a stranger to your world too. If you and I are ever to have silence in our noisy hearts, we’re going to have to grow it.
So, what am I doing today to grow some silence? Is it just turning off the media when I’m in the car? If you’re living in an area where there’s lots of traffic lights, and you can spend a lot of time in quiet, but it’s important to be silent in an intentional way, not just passive. So, how do I do that? The way that I practice it, remember when we were kids and we were taught, okay, when we’re going to cross the street, what are you supposed to do before you cross the street? There are three words. I think we all get it. Stop. Look. Listen. Actually, doing that can help me cultivate silence, like Mary and kind of follow in her footsteps. First, I just need to stop for the quieting of my soul. It’s amazing how simple that is. Blaze Pascal is a French mathematician, philosopher, passionate follower of Jesus. He, one time he said.
All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.
And we say, well, I just need to be with people. Well, I need to be quiet as well. Psalm 131: verse 2 says.
But I have stilled and quieted my soul like a weaned child with its mother. Like a weaned child is my soul within me.
You know, weaned child does not need to go to his or her mom for milk any longer, but they want to be with her. They want to be still. So stopping for the quieting of my soul. That’s the first one. And then I need to look. at the yearning of my soul. So once I’ve stopped in this environment of stillness, in which I’m being submissive, now I’m being silent. I’m going to look at the yearnings of my soul. What is it that I’m thirsty for? What is it that you’re thirsty for? What are the longings that are rising up today? Is it for significance or intimacy or a longing for love or security or meaning or wholeness or purpose or connection or a thirst for Shalom, to make an impact, to be accepted for goodness or truth or beauty, to be part of a great story, a yearning for joy, a thirst for justice, hunger for belonging, belonging for triumph, for freedom or destiny or resolution or home, that list goes on and on. But so often we don’t pay attention to how thirsty we are and at different points all those longings I just mentioned are common to all human beings, but the followers of Jesus say, I want to bring these longings to you and figure out how you can address those in my life. And it’s not through religiosity, it’s through authenticity and my engagement with the gospel. So, not being superficial about my thirst, but being honest about it, Psalm 84: verse 2.
My soul yearns, even faints for the courts of the Lord. My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.
Ultimately, I’m thirsty for Jesus. And then thirdly, it’s stop, it’s look, and then it’s listen. Listen for the restoring of your soul. Psalm 23: verse 2.
He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside quiet waters.
And that’s where he restores my soul. And he guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Jesus one time rebuked the Pharisees for studying the Scriptures, he says.
You start studying the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, that you refuse to come to me to have life.
Am I getting to him to his word, not to do something religious, but to listen to his love letter and find life. I hope you listen today. And as a result, I hope you thrive instead of just survival by sitting at the feet of Jesus.
Thanks Matt, that was our good friend Matt Heard continuing to teach us about this often overlooked idea of pausing the busyness of our lives to simply sit at the feet of Jesus. And we do still have one more day in this series for Matt. Sincerely hope that you will join us again tomorrow for that. Well, I don’t know if you’ve ever stopped to think about it, but there are a lot of songs about summer, from Mungo Jerry to Alice Cooper to Will Smith. It’s a magic season, right? But say you’re traveling out of town this summer and realize, wait, I’m away from home and don’t know where to catch Key Life and Steve Brown Etc on the radio. Relax fam, I’ve got you. Just go to keylife.org/stations to find our station finder tool. It’s just one of a bunch of cool features on keylife.org and of course, all of those cool features are still free, thanks to the generous support of listeners just like you. If you’d like to donate, just call us at 1-800-KEY-LIFE that’s 1-800-539-5433. If you’d like to send your donation by mail, go to keylife.org/contact to find our mailing addresses for the U.S. and Canada. Or e-mail [email protected]. You can charge a gift on your credit card. You can include a gift in your envelope. And of course, now you can give safely and securely simply by texting Key Life to 28950 that’s Key Life, one word, two words. It doesn’t matter. Just text that to 28950 and then follow the instructions. Key Life is a member of ECFA in the States and CCCC in Canada. And as always, Key Life is a listener supported production of Key Life Network.