Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God.  Ecclesiastes 5:2

There could be a lot of applications to this verse. I need to remember it on so many levels in my life. Just the first phrase: do not be quick with your mouth. (Wow. If I worked on just that one verse for a year or so, my relationships would change!)   

            But I want to think about it in conjunction with the next phrase: how we blab to God all the time without giving Him a chance to speak. One of my pet peeves is when you say one sentence to someone, because you want to explain a point, but you never get to, because after the one sentence, they run with it, and leave you in the conversational dust, so to speak. They’ve gone off on some verbal tangent, and you are just standing there feeling like you don’t matter.

            Well, I do that with God. I hate it. In the book Walking with God, Eldredge talks about how God will say something to Him—one phrase. He writes: We get a glimpse of what God might be up to, and we start speculating and filling in the blanks, bringing all our biases and inclinations to it instead of simply listening for more.   God speaks to us about something, and then we jump in and start making plans and resolutions, when God may desire a completely different way of handling it—or even a different outcome! So the author has a suggestion: Ask the next question.

            For example, if God tells you to help your parents financially, you ask: Now, Lord? How much?  Sometimes God tell us something in order to prepare our hearts. He gives us “a heads up”, so that our eyes are open to His timing and so that we are ready when the opportunity presents itself. Instead, we assume that we are to jump in immediately. We haven’t asked for help, for guidance, for instruction. We haven’t asked for anything. He says, This is so utterly unfaithful, so godless, so self-reliant.

            Ask the next question. Wait for an answer. Sometimes the answer will take a few days—even weeks. So I keep asking. I pray about what I’ve already heard and ask God to help me listen better. Maybe that’s why He doesn’t answer the next question right away. He wants me to linger in His presence, to quiet my heart before Him even as I’m going about my duties. He wants to know that what He says and what He wants matters to me. He matters.

            *Has God said anything to you lately? Have you asked the next question?

Lord, let my words and deeds reflect a quiet heart in tune with Your will. Teach me to listen, to linger in Your presence. What You want matters. You matter.

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