Silence and Space

Silence makes space,
Space for God to move,
To move and to speak;
So be still, and pause;
Be still to listen,
To listen and hear,
For purpose and truth,
For comfort and hope;
So be still,
Make space,
And pause in the silence;
Pray into the silence;
Let the silence reveal
The voice of God.

5 comments

  1. I understand that you are being poetic, but I don’t understand where you find this in the Bible. I don’t know of any command or teaching by Jesus or the apostles telling us to be silent in order to hear from God. God has spoken in his word so when we read our Bible we are hearing directly from him – faith comes by hearing and hearing from the words of Christ. Can you help me understand where you are drawing this theology out of the scriptures? Thanks.

    1. It is a simple poem, and I am a simple, amateur poet. I have not had the benefit of full time bible education that is the privilege of full-time ministers, but I shall try to respond and pray that God is glorified in the question and answer. I am sure that the motivation behind the query is constructive, with no interest in controversies or quarrels about words which could cause strife or friction.

      I’m afraid I do not accept the premise of your question that the poem implies that we are told to be silent ‘in order to hear from God’. Such a statement suggests that there is, or has to be, an imperative relating to subjective silence as a prerequisite to hearing from God. There is no suggestion of this in the poem – it is simply not there.

      You say that you don’t know of any command or teaching in the New Testament telling us to be silent, and neither do I. However, common sense suggests that the disciples were silent to listen when Jesus spoke, the crowds who gathered were silent to hear His teaching, and the oral tradition of the scriptures will surely have required the people to be silent to hear the rabbi teach?

      I am sure you have access to a concordance and are as able to use it as well as I, but consider: Psalm 37:7, Psalm 46:10, Psalm 119, Ecclesiastes 3, Habbakuk 2:20 and Zechariah 2:11-12. I can’t see any concern that being still, or silent, meditating on God, or waiting on God, to hear from God, should be regarded as heretical or even unhelpful?

      From my earliest days as a Christian in a Baptist church I was taught the value of dedicating a ‘quiet time’ to spend in prayer, or reading the Word. I obviously don’t know if you would choose to reflect the oral tradition of scripture by always reading aloud, but personally I find it easier to read silently, to meditate on the Word silently, and thereby to hear from God.

      For all I have said so far, I cannot sum it up as succinctly or effectively as this quote:
      “There are times when solitude is better than society, and silence is wiser than speech. We should be better Christians if we were more alone, waiting upon God, and gathering through meditation on His Word spiritual strength for labour in his service. We ought to muse upon the things of God, because we thus get the real nutriment out of them. . . . Why is it that some Christians, although they hear many sermons, make but slow advances in the divine life? Because they neglect their closets, and do not thoughtfully meditate on God’s Word. They love the wheat, but they do not grind it; they would have the corn, but they will not go forth into the fields to gather it; the fruit hangs upon the tree, but they will not pluck it; the water flows at their feet, but they will not stoop to drink it. From such folly deliver us, O Lord. . . .”
      ― Charles H. Spurgeon

      I still find it easier in private to pray in silence, and to wait on God quietly, to hear Him through the Spirit of truth he left with us specifically for that purpose (John 16:7-15). I know some ‘cessationists’ will disagree, but I would not dare to seek to limit God to communicating solely through the bible today – he has used and will continue to use dreams, visions, angels, prophets and any other means as His perfect will sees fit. Our God is omnipotent, omniscient, and His voice will be heard over any earthly noise, or other constraint man might fool himself may limit Him.

      Let us hear His voice and not harden our hearts. He will be heard.

      Selah.

      1. Thank you for your response. Although I do not agree with your conclusions I am grateful that you have clarified your position.

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