Tell Your Spirit to Shut Up

Erin Davis 12/02/13 | Twitter: @ErinGraffiti
Category: Myself ; 11 comments

Tell Your Spirit to Shut Up

But I have calmed and quieted my soul,
like a weaned child with its mother;
like a weaned child is my soul within me (Ps. 131:2).

Go back. Read that passage again.

Who did the psalmist say was responsible for calming and quieting his soul?

"But I have calmed and quieted my soul."

No one did it for him. If the writer of this passage was going to get calm and quiet before the Lord, he had to do whatever it took to get still.

I am often troubled by how many young women I encounter who have little or no time set aside for quiet prayer and Bible study. To be honest, I struggle to make time to be quiet with the Lord, too. As I read the psalmist's words, I wonder if too many of us are waiting for someone else to carve out quiet time for us. We want someone to say to us, "You seem stressed. Your life looks busy. Let me clear your calendar so you can read your Bible and pray."

That doesn't happen in my world. My guess is that it doesn't happen in yours either. Carving out regular time to be in God's presence is hard. There are always things to do, people to interact with, and responsibilities tugging at our attention. So what's the payoff for taking regular time to be quiet with the Lord?

If we keep reading Psalm 131 we find the simple, life-changing answer.

O Israel, hope in the LORD from this time forth and forevermore (Ps. 131:3).

In one verse the writer talks about how he forces his soul to get quiet. In the very next verse he declares that God is his source of hope. He wants everyone to know it and everyone to put their hope in God, too.

Here's the simple truth.

When we force our spirits to get quiet, we will discover over and over and over again that God is our source of hope. When we keep running to other things for satisfaction (to-do lists, good grades, busyness, iStuff), we will find our deepest needs unmet.

I likely don't have to tell you that December can be an especially hectic month. There are parties to attend, programs to perform in, parties to go to, and gifts to buy. But what a tragedy it would be for any of us to miss out on time with the God whose birth we celebrate because we refuse to take the time to get quiet.

We'll be visiting every character of the Christmas story together on this blog this month. My goal is for us to arrive in the manger together with soft hearts and renewed wonder for all that Christ's arrival means.

But you've got to do your part.

You've got to tell your spirit to shut up. Get quiet. Tell the to-do list to take a chill pill. Be still before God. Read and re-read the Christmas story (found in Matthew 1–2 and Luke 1–2).

No one is going to do it for you. The people in your world are going to ask for more and more of you and your time. But we all need reminded that our hope is in the Lord. That reminder will always come when we follow the psalmist's example.

"But I have calmed and quieted my soul."

What can you do to calm and quiet your soul this week?
How can you make sure you have time to be with the Lord during the busy month ahead?


HEY, GIRLS! We love hearing from you, but feel limited in the ways we can help. For one thing, we’re not trained counselors. If you’re seeking counsel, we encourage you to talk to your pastor or a godly woman in your life as they’ll know more details and can provide you with ongoing accountability and help. Also, the following comments do not necessarily reflect the views of Revive Our Hearts. We reserve the right to remove comments which might be unhelpful, unsuitable, or inappropriate.

    on Monday, December 2, 2013 at 10:54 am
    Thank you for this post it came at a great time for me.
    on Monday, December 2, 2013 at 1:19 pm
    Thanks for this. I thoroughly appreciate (and need) the reminder!
    on Monday, December 2, 2013 at 1:26 pm
    I know all this, but I can't figure out exactly how to quiet my soul. Whenever I'm praying or reading my Bible or spending time with God, my mind always wanders. Any help??
    Elsie Beth
    Re: Kate
    on Monday, December 2, 2013 at 2:42 pm
    Thanks for the great post!

    I know what you mean Kate! It is really hard!

    Here are a couple of ideas that may or may not work for you but are worth a shot:

    1) Clear the area. Make a little space for you and your time with God...put your phone (and other devices) in another room. Put away other distracting items like a book you really want to read and might start thinking about etc. etc

    2) Maybe start by listening to some worship music. That really helps set the "mood" for me and gets me focused. Have you heard of They have an online radio player where they play quite a few worship/christian songs which is really nice!

    3) Read and talk/pray out loud. At first its going to sound funny, and be a little strange but it really helps keep you focused!

    4) Keep carving out time! :) The fact that you notice yourself getting distracted is really great, and now that you know it is something you can work on it will be easier to address of course! And like the saying goes, practice makes perfect! and so the more you meet with God, the more excited, ready and focused you will be

    Also, its natural to get distracted, you're not the only one! Like Erin said, the world is going to keep pressuring you! These are just helpful tips. :)

    On a side note, maybe it is just me, but at first glance when I saw the title I thought the article was referring to the Holy Spirit and so I was confused for a moment. If you don't mind me suggesting, maybe it would be a good idea to define what one's soul/spirit meant? On second though, I guess it is made clear by the rest of the article...

    Anyways, have a wonderful day everyone and quiet peace in this busy season! :)

    Alyssa M.
    Re: Kate
    on Monday, December 2, 2013 at 2:42 pm
    Kate, I've definitely been there. When you're praying and the next thing you know you're thinking about vacuum cleaners (please don't laugh, it's a true story), it can be difficult to feel like you're making any headway in your relationship with God. What I've found works best is to gently guide yourself back to what you were previously saying. Don't beat yourself up because you aren't focused; just go back to what you were praying about. You'll find that the time it takes to become conscious of and correct your rabbit trail thoughts will lessen, and you will have less of those rabbit trail thoughts in the first place. But you have to be consistent. Sometimes you'll get frustrated because you're having to drag your mind back to your prayers again when you just did so a few seconds ago and you don't feel like you're getting anywhere. When those days come, keep pressing on towards the goal of a mind focused on God. Trust me, it's totally worth the trouble.
    I've certainly not perfected this yet, and I still occasionally catch myself thinking about vacuum cleaners, but when I pray, I'm much more focused overall. I hope this helps! God bless you this week, especially in your prayer life.
    Jenna Mincy
    Re: Kate
    on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 7:31 am
    Hi Kate~
    I've been there too, and I was talking to my dad {he's a pastor} and he said praying aloud is helpful too. I tried it, and it really is.
    Hope it helps!
    on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 11:55 am
    I don't know if this'll help but before I start my time, I pray that I'll focus on God's word. When the wandering thoughts come, I have to make the choice to push them away. Also, it's not going to be easy with the snap of the fingers. You've gotta train yourself to do it! Happy reading :)!
    on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 6:01 pm
    Well, I certainly wasn't prepared for all the support!! Thank you guys so much for your suggestions, I will definitely try them tonight. You guys are awesome, thank you so much!!!!
    Lorree, with the LYWB team
    @ Kate
    on Wednesday, December 4, 2013 at 3:23 pm
    You have been given some very wise counsel, Kate, from your friends here! The other thing I would add is to keep a pad of paper with you during your time with the Lord. When a distracting thought comes to your mind - something that you need to do or something of that nature, jot it down on the paper. Get it out of your mind so that you can get your thoughts back on the Lord and what He is saying to you. This has helped me a great deal! Praying for you!
    well thanks!
    on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 6:30 pm
    thanks guys! I really appreciate everyone's support for me. You guys are awesome.
    Another thought for Kate
    on Saturday, December 7, 2013 at 11:35 am
    Thanks to all of your for your helpful comments. Praying out loud is a great idea. AND so it reading the Bible out loud. Reading out loud helps focus, and that way you see it, say it, hear it, etc. Works really well for me - and (smile) my dog loves it too. When I open my Bible to read, she shows up and lies down by my feet or side while I read out loud to her!

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