One thing our culture needs is times of silence. I don’t mean the times when people pay their respects to the deceased. There are moments when we need to be free from the busyness and noise of life, to not allow distractions and mental clutter. God wants just plain silence and stillness. Here are several examples from the Bible:
Zechariah 2:13, “Be silent, all flesh, before the Lord…”
Habakkuk 2:20, “But the Lord is in His holy temple. Let all the earth be silent before Him.”
Psalm 27:14, “Wait for the Lord; Be strong, and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord.”
It is clear from these verses that God wants to communicate with us. If we need to seek God’s wisdom and counsel there must be quiet. When he wants to give us answers God won’t shout over the television blaring or constant gabbing on the cell phone. He will patiently wait until there is a quiet moment, if any. After all, doesn’t God deserve our reverence? When we allow noisy distractions and non-stop activity to crowd out his words to us we are not giving him full undivided attention. Scripture tells us to “Be still, and know that I am God.”
We must make time to be still and silent before God. “Take Time To Be Holy” is the name of an old hymn. If a person is too busy to have times of stillness and quiet he or she is too busy. We must take time at home, at church, and other times as needed. Even in church there is often constant “noise,” meaning an absence of silence. When is the last time there was total silence in your worship service? You say, prayer, of course. Not necessarily, if someone is praying out loud. I mean, total silence, with no one praying out loud and no piano playing “background” music. (Why is it that in some churches whenever the pastor prays the piano plays?)
The problem is that our culture is used to constant noise and activity. There is music coming even out of speakers at gas pumps. People can’t stand silence! However, if we are to speak and listen to God we must insist upon it. How does one incorporate silence and stillness into our hectic daily life?
1. Turn off the television and radio one day a week.
2. Turn off the cell phone or leave it at home when going on a short errand and you do not think you will need it.
3. Make it a priority to have a daily time of silence and stillness before the Lord, and it doesn’t have to be in the morning.
4. Have one day a month when you plan and reflect. Have a time when you do nothing but think. I have read that some very effective people have days when they go to a secluded place for a day or more with no cell phone or computer. All they take with them other than food and water are some pens, a pad of paper, and a Bible. They converse with God in total silence with no distractions.
5. Maintain a weekly day of rest and relaxation free from not only physical labor, but also from emotional anxiety.
We need to return to times of stillness and silence if we are to hear God’s voice and be obedient to it. God spoke to Moses in the silence of the wilderness. He spoke to Mary, Joseph, Paul, John the Revelator, and many more, in times of silence. Let’s practice having moments of silence and stillness before our creator.