“He says, Be still, and know that I am God.”
Is God silent in your life? Did you ever think just maybe He is waiting for you to be silent so He can speak? He IS waiting. He is waiting for you to not only silence yourself physically, but to also come to Him in spiritual silence. And, He promises He is ever there waiting; waiting for you.
In the physical realm to be silent is to be without noise. In the spiritual realm to be silent is also without noise, but with the added dimensions of a longing heart, a listening ear, and an open mind. It is to be still before God.
A longing heart is a desire, a yearning to know that God is all that He says He is. It is the driving force to become still before God. (oxymoron I know, but still true.) It is to the longing heart that He gives Himself completely.
A listening ear is one leaned in to catch every syllable, every voice inflection. The listening ear is where silence truly begins. By making ourselves still before God, we are leaned in ready to hear His words for us. To a listening ear He speaks volumes.
An open mind is a naivete. It is a willingness to let in all that comes in the silence. To be open is to welcome. When we welcome His Spirit by being still before Him, He lovingly comes to us. It is to the open mind He gives wisdom.
In this world we are barraged with constant noise. If it is not the clamor and echoes of daily life grinding out its existence, then it is the constant messages and echoes within our own mind. Either might be both good and bad. When the noises are beautiful music or positive self image thoughts, we feel alive and energized to be and become all we can be. When the noises are the grinding sounds of street traffic and the bellowing voices coming through our TVs, or the negative degrading images of our failures, we feel beat up, downtrodden, or frozen in place. Life isn’t living in us. It is something only others live.
In today’s current worldly noise, even positive people find the noise outside to be overwhelming and threatening to their inner peace. If this is so, and it is for me, then we can only imagine what is happening interiorly to those already compromised by this world and it’s never ending onslaught of negative messaging. Spiritual silence becomes an elusive butterfly or even non-existent.
You may wonder how to truly still yourself spiritually. You may have previously tried, failed, and given up. You need to realize it was the world telling you no, not God. You know how to still your body physically. However, preparing yourself mentally before trying to enter into stillness before God is a must. A few heartfelt prayers, a bit of reading in His Word, or some other devotional material in a quiet place, will set the mood and atmosphere to do so. It will stir the soul’s desire for something more. In that desire you approach God asking Him to be with you in your silence. He is already there, and will make Himself known when invited in. It may be a calmness or serene feeling, it may be a connection or feeling of unity with all of creation, it may be a brighter hopeful outlook, it may be an increase in strength of willpower, it may be an inclination or idea to do a particular thing, it may be just pure silence in an emptiness of all worldly thoughts, it may be a much needed interior rest and respite from all the negativity, it may be a new peace of heart or a feeling of being truly loved. Whatever form the Gift of His Presence takes, you will know you’ve been rewarded for coming to Him in (as I call it) The Stillness.
Please know, it may take a few times, several attempts, before you truly become spiritually silent. He sees your efforts and knows your heart. If sincere He will respond, but He may first test you in your readiness, resolve, and perseverance. Instead of quitting after not being able to turn off your mind and senses, tell Him you will return again because you love Him and desire to be with Him in this new way. Then, prepare yourself and return everyday repeating that desire at the start. He expects nothing more from you. Even if this all you ever do, and you realize no actual feelings or Presence during the time spent each day before Him, you will begin to notice the effects on your relationship with Him. He promises you will feel closer to Him and more easily reach out to Him through all the worldly noise of the day. You will sense, if not feel, Him right there with you. Not that it matters, but I have lived this, so I promise you too. It becomes an undeniably real Presence within you, all because you spent time in silence before Him.
Spiritual silence, therefore, reaps great rewards for all who seek God in the stillness. God gives us His complete attention, speaks His words for our life, and instills in us His wisdom. Seek God out. Find a special place in your home, your church, or out in nature. Go and sit before Him, but don’t just sit there. Have a longing heart, a listening ear, and an open mind. Be still and know that He is God.