Escaping The Captivity of Activity

shelley noonan Blog Posts, Quieting Time, Selah

Almost all of us have heard the term Quiet Time. This time refers to a daily occasion when we draw away from the hectic and frantic pace of our lives to steal some moments with Jesus. This communion with Christ can be done in so many different ways such Bible reading, worship, prayer, in-depth study of the Word and its deeper meanings, and even meditation. These are all perfectly in line with what we often refer to as a Quiet Time.  Today, I would like to take a slightly different approach to Quiet Time.

the captivity of activity

One day, I was alarmed as I wondered, when exactly did the quiet leave my Quiet Time? One snare I have often fallen into, (and perhaps you have to) is frantically finding something to “do” while I was partaking in these hallowed moments of quiet.  Standard Quiet Time tends to be filled with activity… but let us beware, lest even this good activity becomes our captivity. Over my years of Quiet Time I tend to err on the side of doing, rather than being. Focusing on my head by learning stuff through the Word, rather than my heart by entering into a relationship with Him through the Word.  Bible teacher Beth Moore aptly coined the catchy phrase of “The captivity of activity” in her series called Breaking Free. But this frenetic activity is nothing new. Isaiah 28:12-13 describes this phenomenon here. “to whom he has said, “This is rest; give rest to the weary; and this is repose”; yet they would not hear. So then, the word of the LORD to them will become: Do and do, do and do, rule on rule, rule on rule; a little here, a little there– so that they will go and fall backward, be injured and snared and captured.”

God’s Word legalistically digested can become to the busy, type A, task oriented person a litany of do and do, do and do, rule on rule, try a little more here, a little more there. There is so much activity in the hoped-for quietness that we fall backward, and become injured.

quieting time

Why it is so easy to ignore God’s wooing call and gift of rest to the weary? Why do we run away, like an over tired child, from the invitation to lie down and rest in Him? Anne Morrow Lindbergh wrote in Gift from the Sea “The problem is not entirely in finding the room of one’s own, the time alone, difficult and necessary as that is. The problem is more how to still the soul in the midst of its activity.”

Today, instead of giving you a list of things to make sure you are doing in your quiet time, I want to introduce you to a tool to mine the richness of God found in His Word.  I would like to challenge you today to carve out and create a daily portion of time when you enter into this rest through His Word. Explore the margin you gain, and the enhanced relationship by spending time with Him in His Word. Instead of “doing” Quiet Time, I invite you to partake in a Quieting Time. In His Word, there is rest. Through His Word there is repose. In the following passage, we read how there is a Quieting that happens by experiencing His love. Zephaniah 3:17 (ESV)17 “The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”