Guard your steps when you go to the house of God.  Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools…” [Ecclesiastes 5:1]

In the U.K. when entering a building or subway you will often see the sign that says, “mind your step”.   It means to pay attention, keep your mind on what you are doing and where you are going.   It’s a reminder to stay on track with you are thinking.  In other words, focus or you will miss your step and fall on your face!

The writer of Ecclesiastes is saying two things – guard your mind and your lips.  Don’t allow what the preacher says to go in one ear and out of the other.  Don’t be distracted by who has or who hasn’t shown up for church.   Often just when something is about to be said that would be a life changer, the enemy creates a divisive thought and our mind wanders off to join the wool gatherers.

Interestingly the word ‘listen’ contains the same letters as the word ‘silent’.  Obviously one requires the other, they are mutually compatible.  Discipline of the mind and the mouth is not an easy thing.  James said any man that can control his tongue is a mature man that takes time and concentration.   The secret to the preacher’s recommendation is that spiritual strength and vitality is gained when the spirit is allowed by a focused mind to receive that which will be sown silently into the heart.

Sowing to the Spirit will always build a reservoir of strength for the journey, perhaps that’s why they say silence is golden.

Further reading:  Isaiah 26:3; Galatians 6:8; Philippians 4:8; James 3:1-6