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The Sound Of Silence

January 7, 2016

Greetings,

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.  Cast me not away from Thy presence, O Lord, and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me.  Restore unto me, the joy of Thy salvation and renew a right spirit within me.”  Psalm 51: 10-12

Just a short while ago I arrived home from an afternoon time of home fellowship here in Sturgis.  We gathered at 4 pm for a meal, some songs and a time of open Spirit led sharing.  The meal was a tasty combination of roast beef, hashbrown casserole, green beans and broccoli salad.  After the meal we gathered in the living room, tuned our guitars, and sang from our hearts.

The last song we sang was Psalm 51: 10-12.  After singing we sat in total silence, reflecting on the words of that familiar Psalm and recognizing our complete and utter need for a continuous renewal of our hearts, minds and spirits.  This was not an awkward silence in any sense at all.  It was deep, reflective and reverent.  In short, we sat in awe of our Creator and Redeemer.

In all, I bet we sat there in silence for nearly a half an hour.  Over the years we have learned to embrace these special times of silence.  Because we have discovered that when we are quiet and still, Christ speaks very clearly and loudly.  Eventually the silence was broken and we went on to discuss various prayer needs and a few other scriptures.

Embracing times of silence like this is not an easy thing to do. However, it is a huge mistake to think that during fellowship times we need to fill up any times of “dead air space”.  Part of us seems to think that we need to avoid silent times altogether, and that all silence is just awkward and a lack of having anything important or Spiritual to share.  Friends, nothing could be farther from the truth.  There are most definitely times “To be still and know He is God.”  It is immaturity that causes us to want to avoid “dead air.”

True Spiritual fellowship has nothing to do with putting on any type of a show.  Shows need to avoid gaps of silence in order to maintain their flow, and to be entertaining and profitable.  Modern “church” services rarely if ever allow any silence.  They even play soft music in the background during times of prayer and seeking.  I think the issue is control and those in charge may understand that they cannot be totally in control of the show during times of extended silence.  Because “dead air” does not make for good television, radio, or “church”.  I feel that perhaps they avoid times of silence because they know that, GASP, people might just think for themselves during those times.  And heaven forbid that GOD might actually speak during their silence and interrupt their show.

About 16 years ago we hosted a time of fellowship in our home and one day the Spirit led us to be silent for over two hours.  It was an amazing time of God speaking to all of us.  Everyone was crying and even the infants and children were dead silent the whole time.  To me that was a miracle and I tell you now that things that the Lord spoke to us during that time, in seed form, have now blossomed and grown within us to this very day.  It is not often that Christ calls us to silence like that, but when He does we now understand that Jesus has a great purpose in it.  Don’t be afraid of the quiet times…… Embrace them!

Love and….

Kirk Out !

P.s.  “Those that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength…”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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13 Comments
  1. Sky permalink

    I wish I’d been there with you. It is a powerful thing, a deep thing, a hard thing. But a great thing.

    Be still, and know that I am God. Ps 46:10

    For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by ear,
    nor has the eye seen a God beside you, who acts for the one who waits for him. Isa 64:4

    Be silent, all flesh, before the Lord. Zech 2:13

    We access the power of God through grace by waiting on Him. Salvation, which is to be freed from all sin, comes to those who wait on Him.

    To wait on Him is to persistently sit in humble silence, listen for his voice and words, watch for his revelations, hear his commands, and then obey Him. Waiting on God is referenced throughout the Bible, both in the Old Testament and New Testament. Waiting on God is the way those in the early church realized the promises of the true gospel: to be released from the bondage of sin, to enter the kingdom of God, and to be in union with Christ and God.

    Below are a few of the many scriptures in both the Old and New Testaments that speak to the benefit of waiting:

    Let your mercy, O Lord, be upon us, in proportion to our waiting and hoping on you. Ps 33:22

    Wait on the LORD! Be of good courage and let your heart be confident!
    Wait, I say, on the LORD! Psa 27:14

    But those who wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles. Isaiah 40:31

    Blessed is the man who hears me, watching daily at my gate, waiting at the posts of my doors.
    For whoever finds me, finds life; and he shall obtain favor of the LORD. Prov 8:34-35

    Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us. This is the LORD;
    we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation. Isa 25:9

    Truly my soul silently waits upon God; from him comes my salvation. Psalm 62:1

    Wait, and hope for, and expect the Lord! Be of good courage and let your heart be confident!
    Wait, I say, on the Lord! Psa 27:14

    Therefore return to your God; keep mercy and justice and wait on your God continually. Hosea 12:6

    The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul that seeks him. Lam 3:25

    XOXOXOXOXOX

    • Sky, what a wonderful and detailed comment. Waiting on the Lord is a most excellent practice.

