We all know how hard it can be to meditate on God and find stillness and peace in our heart when we have a lot of thoughts running around our mind. You might have heard the saying that it’s like having a head full of monkeys.
Well I discovered it is not always the thoughts and our mind that is the problem. Sometimes it is our spirit. I have discovered that our spirit can be like an excited child that needs to be calmed down and made to sit and be still.
You might also have heard the expression “He (or she) is just a boy/girl at heart” and that is true. Our spirits are like little children that need to grow and mature. 2 Corinthians 3:18 talks about becoming more and more like Christ. James 1:4 says that when perseverance is fully developed we will be mature and complete (in other words we are not there yet). 2 Peter 3:18, 1 Corinthians 3:1 and 1 Peter 2:2 all talk about being babies in Christ and growing in the Lord.
The good thing is once we understand that our spirits are like little children then just like children, we can train our spirit to be still.
You see the Holy Spirit doesn’t live in emotion (I’m not saying He doesn’t feel it but He doesn’t live there). I was feeling a bit “hyped” in my spirit one morning when I came into my meditation time after having a very big couple of days dealing with some things. I needed to calm down and come back down into the Holy Spirit’s zone. Not that He is “down”. He just doesn’t live in emotion. Emotion does not always reflect reality but the Holy Spirit does. He is truth. He is real truth, real light and real joy.
So we need to come out of the emotion zone and into the Holy Spirit zone. And that’s what we are doing when we meditate on God.
In meditation we are bringing our spirit back into the right zone, the Holy Spirit zone. Centering it. And that’s what I realised that morning sometimes trying to bring our spirit into that zone can be like trying to catch a toddler and trying to calm them down and keep them still.
Our spirits can be very easily distracted by our flesh (that is, our human nature) and our mind. We can lose focus on the greatest picture of all mankind and history – the kingdom of God. It is too big for our human nature to see or our minds to understand. Only our spirit, when focussed and united with the Holy Spirit can get a glimpse of the great purpose and kingdom we live in. We have to train and discipline our spirit by obedience, focus and constant encounter with God to stay focussed, or rather, to settle into the Holy Spirit zone.
I don’t like using the word discipline in connection with the Holy Spirit because it’s never a discipline to meet with the One I love more than life itself. But sometimes I need to discipline my spirit to settle and focus and be still and get into the zone where I can feel God and hear Him.
It is not just always about stopping all the thoughts running around my mind (although that is necessary sometimes too). It’s about bringing my spirit into the Holy Spirit zone. Sometimes my spirit is running around like that excited toddler that I talked about and I have to calm myself and come out of the emotion zone, and come out of the thinking zone and bring my spirit into the still, calm, peace-filled zone of the Holy Spirit. It is the zone where my spirit has an awareness of the presence of God.
It’s when my spirit becomes focussed on the awareness of His presence with me right in that moment. You can sense it, you’re aware of it, you can feel it and you begin to see and hear Him. It’s a beautiful place – the noise has stopped, you’ve thrown off all the worry and cares and you’re sitting in the still, quiet awareness of His presence.
This still, quiet place is called the secret place, the very presence of God where our heart joins with His. All kinds of things happen in this connection. Peace flows like a river. Healing and restoring of our soul takes place and even physical healing can happen. Our soul drinks Him in – we did not know we were so thirsty – and He does whatever it is our soul needs.
The only reason that people are not desperately pursuing the secret place is because they have never been there and don’t know how wonderful it is.
The Holy Spirit then points us to Jesus and we go even deeper. We sit and gaze upon His beauty and we are transformed.
We leave our meditation and it’s like a core of calmness has come into our spirit. We are strengthened and unflustered about what lies ahead.
To experience His presence and His peace like this we have to practice training our spirit to hear and be obedient to the Holy Spirit. We actually have a lot more authority and control over our mind and especially our spirit than we think we have. Sometimes we just need to firmly tell ourselves “be quiet, be still and listen”.
At my sons high school there is a famous story of a teacher who is very short in stature but huge in authority. She is famous for one day marching into a classroom where the students were supposed to be watching a film but were mucking around instead. She famously marched in and with great authority, literally almost barking at them like a general in an army she commanded them to “sit down and hit the lights”. The children were so shocked at the authority of this little lady. They immediately fell silent, stopped their chatting and mucking around, got in their seats, put their heads down and got on with their work. Short in stature but huge in authority. Amazingly, this lady is now one of the most well respected teachers in the school.
So if you are struggling to be still don’t be afraid to take authority over your spirit. Tell your spirit it’s time to be quiet, to settle down, be still and listen to the Holy Spirit.
I pray this helps you this week as you meditate on God to find a greater level of stillness in your spirit and a deeper connection with Him.
Praying for you always,