“Do not let the loud utterances of your own wills anticipate, nor drown, the still, small voice in which God speaks. Bridle impatience till He does. If you cannot hear His whisper, wait till you do. Take care of running before you are sent. Keep your wills in equipoise till God’s hand gives the impulse and direction.” Alexander MacLaren (1826-1910)
I encourage you to give careful thought to the quote above. If it takes you a few read throughs, don’t feel bad – it did for me as well! The work of sorting through the wills that vie for your attention and allegiance is one that every disciple of Jesus must take seriously, for it will mean the difference between success and failure, even life and death.
It is an overwhelming truth, isn’t it, that we are in relationship with the being who is supreme and complete in knowledge and understanding? It isn’t just theological trivia that God is all-knowing. We are living every day with Someone who has a full and perfectly clear view of all things!
This truth offers us both peace and confidence as we live with God in His world, but it also demands something difficult of us. Brother MacLaren described that demand beautifully in the quote above. We must humbly quiet ourselves, be still, and wait. We must purposefully “keep [our] wills in equipoise” because they will endlessly make their “loud utterances” heard if we do not. We must acknowledge that our understanding, our desires, and our impulses are limited. Not necessarily wrong, mind you, but not necessarily right either. They are questionable. Whatever else they might be, they are questionable. What we need, then, is a brighter light and a clearer vision to point our way.
Why should that be hard? It should be exciting to have the living God’s light and vision available to us, shouldn’t it? Absolutely. The hard part – and it’s okay to acknowledge that it’s hard – is the waiting and bridling of our impatience. When we declare that we trust God, it must look like trust in matters like timing. If I am waiting “till God’s hand gives the impulse and direction”, then I am having to prove that I trust Him to give it on time. Can He be trusted to move you at the time you ought to move – not before and not after?
I encourage you to meditate on brother MacLaren’s counsel today, Disciple. It will take time and concentration, but I do believe it is the counsel of a godly man who learned by experience what can only be truly learned by experience. God can be trusted, but we must actually trust Him. We must trust Him more than we trust ourselves, and so we must command ourselves to be still, quiet, and patient as we incline our ears to the quiet but reliable voice of our King.
Loving God by loving His beloved children,