“Walk prudently when you go to the house of God; and draw near to hear rather than to give the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they do evil. Do not be rash with your mouth, and let not your heart utter anything hastily before God. For God is in heaven, and you on earth; therefore let your words be few.”—Ecclesiastes 5:1-2.
When it comes to going to church, praying, reading the Bible, etc., we men typically tend to be a little less enthusiastic. Even though most of us probably wouldn’t want to acknowledge it, many times we simply want to satisfy the religious obligation in our lives.
Solomon says, in this passage of Ecclesiastes, firstly, that we should approach our walk with God with prudence. To be prudent means to live with care and thought for the future. So what does that look like? Next time you’re in church, ask yourself, “Am I here to grow in my relationship with God, in order to produce fruit in my life? Am I here to serve and love others? Or am I here just to fill a role as a “good” Christian—to make a religious sacrifice?”
That kind of deliberation is what it means to go to the house of God with prudence. In every aspect of our walk with God, whether it be personal time with the Father or an assembly with other believers, we should always keep ourselves aware of the reason for what we do. Your walk with God is too valuable to just let it be a religious obligation. The body of Christ depends on you planting yourself in a position of humility and service, not to be a “good” Christian, but to be a vessel for the kingdom of God.
I particularly like the second half of the passage, which states, “Do not be rash with your mouth and let not your heart utter anything hastily before God. For God is in heaven, and you on earth; therefore let your words be few.”
Practically speaking, I would apply this to our prayer lives. You may not have much of a prayer life. The reason for that is often because we treat prayer like a time to recite our problems before God and babble on and on about how we wish life were better. That’s not prayer. That’s foolish complaining.
Prayer is about communion with God—growing in relationship. Now if you know anything about relationships, you know that you need to listen in order to learn. Our relationship with God is the same way. Verse 1 of our passage says, “…draw near to hear”. Whenever we take the time to pray, what’s most important is that we approach our prayer time as an opportunity to hear the wisdom of God. Spend less time talking, and more time listening. Why? Because “God is in heaven, and you are on earth”.
In other words, God is enthroned above all of your problems, and He doesn’t need you to recite them all. He wants you to authoritatively speak to your problems about His power, and learn to focus on His goodness above all else.
Optimism and positivity in the Christian walk come from being focused on His promises amidst our hardships, always being mindful of the provision that has been made in Christ for all things.
Look, dude, God holds the universe in the span of His hand! He doesn’t need your complaining; it will only make things worse. Jesus rose again from the dead to be seated in His finished work at the right hand of the Father to show us that we can now rest in His accomplished victory. He reigns in heaven; you can reign on earth.
Stop talking, be still, open your Bible, and hear what He has to say. He knows a lot more of what you do!
God doesn’t need to be informed of our problems. We need to be informed of His promises!