Silence is Golden
By Melva Henderson
Have you ever been around compulsive talkers, people who rarely hear the answer or opinions of others because they dominate the conversation? When I was a little girl, I remember my grandmother telling me, “Lynn, (my middle name) some people talk so much, it’s as if they have diarrhea of the mouth! You make sure that you keep your mouth closed!” Although humorous now, I’ve never forgotten my grandmother’s words; they have been with me all these years and helped form the foundation of who I am today. Because of my grandmother’s words, I have been able to obey God’s instructions to be slow to speak and swift to hear. Although at times frustrating to others, this rule of thumb has proven to be a wealth of wisdom from God for my life.
It’s imperative we spend more time training ourselves to listen for the voice of God. Hearing God speak creates a greater personal awareness of the reality of God. When we fail to listen, we run the risk of missing God’s divine wisdom. The Father, through the person of the Holy Spirit, is always speaking to us. The question is are we listening? His voice is subtle yet strong and it comes to lead, guide, and instruct us. Unfortunately, many of us miss the voice of the Lord because all we can ever hear is our own voice.
Two Scriptures to consider are, Psalms 29:4, KJV, “The voice of the LORD is powerful,” yet it comes to us in peace and stillness. The second Scripture is 1 Kings 19:11-12 “…but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: And after the fire a still small voice.” The Message translates a still small voice as “a gentle and quiet whisper.” That’s the voice of our God.
There are two primary ways in which God speaks to us; the first is through His word. Psalms 119:105 speaks “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” The second way is through our own human spirit. Proverbs 20:27 speaks “The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord, searching all the inward parts of the belly.” Both require an acute ability to listen.
God has so much He wants to communicate to us and fine-tuning our spiritual ear is vital. If you talk more than you listen, you will miss impartations, encouragement, and direction you may need in the days or months to come. If, however, you center your heart and mind focusing on the voice of God within you, you will grow to recognize and respond when He speaks.
One of my greatest frustrations as a leader comes when I meet to counsel with someone and they do all the talking. I’m often left wondering “Why in the world did you call me if you have all the answers?” All too often this is the way we find ourselves operating with God. He’s omniscient, He has the answers, and He knows everything yet when we come to Him we do all the talking. Psalms 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God.” I’d like to say it like this, “Be quiet so you can learn to know who God is!” God has something to say and we must do all we can to ensure we can hear Him say it.
The Lord spoke to me one day saying, “Your ability to hear my voice is only as good as your ability to focus your mind while closing your mouth. The day you learn to operate this way will be the day you begin walking in a greater degree of My Presence.” To this I said, “Yes Father, I will listen.”
As pray-ers, we don’t want to find ourselves in the presence of our Creator doing all the talking. I once heard a man of God make this statement, “One word from God can change your life forever!” If just one word can change our lives, imagine what an entire sentence will do if we take time to listen and receive what our Father God has to say!
Today, make it your aim to listen to the voice of the Lord. Spend time meditating on His Word while focusing on your human spirit. You’ll be amazed at what the Lord has to say and the clarity in which He says it.