Ephesians 4:31, “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:”
“Put away” is usually used in Bible referring to divorce. A husband will sometimes “put away” his wife (not that he should!).
“Clamour” is screaming, shrieking, a great commotion, rage, to moan, to be at war.
We must divorce ourselves from clamour.
The great Old Testament prophet Elijah once wondered where God was. God sent a strong wind, a fire, and an earthquake. But God didn’t speak to Elijah in any of those. It was after the noise had died down that God spoke – in still, small voice (you can read this story in 1 Kings 19:9-19).
Today I want to stress to you the need to be still and quiet so you personally can hear instruction from the Lord.
We live in a day of noise and distraction. The average American spends 4 hours watching TV and 2½ hours on the computer every day. How much more time is spent listening to music and radio, watching movies, talking on the phone? It is noisy in cars, homes, workplaces, restaurants, stores.
These can keep us from hearing the words of God.
There are only two things we are commanded to study in the Bible: the Word of God (2 Timothy 2:15) and how to be quiet. “And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;” (1 Thessalonians 4:11).
“Study” means: to labor, to strive for, to be earnest towards.
“Quiet” means: to keep still, to rest, to be at peace, to be undisturbed, to have an inner calmness.
Many are the opposite of this. They are full of trouble, depression, care, worries. Labor and strive to get to the point where you can be quiet.
Why is this? So God can speak to us.
I believe that one of the reasons God instituted the church is so we will have a place to go and be quiet!
Jesus was once on a boat in the midst of storm. Everyone was frantic. Jesus was asleep. He had told them before they set out that they would make it to the other side. But the disciples were focused on the turmoil surrounding them. They did not have an inner calm or quietness.
When our teens go to camp, they are not allowed to bring CDs, TVs, radios, cell phones, or video games. Then they are made to have a “quiet time” or devotional time. God speaks to them! Many of our teens have made spiritual decisions at camp that last a lifetime.
“When he giveth quietness, who then can make trouble?” (Job 34:29a).
“And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.” (Isaiah 32:17)
“And Moses said unto them [the Israelites], Stand still, and I will hear what the Lord will command concerning you.”
We need to wean ourselves from our addiction to noise if we are going to be a people that hears from God. We have to learn what it is to be still and quiet.
“Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still.” (Psalm 4:4). Ever wake up in the middle of the night and couldn’t fall back asleep? Maybe its because God wants to talk to you and knows that is the only time you’re quiet!
The hymn writer Ron Hamilton wrote:
Before I start each day there is a special place
I love to go alone, and seek my Saviour’s face.
I find wisdom in His Word to instruct me in His will,
and I hear His gentle voice say, “My child, be still.”
He’s with me all the time, wherever I may go –
Each moment of the day, He’s always there I know.
But I need that special place when I bow before His throne,
Just to read His word and talk with my Lord alone.
My quiet time alone gives me power to obey.
My quiet time alone with God each day.
I talk to Him in prayer, every day He meets me there.
My quiet time alone with God.
“Be still, and know that I am God: ...” (Psalm 46:10).