The “environment” inside your heart is very important. It should be suitable for you to talk with God, to have fellowship with Him, and to sense what He intends to say. Let Him talk to you, and not just you talking the whole time. Let Him talk to you. We truly need His words of comfort. David once said that if God didn’t talk to him, he would be like a dead person, meaning his spirit is as good as dead. But it is good that most of us give Him opportunities to speak to us. For example, when we read the Bible, He can speak to us through His words. He explains and talks to us more deeply, and His words are fresh each time. Sometimes, He helps you think of other Bible verses to explain to you the ones you are reading, and opens your spiritual eyes to make you understand. His words shine in your heart and give you inner strength. This affects your entire being. Our hearts are then influenced by these living truths that He directly speaks to our hearts.
We also sing the two “diamond hymns” (“Who Affects the Father the Most” and “Love Like a Rainbow”), which are full of very important Bible truths. When you sing these hymns, you’re giving Him an opportunity to let you understand more deeply. So even though I’ve been singing them for so long, I continue to understand more and more deeply the love of the Father and the Lord towards me. The enjoyment continues to deepen, and you can add more songs to those two as you continue to enjoy. These songs include a very wide scope of many aspects about God’s love. They contain a lot of Bible truths within them. Through these, He’ll open your spiritual eyes and help you to understand more deeply. He will also help you associate these to other Bible verses. Moreover, He will appear to you so that you may truly know His love for you. You will understand more and more deeply. These experiences of drawing near to Him will increase your faith in these truths. As a result, you will be full of faith towards God’s love. You know for certain that the Lord has opened your spiritual eyes, and let you see and understand. You are drawn by Him and His love, which in turn attracts you even more. I wrote a song with lyrics that said, “When You kiss me, I forget the world.” You won’t even think of your “father’s house” (ref. Psalm 45)!
So a good internal environment helps. If your heart is not at peace, just turn to Him and continue to draw near to Him. As you do so, your heart will feel more and more quiet. (If you have sinned, repent and obey Him.) Same for prayers. Don’t try to rush your prayers to finish them. When you sing those two diamond hymns, it’s okay not to finish the whole song. The most important is that you can enjoy the Lord, because as you enjoy more deeply, it takes time, and you may not be able to finish the whole song. Feel free to adjust and be flexible. It’s not rigid at all. Don’t be anxious, thinking: Oh I can’t finish the song. I’d rather you be able to experience the Lord and cannot finish it, than to finish the whole song, but cannot experience the Lord much. Don’t be accused. Time is limited, what’s most important is that you’re able to experience and enjoy Him, and that your heart is attracted to Him. Sometimes He is attracting you, but you are too rushed to pause and realize it.
When you stay quietly before Him after worship, your heart shouldn’t be blank, because you already have a certain understanding of Him, and He can talk to you through the Bible passages that you’ve read before. Also, you were being affected by the truths while you were singing hymns or reading the Bible; so your heart shouldn’t be blank. Just continue your enjoyment, and you will enjoy it even more deeply, and receive more from Him. It’s good to write down your gain, because as you do so, you express that you treasure it. If you don’t write it down, you might forget. And sometimes while you’re writing, the Lord may give you more because you treasure it, and they continue to come. It also helps you to be more focused.
I hope you see the importance of peace and your “internal condition”. God speaks to us in a gentle whisper. That’s why peace is very important, and it is also the reason the Lord has left us peace. A peaceful heart gives you a good condition to listen. David’s heart was also settled and quiet. Peace is so important. “In quietness and trust we gain strength.” (Isaiah 30:15). “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7) As you can see, it’s very important that He talks to us. Many people in the Bible were affected by God’s words. Psalm 1 says, “Blessed is the man… his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water.” Such a person can enjoy nourishment from God. He wasn’t just reading God’s words, but he delighted in them and was influenced by them.
I’ve said that we should be heart to heart with the Lord throughout this year. We should also let our hearts be influenced by the Lord throughout the year. We are influenced by His words and He Himself. Our fellowship with Him is real. You can truly develop a very deep friendship with Him. The Bible talks about people’s relationships with God through many generations, about their fellowship with Him, and the gain they had from God. God was very, very real to them. People in history truly experienced God greatly. And some of them experienced great events with God. Likewise, we will also experience Him greatly. The Bible isn’t just about history. The God who holds history is living! He exists from eternity to eternity.
One more thing I need to remind you: because the devil wants to disturb your heart, he’ll give you many thoughts. We don’t have to mind them too much if they haven’t affected your willpower and your heart. If you are always fighting them, you just end up being distracted. Those thoughts aren’t the things that your true self has decided. They’re just thoughts inserted into your mind. You’re a new creation, not a wicked one. It’s the devil who wants to disturb you through these thoughts. So ignore them and focus on enjoying God. When you are enjoying God, you’re the most normal.