” … my soul waits in silence … “

                            “Listen in silence before Me … “

 

God longs to train us in this discipline of silence and quietness and will give Grace to quiet the noise inwardly and outwardly. Click To Tweet

 

The seed thought for this study came from (1) King David’s declaration of trust in God in Psalm 62:1:  “For God alone my soul waits in silence;  from Him comes my salvation.”;  (2) from his counsel to his own soul in verse 5:  “My soul, wait only upon God and silently submit to Him;  for my hope and expectation are from Him.”;  and finally (3) from reading David’s affirming words to God Himself in Psalm 65:1:  “To You belongs silence, and praise is due to You, O God … “.  When I shared these thoughts with a friend, she exclaimed, “Impossible to find silence these days!”  Of course,  ALL things are possible with the Lord but we can certainly agree that to be silent before Him – to make time to listen in silence before Him (Isaiah 41:1), silencing the psychic noise in our souls, and shutting out the noise around us – can certainly be a challenge in these times.  BUT GOD!  Who has promised the sufficiency of His Grace and Whose Will it is that we learn to silently wait upon Him and hear what He has to say, He will grant us this desire, this petition, this ability (I John 5:14,15).  In fact, He longs to train us in this discipline of silence, of quietness and will give Grace to quiet the noise inwardly as well as outwardly.

 

“In returning to Me and resting in Me you will be delivered;  in quietness and in confident trust shall be your strength … ”  (Isaiah 30:15)

 

The Son of God listened in silence before God the Father and therefore could be quiet and hear what His Father was saying. Click To Tweet

 

Before diving any more deeply into this theme, we should acknowledge that according to Webster’s New World Dictionary there is  a distinction between silence and quietness, although they are often used interchangeably.  Silence refers more to the absence of outward noise and distraction, whereas quietness denotes calm, rest and is often used to describe an inward state of being.  In order to experience and cultivate inward quietness, there must be a habit of making time to be alone, in silence with God, away from noise and other potential distraction.  The Lord Jesus is our best example of this “habit”, retiring often to the mountains to be alone with and quiet before the Father.  The Son of God listened in silence before God the Father and therefore could be quiet and hear what His Father was saying.  We, too, can hear what the Spirit of God has to say to us when we receive Grace to simply “let be and be still” before Him, listening in silence.

 

                         “Hear and your soul will revive … “

 

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Inward quietness, confidence, ability to hear clearly from the Lord are accompanied by other benefits that come from learning to wait on the Lord and listen for Him, in silence.  When we are still enough to hear with our “inner ears” what God is saying to us, our soul revives (Isaiah 55:3);  we are encouraged, given direction for decisions, creatively corrected, all with Godly edification because the thoughts we are receiving are only of peace and for our welfare (Jeremiah 29:11).  It follows then that our personal relationship with the Lord is nurtured and our communion with Him is deepened;  and because we thus are getting to know Him more intimately, we are better equipped  to listen attentively to others and hear what their true needs are, whether expressed or revealed through discernment, by the Spirit.  All of these benefits serve to revive our souls.  Let’s add one more:  learning to wait on the Lord in silence cultivates Wisdom – knowing if, when what,where, when, to whom to speak;  knowing what to do, when and where – all of which is possible by being still enough to hear the Lord’s Voice and to listen to how He is directing us.

 

             “Let be and be still, and know that I am God … “

 

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Jeremiah declares in Lamentations 3:26 that “The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him.  It is good that one should quietly wait for the salvation [deliverance] of the Lord.”  Asaph, the psalmist, also knew how Israel could have been advantaged had they done what the prophet  advocated in Lamentations,  but so often they did not.  “O Israel, if you would listen to Me! … Oh, that My people would listen to Me …!  Speedily then I would subdue their enemies and turn My  Hand against their adversaries.  [Had Israel listened to Me in Egypt, then] those who hated the Lord would have come cringing before Him, and their defeat would have lasted forever.  God would surely feed Israel now also with the finest of wheat, and with honey out of the rock would I satisfy you!” (Psalm 81:8,13-16)  Maybe if they had learned to listen in silence before Him they would have had the capacity to be quiet enough inwardly to hear, listen to, and obey His Voice.  This discipline of developing inward quietness brings inner rest and strength and gives ability to “be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger” (James 1:19).  “Even a fool when he holds his peace is considered wise;  when he closes his lips he esteemed a man of understanding.” (Proverbs 17:28)

 

                               Jesus, the Greatest Example …

 

Waiting on and for God in silence was Jesus' practice and prepared Him inwardly for the rejection, the mocking, the scourging and beatings, the loneliness, the crucifixion, and most of all, the three hours of separation from His Beloved Father. Click To Tweet

 

The Lord Jesus exemplifies perfectly the waiting on and for God in silence.  Luke 6:12 tells how “He went up alone to a mountain to pray.”  This was His practice, being so dependent on hearing from the Father, without Whom He could do nothing (John 5:19,30).  Imagine how this prepared Him inwardly for the rejection, the mocking, the scourging and beatings, the loneliness, the crucifixion, and most of all, the three hours of separation from His Beloved Father.  “He was oppressed yet when He was afflicted, He was submissive and opened not His mouth, like a Lamb that is led to the slaughter and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He opened not His mouth.: (Isaiah 53:7)  David, “a man after God’s own heart”,  likewise understood the value of holding his peace and declared in Psalm 39:1 “I will muzzle my mouth with a bridle while the wicked are before me.”  This is Wisdom.  This is prudence.

 

                               “Sit still” and “Keep silence”

 

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How do we teach our souls to wait for God and to listen before Him, in silence?  The Word of God suggests we sit down and we sit still.  “He that dwells [sits down] in the secret place of the Most High [“the place of absolute faith against sight, reason, and feelings”] shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty [Whose power no foe can withstand].” (Psalm 91:1)  We reckon on where we are seated now – in Heaven together with Him (Ephesians 2;6).  We rehearse the Truth of the Finished Work, including the promise that He has given us the capacity to hear and obey (Psalm 41:6).  We sit still in His Presence, by faith, and we find strength to walk wherever and do whatever He wills.  We chose to be teachable, knowing that “Blessed is the man whom You discipline and instruct, O Lord, and teach out of  Your law [Word], that You may give him power to keep himself calm in the days of adversity.” (Psalm 94:12,13).  We store up the Word of God richly in our hearts and by the power of the Holy Spirit our obedience to His words becomes Wisdom, prudence, and understanding.  We discover that indeed our “strength is to sit still” (Isaiah 30:7);  that by Wisdom we will swell securely and in confident trust, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.” (Prov.1:33).  And finally, we will be among the prudent who, in these precarious days, “will keep silence in such a time, for it is an evil time.” (Amos 5:13), waiting upon Him alone to prompt us to speak and trusting Him to put His words in our mouths (Jer.1:9), according to His Will.

 

 

 

 

 

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