Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Gentle and Quiet

There is a lot in the news these days about women. God has entrusted us with great influence on our generation and the generations to come.
As I watch the news, 1 Peter 3 comes to mind.
It is where Peter tells us (women) how to act in a way that is PRECIOUS to God.

“rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.”
1 Peter 3:3,4

I used to read that verse and think,
“I can’t do that. That’s not me.”
The fact is I can’t do it!
And neither can you.
None of us come by this naturally.
What does God mean when He tells us to be GENTLE and QUIET?
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“let it be the hidden person of the heart
I love the phrase “the hidden person of the heart”. I have taught my children that it is our “inner man” who matters more than our “outer man”!
Our hidden girl is eternal. She is who God sees.
“People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Sam 16:7
The Greek word for heart is “kardia”. It denotes the center of all spiritual life. 
This is why we ask Jesus to come into our hearts! Giving Him the driver seat to our passions, desires, appetites, purposes, and emotions.
“so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith” Eph 3:17
Without Christ dwelling in your heart through faith, there is no way we can move to the next part of the verse. He is the only One Who can empower us to be “gentle and quiet”  (in the true Biblical sense).
“with the incorruptible beauty
The Bible says this type of beauty is incorruptible. “Incorruptible” is an attribute of God (Romans 1:23). Apart from God, beauty breaks down quick! I turned 40 this year and just bought wrinkle cream.  My outer girl is breaking down! But, by God’s grace, my inner girl is gaining new strength and vigor.
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.”
2 Cor 4:16
If we allow Christ in to the driver’s seat of our heart, we get to participate in His beautiful nature! (2 Peter 1:4).
So, what does “gentle” mean?
It means “meek”.
I loved this description given on Blue Letter Bible-
“Meekness toward God is that disposition of spirit in which we accept His dealings with us as good, and therefore without disputing or resisting. In the OT, the meek are those wholly relying on God rather than their own strength to defend against injustice. Thus, meekness toward evil people means knowing God is permitting the injuries they inflict, that He is using them to purify His elect, and that He will deliver His elect in His time (Isa 41:17, Luk 18:1-8). Gentleness or meekness is the opposite to self-assertiveness and self-interest. It stems from trust in God's goodness and control over the situation. The gentle person is not occupied with self at all. This is a work of the Holy Spirit, not of the human will (Gal 5:23).”
That’s not at all what I thought this passage was talking about!
It is referring to how we respond to suffering, injustice, false accusations, and trials.
(*Sidenote- I don’t believe it is a coincidence that the Greek word for “gentle” is spelled “P-r-a-y-s”.)
The way we respond to suffering matters.
Are we “gentle”? 
This does not mean we don’t speak out against evil.
Jesus definitely spoke out against sin and described Himself with this same word!
“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
We truly do need to learn from Him!
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I also think of Joseph and all he endured. But he was able to keep going because He KNEW God was good.
“You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.” Gen 50:20
This truth allowed him to endure pits and prisons, abandonment, family betrayal, and deep pain. He didn’t blame God.
“You are good, and what You do is good”
Ps 119:68

If we really trust God and consider His dealings with us as good, then we are “gentle”.

We are to be gentle… and “quiet”.
I have six sons and one daughter.
She is loud.
I tell her that God gave her a loud voice on purpose and that she has to learn how to use it for Him!
“Has the Lord redeemed you? Then speak out!
Tell others he has redeemed you from your enemies.”
Ps 107:2

How I pray that she won’t be silent about the things of the Lord. That is not what this means.
 “Quiet” means still, tranquil, peaceful.

How can we be tranquil during suffering?  
Stay in the Word!
We have to allow God’s love to “quiet” us remembering that He is mighty to save!
“The Lord your God in your midst,
The Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet
 you with His love

As I wrote this, I realized how I truly can’t be these two words (gentle and quiet) apart from Jesus Christ.
I want these words to define me.
But first Christ has to define me.
And as I learn to trust Him in suffering, I become gentle and quiet in spirit.
“which is very precious in the sight of God”
A gentle and quiet spirit is very precious and God SEES it.
May God enable us to be gentle and quiet women who willfully submit to His good plan for our lives.
Our life is, after all, a glorious dance with our Prince of Peace.
Hand in hand.
He leads and we follow.
And then we happen to notice we are dancing on water.




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