January 26, 2012

Rest for the Weary

We live in a loud world. My life--like yours-- is overloaded with activities, appointments, to-do lists, and meetings. It's exhausting, this constant commotion. Despite the exhaustion, silence and stillness often make me uncomfortable, like I'm a caged animal or, worse, lazy.
The lies, too, come in the silence and stillness. Lies that tell me activity is spiritual, that movement is communion. That tasks bring life.
You are not doing enough. 
You are alone. Everyone else is together.
This is a waste of precious time.
People who matter are busy doing important things.

My flesh runs from silence and stillness, yet it's most what I need. When I sit in silence with my discomfort, letting my heart and mind settle, and after I wade through the lies, I find life that no amount of interaction, activity, or even mind-numbing entertainment can bring.

God is always in the silence, waiting there to be heard and enjoyed. If I will just listen.

Whoever will listen will hear the speaking Heaven. This is definitely not the hour when men take kindly to an exhortation to listen, for listening is not today a part of popular religion. We are at the opposite end of the pole from there. Religion has accepted the monstrous heresy that noise, size, activity, and bluster make a man dear to God. But we may take heart. To a people caught in the tempest of the last great conflict God says, “Be still and know that I am God,” and still He says it, as if He means to tell us that our strength and safety lie not in noise but in silence. 
It is important that we get still to wait on God. And it is best that we get alone, preferably with our Bible outspread before us. Then if we will we may draw near to God and begin to hear Him speak to us in our hearts. I think for the average person the progression will be something like this: First a sound as of a Presence walking in the garden. Then a voice, more intelligible, but still far from clear. Then the happy moment when the Spirit begins to illuminate the Scriptures, and that which had been only a sound, or at best a voice, now becomes an intelligible word, warm and intimate and clear as the word of a dear friend. Then will come light and life, and best of all, ability to see and rest in and embrace Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord of all.--A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God

Life is in the silence because God is there. If we will just listen.

Do silence and stillness scare you? How do you practice listening for God's voice?