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Friday, March 26, 2010

A Quiet Heart

For thus saith the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: In returning and rest ye shall be saved; in quietness and confidence shall be your strength. (Isaiah 30:15)

We lawyers are a talkative bunch. In our interactions with others, the urge to lend a thought to the conversation, to share an analogy or observation, or to propose a suggestion for a fix, is almost irresistible. And there is nothing wrong with speaking up for the good of others around us, whether in church or in our practices. Our training and experience often equip us to provide needed insights, leadership and know-how.

But on a more personal level, let us ask ourselves whether we have also learned to be quiet inwardly before God. Let the peace of God rule [be referee] in your heart (Col.3:15). In the midst of an active, competitive practice, let us learn to allow the divine referee to rule in our hearts. The role of a referee is often to throw a flag. Inwardly, the Holy Spirit throws a flag when we have lost our peace, when we have ceased to rest in the Lord.

Does a situation or a person cause you to lose your peace? Perhaps your peace is lost just thinking about a pending event. Waste no time in self-recrimination ("I know I shouldn't let this cause me anxiety"). The Lord understands: He knoweth our frame; He remembereth that we are dust (Ps. 103:14). Only consider that the Lord stands ready to provide the poise and the confidence we need. The trial or event that you are thinking of is an opportunity to trust Him more and better, even in the midst of the fray. His promise holds sure: Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee; because he trusteth in Thee. (Isaiah 26:3). Staying our mind on Him is not a quick fix, but an area of learning and growth. Read the biography of any prominent Christian whose life you admire - you will find that he or she learned through deep trials and costly struggles to trust in the Lord and to rest in His provision. This did not lead to passivity and ineffectiveness, but to a life of power and usefulness.

It is good to keep in mind that the victory is not ours but His. He will provide the wherewithal to trust Him, if only we ask, and He is sufficient for any infirmity we have. F. B. Meyer answered the question "How do I overcome?" this way:
There is only one way by which the Tempter can be met. He laughs at our good resolutions and ridicules the pledges with which we fortify ourselves. There is only One whom he fears; One who in the hour of greatest weakness conquered him; and who has been raised far above all principality and power, that He may succor and deliver all frail and tempted souls. He conquered the prince of this world in the days of His flesh; and He is prepared to do as much again, in each one of us, if only we will truly surrender ourselves to His gracious and mighty indwelling.

Lord, teach me to live in Your presence with a quiet heart. It is not so much the power and poise of a quiet heart that I seek, but Yourself. Give me eyes to see Your hand in the events of today, and the grace to leave outcomes with You. I ask this not only for myself, but for the encouragement of the believers around me. In quietness and confidence will be our strength.

~ With thanks to Brent McBurney, Director of Attorney Ministries, Christian Legal Society

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