“Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. To draw near to listen is better than to offer the sacrifice of fools. Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few. For a dream comes with much business, and a fool’s voice with many words. Let not your mouth lead you into sin… For when dreams increase and words grow many, there is vanity; but God is the one you must fear.” “The more words, the more vanity.” Ecclesiastes 5:1-3,6-7; 5:11
Every time I speak, I am not listening. Every time I speak, I make noise. There is much to be said for being quiet, slowing down, and remembering God is in heaven, I am on earth; He is God, I am not. He is worthy of my hush.
When the day begins, senses awaken and all sorts of things begin: thoughts of what is on the calendar, plans for work ahead; sounds inside and outside: media, motors, birds, cars, conversation; motion, much to see, to prepare, to adorn, to ingest, to decide. But I can still start each day ‘going to the house of God’ to listen, to hush, to respond in worship and trust, to position myself aright before Him. It is here, in the quiet, I set aside dreams and foolish inclinations, impulsive words and ideas and self-imposed sacrifices, and can learn to fear the Lord. This is where I take on Him, get dressed in Him, let His words soak in. The reverence instilled in the sanctuary makes all the difference when I step out into the world, guarding my soul and spirit with a hush of quiet confidence and my countenance with His grace and shine. (Numbers 6:25-26; Colossians 3:12-17)
What leads me to rash choices and talk? Where do I give in to emotional reactions, loose and “many” words? What steps need guarding along the way, what plans must I implement to spend quiet time in the sanctuary so I can exercise self-control and wisdom when faced with difficult situations or important decisions? “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!” Do I entrust my will to His keeping? (Psalm 141:3)
Lord, hush my heart, hush my mouth, and keep me still before You, beholding Your power and glory so I know You better. I surrender to Your rule over my senses and Your sway over every moment, every day. (Psalm 46:10; 63:2)