    • Jack permalink

      Thank you, Sky, for sharing these verses. I really needed to read these today. Very encouraging

  2. Tom Ball permalink

    The essence of spiritual direction is centering prayer… a time of waiting in silence , just sitting with Jesus and letting Him “direct” the session. I love meditation with Jesus. The highlight of my year is a week-long silent retreat.

    • Tom Ball, Allowing Jesus to direct is definitely the way to go, but individually and corporately. When peace transcendent covers a group it is awesome.

  3. There is certainly a lot of wisdom in what you say…

    Be Still… and Know… that I… AM GOD!

  4. Wow! Would have loved to have been there! We too cherish memories of those God-imparted times of silence where He speaks so powerfully to our spirits. Those moments are so sweet when after worship, the very air particles seem charged with the manifest presence of Jesus. No one wants to move (or even can). And yes, it does seem like a travesty to speak something out of the flesh and into the seemingly dead air, murdering that precious gift of silence. Thank you for this inspiring post, Christopher! I think, in response, I’ll spend some time with my wife now worshipping Jesus! Blessings!

  5. Thank you for the encouragement Dan. I hope to meet you and your wife face to face someday.

  6. Ramma permalink

    This wonderful article and each ones comments brought a realization of how deeply Jesus speaks in the silence and how well we hear in the silence. It helped me see how it is parallel to our daily, one on one with everyone that our life touches, everyday, everywhere we go. When we stop all the busyness we actually listen, hear, connect, receive, get filled with love and live Jesus. Thank you all for what you add to the body. Blessings

  7. Jonathan Lindvall permalink

    What a precious memory! Of course, it would not be of the Lord to try to duplicate experiences like this, but it is just as carnal to try to fill empty time with man-initiated noise. In our group we came to recognize a distinctions between what we called “pregnant silence,” apathetic silence, and silence that simply indicated we were finished for that time. The pregnant silence is precious, as the Holy Spirit is wooing His people corporately. The apathetic silence brings death, as people simply have no life to give. The “finished silence” is healthy, and should happen almost each time we meet, indicating there has been good, life-giving edification, and it is now time to move out and live what has been imparted to us. It is also usually a sign that no one person is in control, and all are simply leaving space for the Holy Spirit through any others. Then one of the mature saints simply acknowledges openly what everyone else is sensing inwardly, it is time to conclude our focused time of gathering.

  8. Jonathan, I appreciate what you have shared here today. Being the church together without a set program or liturgy calls for a real sensitivity to the Holy Spirit’s leadings. Being in tune with the Spirit helps during any transitions during a gathering. We usually begin with a prayer over our meal and then after that almost anything could happen in our midst. After that the “whens” take over like when do we transition from the meal and casual conversation to a more focused time of sharing and perhaps song? Next quietly we ask the Lord when should I share my portion of the truth in love? Then when am I finished and when do I chime in again playing off another’s sharing? Finally like you said, when are we done for the day? The fact is that we are never done because we are the church 24/7, BUt when do we transition between focused and casual time? Being led by the Spirit is a real effective and fun ride when we surrender personal agendas and the like. Been doing this since 1976 and there has never been a dull moment for sure.

  9. Sky permalink

    Like! thank you Jonathan, I so appreciate your pointing out what you’ve learned. I’ve experienced silent times but we were all novices and I couldn’t tell you for sure what “type” of silence it was as our group did not know each other very well. And Chris what you said about the “whens” is certainly a powerful example of spirit led thinking and yes fun ride once we get past ourselves. Great thread! XOXOXOXOX

  10. "BK" permalink

    This one brought a chuckle of ‘memory lane’ for me. The first time we experienced something like this we were all sitting, just kind of ‘waiting on the Lord’. We waited and waited and waited. I got SO nervous and kept asking the Lord, “So, do You want me to SAY something?!” Over and over He said, “No.” So I didn’t. After a long time (of what length I don’t remember) worship started happening and before we knew it He had engulfed us all. It was absolutely tremendous! For sure you can’t manufacture and reproduce such experiences to ‘make them happen again’; they are spontaneous and alive. Thanks, Christopher and all, beautiful stuff! “BK”

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