Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools who do not know that they do wrong. Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few. (Ecc. 5:1-2 NIV)
What interesting instructions. I should “guard my steps” upon entering a place of worship. I should be entering with the intent of listening instead of simply going through ritualistic, ceremonial rules that have no connectivity my heart. I should remain silent instead of coming with my prepared laundry list. I should let God be God, the Creator of the universe. I’m just an inhabitant of His earth, a creature of His creation.
What are my expectations as I approach a weekly service of worship? Learn something new? Be “moved” by the music? Get teary-eyed? inspired? goosebumps? chills? Or do I actually expect God to speak to me. ME personally! Not corporately, but personally. Maybe if I wasn’t so “quick with my mouth” or “hasty in my heart” then I could hear Him speak. Maybe if I would “let my words be few” then I would be able to hear His.
Father, I know You have so much to tell me…beyond just an hour on Sunday. And I know how to tell when I’m convicted by something You say to me…when I respond with “Ouch!” But I have a long way to go on this discipline of listening. I miss hearing opportunities all the time. I think You are talking about or to others. I think I’ve already learned “that.” I think that one’s “not for me”. I think…too much. When instead I should simply be listening. Soften my heart to hear You, Lord. And then to listen. Amen.
From the archives. Originally published July 29, 2009.