I'm a natural talker. I like to share my ideas because I think they're great or because I need another person's perspective to help me make them great! I'm a natural encourager. This requires the gift of gab. You can't encourage people silently. It requires words of affirmation. I like to laugh, so I tell jokes. I like to give advice, so I share experiences that I have gone through and learned from. My mouth is constantly opened. And because of that, sometimes I get misunderstood. Plain and simple, I talk too much and, embarrassingly enough, I believe in most recent times, the Lord is showing me that I not only need to be still and know that He is God, but that I also need to be quiet, as well!
So much has changed around me in so little time. I'm now a part of a new community with new people who have new opinions, new perspectives and new relationships. I'm in a place where I need to be quiet in order to learn and glean and gain wisdom that is necessary to steer uncharted waters. I feel the Lord is calling me to meditate on Him more instead of contemplating my next conversation. So as I am posturing myself to practice the art of listening, I'm noticing a change in my day and in my quiet time.
Quiet Time: We hear this phrase a lot in our Christian circles. We have it pictured in our heads: a cup of coffee or tea in a cozy little room all clean and peaceful with our Bible in our laps and birds singing outside of a sunny window. That's how I use to picture the perfect Quiet Time, anyway. But these days, I'm realizing that quiet time with the Lord is just that: Quiet. No internal conversations with myself. No more mental list checking. No more speaking a as a means to recieve validation from other people. No more needless chatter about issues that don't matter.
"You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you." - Isaiah 26:3
The thing is, when I allow myself to be quiet for a moment and meditate on God and His blessings and His love over me, then I find that my thoughts are different, which makes my conversations different. I'm not so quick to say something needless or selfish or stupid. I'm not so quick to jump to be heard, because I am listening for God's direction in what I should say and ultimately do.
I've been doing a lot of thinking and meditating on these things and God is certainly using my new environment to show me how valuable it is to not only listen, but pause to think - expand my internal quiet spaces and opportunities to consider His word over a matter, instead of blowing my words around like dandelion spurs.
I'm finding more opportunities to be intentional with my words, not just comical or interesting or academic - but truly intentional and genuine and honest. I'm finding more opportunities to learn myself, as well. Because when I meditate on God and His Word and wait for Him to direct my next move, I see where Katrina's first thoughts might be a little out of line with what He is producing for me, in me and through me.
A new friend said to me just the other day over coffee, "When we truly begin to meditate on God, the Holy Spirit will take over our day and order our steps so that we aren't questioning if our motives come from us or come from the Lord."
That has really meant a lot to me and I am churning it over and over in my head. If I choose to meditate, that means think on God and not so quick to talk about my circumstances or my ideas or my perspective or my assumptions, then my prayer life will begin to thrive more which will have impacts on my circumstances. That's what growing in Christ is all about: more of Him and less of me!
So, according to the Word of God, here are 3 scriptures that will help us all improve our thought life - thinking on God and meditating on His goodness as a means to direct us in our living:
"You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you."
-When we think on His love and His goodness, we begin to experience peace in our minds and in our hearts because we know He can be trusted with even the very little things in life, as well as the tumultuous stuff!
“... Overthrowing reasonings and every high thing that lifts itself up against the knowledge of God, and leading captive every thought into the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).
-We can't always control our thoughts, but if we allow the Holy Spirit to have access to our reasonings so that we are not thinking contrary to the Lord's heart, our lives will begin to align in obedience and we will begin to operate in a manner that lifts Him up instead of ourselves.
"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." -Philippians 4:6-7
-Anxious thoughts prevent us from trusting that God will take care of things. So we can turn our anxious thoughts into uplifted prayers to God and know that His peace and love will consume all of our worries over any situation.
Think on things above, ladies! Less talking, more listening = better living!