Backseat Conversations on the Way to Heaven: #7 Be Quiet Back there!

Backseat Conversations on the Way to Heaven:Concordia Lutheran Church
Be Quiet Back There!
Psalm 46

 May we be so in awe of the glorious works of God in our lives, that we are found still, and quiet, enjoying the beauty of His Peace!


Backseat grumblings

it was inevitable, on those family drives as children that a fight would ensue between my brother and sister, and sometimes, I would get involved.

Remember, back in the day before seatbelts and child seats?  When there could be a real free-for all wrestling match as dad drove down the highway at seventy miles an hour?

As expected as the war of the backseat was, even more was another thing we heard just a few moments later.

Be still back there!  Be quiet back there!

I could almost hear those words as I drove those same roads last week.

I think when we hear God urging us to be still, urging us to be quiet, it isn’t because he needs to concentrate to get us where we are going.   It isn’t that he will somehow loose control of the journey when a pillow comes flying over the back seat.  Or the sound of a siren on a video game makes him glance guiltily at the speedometer.

Even so, we as individuals, we as the church of God, need to spend some real time in quiet, some real time being still, some extensive time knowing that God is God, and that He is our refuge, our fortress.

For different reasons when we were children, we need to hear Jesus say, my friends, be quiet, be still back there.

In fact, they are the same reasons Martin Luther, and so many before and since him, need to hear those words as well….

What couldn’t we see?  V. 8

In our world today, much like in Luther’s time, there were more than enough fights going on, just like in the backseat of our ’72 dodge dart.

Some of the fights are caused by external things, fights in the world that worry us, whether against enemies like ISIS, or that are more insidious, like Ebola.  Some are fights within the church at large, just as Luther experienced in His day.  Fights over doctrine, fights over traditions, fights over theology.  And some are fights like St Paul noted, fights between our sinful nature and our new nature in Christ.  Those internal fights between sin, and the desire to serve God. They are like David describes in the psalm, times where our lives are shaken like earthquakes, where everything seems to crumble, where we feel like we are being drowned in life.  Where the world is in chaos, and the very strength of our country seems to crumble…

All these fights in the backseat on our journey towards heaven garner our attention, whether we are involved in the fight, or not.  They cause us anxiety and fear, even if we aren’t involved, for like the kid in the middle between two siblings, we can’t help being involved.

And once involved, life overwhelms us.

It was at such a time, inspired by this very psalm, Luther found rest. Despite the hoards of Turks threatening to take over Europe, despite some religious leaders calling for his death, despite health issues, despite his own sin and psychological challenges… Luther found peace.

And so can we… if only we can manage to be still, to be quiet, to be in awe of the glorious works of the LORD.
Being Still… not about behavior…

As we were driving down roads in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, I saw things that I don’t remember seeing. Rivers and streams, small waterfalls, signs notifying us that moose and elk now wandered the woods. Even as William and I stood at the shore of Lake Ossipee, my senses were flooded with what I saw, what I heard.  The wind rustling through thousands of trees, raindrops causing ripples on the stillest of waters.

What God creates in nature is so incredibly amazing!  We need to see them, but even more we need to see God’s glorious works in our lives

Even before the psalm encourages stillness, it encourages us to look at the glorious works of God.  Not the mountains and lakes, the forests and oceans, but what He does to bring peace to our world. To bring peace to our lives.

Promise after promise we’ve heard, we know that nothing can separate us from Him, that all things work for good, that even what is planned for evil, He defeats and causes it to be for our best interest.

When we trust Him, we know that we have a safe place, a fortress that cannot being overwhelmed, a sanctuary that will not be broken into, a refuge where the battles of the world can’t compare to the glory we know, to the peace that surrounds us.

We can’t know that peace when we are fighting, whether the fight is external, or internal.  Whether we are being attacked by thousands of enemies, or we are like Peter, realizing we betrayed the Lord.

We need to hear Jesus’ words, “Peace be with you!”

Even more grace – He is Here, among us!

That peace comes with something more incredible.  We hear the words though out the service, but today we hear them a little differently…
11  The LORD of Heaven’s Armies is here among us;
the God of Israel is our fortress
.
Psalm 46:11 (NLT)

To hear this, to really hear this, results in the very same thing that we normally hear, that because He is hear among us, because God is our sanctuary, our refuge our fortress, we can have the rest from the wars that rage in the world, we can know the stillness and quietness that we need…

We can realize that He is our God…. The Lord God almighty is our God, and therefore we can rest in Him, and know the peace that passes all understanding, guarding our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus!

AMEN!

About justifiedandsinner

I am a pastor of a Concordia Lutheran Church in Cerritos, California, where we rejoice in God's saving us from our sin, and the unrighteousness of the world. It is all about His work, the gift of salvation given to all who trust in Jesus Christ, and what He has done that is revealed in Scripture. God deserves all the glory, honor and praise, for He has rescued and redeemed His people.

Posted on October 27, 2014, in Sermons and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I do long for peace like this. I feel the need to fight when doctrine is at stake but I know that leads to some unnecessary quarreling many times. Thanks for the post.

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