Psalm 57:7 in The Passion Translation rings, “My heart, O God, is quiet and confident. Now I can sing with passion your wonderful praises!” Other translations render the psalmist’s heart as “steadfast,” “fixed,” “prepared,” “ready,” and “faithful.” The original Hebrew word here is kûn, a word signaling that something is set in place, ready for its purpose.
What a marvel to be quiet and confident. David, the psalmist, knew something we don’t. In a world where the average Western person is distracted or changes gears every 47 seconds (according to a recent study) and is inundated with crass sex, aggressive politics, and disturbing media every flippin’ moment, a quiet heart is more than welcome.
“Sure,” you might reason, “of course the biblical King David had a heart that was quiet and confident.”
But wait—let me shed some light. Are you familiar with the context of Psalm 57?
Before he was king, young David was hunted like an animal—perhaps frightfully similar to The Lord of the Flies—by the murderous monarch Saul. According to 1 Samuel 24, Saul and three thousand (wow!) of his military were hotly pursuing David and his small band of brothers, forcing David to hide away in a cave.
And it was there in that cold, dank cave, as he waited to see whether or not God would allow Saul to tear his limbs from his body, David wrote, “My heart, O God, is quiet and confident.”
David’s heart was faithful, calm, and quietly confident—even as his would-be murderer lay in wait just at the mouth of the cave. Isn’t that an attractive quality? To have a still demeanor, a non-anxious heart, a collected spirit regardless of the context or circumstance… my, oh, my! Truly, this is a mark of emotional maturity, yes, spiritual maturity.
Recently author and pastor Steven Furtick preached to his congregation, “I’m not a hostage to how I feel. I’m not a hostage to what I want. I’m not a hostage to what I need to understand to trust God. I’m not a hostage to what people think about me.” And he’s exactly right. Contrary to what our culture tries to pummel into us, a mature Christian knows that she is not what she feels, that he is not every thought that enters into his mind. Instead, we must be intentional to train our thinking and feeling to come into alignment with the teachings of Scripture. As powerful men and women, we make our thoughts and feelings serve us, not the other way around, until eventually we can authentically say, “My heart, O God, is quiet and confident.”
(The above paragraph is my favorite in this piece, although it took me many days and many rewrites. I encourage you to reread it slowly and thoughtfully.)
Well, how does this happen? Having an inner self that is calm and rhythmically steady requires practice. Yes, simply practice having a quiet soul. Unplug from the beeping, the vibrating, the buzzing, the pinging for a few small intervals throughout your day. Close your eyes and feel yourself breathing. Then rouse your spirit. Sometimes I’ll even open my hands with my palms up, the posture of receiving. And seek Jesus. Lean into Him. Invite Him into your moment.
Perhaps you won’t notice a change within right away, but little seeds are being planted. You’ll be surprised to know that this discipline of quietness will begin to spill out and positively influence you in contexts that would otherwise be tense. A few seasons ago, perhaps you would have defaulted to anxiety or impatience, but your new normal is now a calm soul, a confident heart. Oh, what a rich space to live in.
Here, meditate on these precious treasures:
“But I have calmed and quieted myself,
I am like a weaned child with its mother;
like a weaned child I am content” (Psalm 131:2).
“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts” (Colossians 3:15).
“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside quiet waters,
He refreshes my soul” (Psalm 23:1-3).
“[Women, your beauty] should be that of your inner self,
the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit,
which is of great worth in God’s sight” (1 Peter 3:4).
“The mind governed by the flesh is death,
but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace” (Romans 8:6).
Amen. In Jesus’ Name, you have access to a quiet and confident heart! In Jesus’ Name, you will abide in meaningful peace even in unsettling times. Let it be so!