Stillness and silence in a season of upheaval
“My dearest brothers and sisters, take this to heart: Be quick to listen, but slow to speak. And be slow to become angry, for human anger is never a legitimate tool to promote God’s righteous purpose.” – James 1:19-20
Can you hear the pandemonium break out? The wild uproar as fear-o-clock and corona-phobia fades into the sunset.
This is what we want right as we cry out, “Father God, do you hear the agony of your people? The turmoil of this present cultural moment? Take it away Lord, we beckon!”
Yet if this virus dissipates into history, will we just quickly move on and forget. Should we bury our heads in the sand, choosing to run from the pain? Desiring to avoid this present heartache and the cries of the people. As we know, ‘She’ll be right mate!’
Yet is it and will it ever be “right”? We’re still here, still praying, believing, hoping and asking for the Lord to intervene in our nation. Why not now, we pray?
As I’ve been seeking the Lord personally in October, I’ve felt a renewed sense of life despite the circumstances. A deep joy and hunger from the Lord. I’ve felt a release and a shift, with a new kingdom perspective emerging.
Yes, it’s been a wretched season of upheaval. Yet this season has brought about pause, reflection, and deep rest if we’ve allowed it. The busyness and current rush of our culture has pervaded our lives.
Maybe the Lord has allowed an undoing? – a re-establishing of what’s important. A re-focusing on Him, our wives or husbands, our children and our children’s children. Remembering our friends and our family, our next-door neighbours and the hurting, broken world we live in.
Personally, I’ve been asking the Father, “how do I just shut up and listen? How do I seek to hear Your voice and obey? Where are you leading me Lord and where are you leading this nation? Help me understand the season and the times we are in. What do you have for me today?”
The scripture that will always haunt me is how do I ‘be quick to LISTEN, slow to SPEAK, and slow to ANGER.’
It keeps coming back and I keep running from it. I don’t know about you, but I all too easily rush to anger and frustration, speaking rapidly without hesitation. In fact, because of this, I am more anxious, worried, fearful and emotionally charged in these times.
Yet we must listen to one another, to God’s voice, and to His Word in this season.
This is so especially true in the church right now. Let us listen, show love and compassion. Even if you disagree, LISTEN, hear and discern. WAIT, don’t rush to fix it or butt in. Let’s not move to try to control, lead or steer the situation.
Let us pause, be slow to speak and respond. May God give us listening hearts and a posture to love like never before. We need to listen to one another, to His voice, and to His living and active Word in this season.
“And then, when you pray, don’t be like the play-actors.
They love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at street-corners so that people may see them at it. Believe me, they have had all the reward they are going to get. But when you pray, go into your own room, shut your door and pray to your Father privately.
Your Father who sees all private things will reward you. And when you pray don’t rattle off long prayers like the pagans who think they will be heard because they use so many words. Don’t be like them. After all, God, who is your Father, knows your needs before you ask him
Pray then like this:
‘Our Heavenly Father, may your name be honoured; May your kingdom come, and your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day the bread we need, forgive us what we owe to you, as we have also forgiven those who owe anything to us.
Keep us clear of temptation, and save us from evil’.”
Jessie Skelly Bio
Jessie Skelly is a missionary involved in church planting and pioneering. He works with Fresh Hope, the ministry architecture for Churches of Christ in NSW and the ACT. His desire is to raise and release the next generation into their God-given destiny. Jessie and his wife, Abi, are working to create a training and innovation centre immersed in an urban environment in Marrickville, Sydney.
31 Days Prayer Points
- Pray for the restoration of FAMILY, FATHERHOOD and MOTHERHOOD in our nation. Malachi 4:6
- Pray for healing for MARRIAGES, protection for CHILDREN and restoration of the sanctity of LIFE. Isaiah 58:12
- Pray for Revival, Renewal and Reformation for Australia, that our nation might return to God. 2 Chronicles 7:14
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