True silence is not an exercise in remaining quiet but the art of listening. Anyone can remain quiet with enough incentive, but the true power of silence lies in listening rather than simply not speaking. The purpose of silence is to hear, and true silence is evidenced by listening.
True Silence Vs. Quiet
Unfortunately, I can remain outwardly quiet while maintaining a cacophony in my head. If I am thinking of what I will say next while you are talking to me, am I actually listening to you or just biding my time until I can again speak? Am I just waiting for a pause in the conversation so I can be heard? This is not silence; it is just remaining quiet for a manipulative bit. To truly listen, I have to silence my own thoughts as well as my opinions.
True silence is internal, the discipline of quieting myself to listen to another. Silence is waiting and anticipation. It is the preparation of my heart to hear. Silence is deeply intimate because it is making way for another. It is more than just being quiet. I can still beat my mental drums while holding my tongue.
Why does this matter? In my recent post, “Thoughts: The Pride of Defining My Reality,” I showed the value of listening to God’s Voice. I revealed that when I come telling God “what is” rather than listening to hear Him tell me “what is,” I’m in great pride. I am called to listen to God’s Voice in every dealing.
Tricks for Silence
So, here’s a Secret Squirrel trick I purpose to do in my life: while hearing you talk, I am listening for the Father’s Voice. Does this make me antisocial? Absolutely not! It makes me invaluable, actually. If I’m quiet while you talk only in order to speak my two cents at you, then I am imposing “myself” onto you. This is not service at all. It’s like emptying my chamber pot on you (No, I don’t have one of those; I just wanted a more genteel way of saying what I’m saying). But on the other hand, if I am listening to the Father while hearing you, the result is that I give you Jesus in my response. And there is no greater gift than to be a source of Christ.
In all this, I am not advocating a speechless world; I am encouraging the true art of listening. This is a most fruitful course of action. The listening ear is able to hear the Voice of God. And as we hear, we can follow our Shepherd. This is more about a heart position than establishing a habit. If my heart is set correctly, my habits will follow.
My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me.
John 10:27 NLT
When you turn to the right or turn to the left, you will hear His voice behind you to guide you, saying, “This is the right path; follow it.”
Isaiah 30:21 TPT
The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.”
Psalm 32:8-9 NLT
“Come to Me with your ears wide open. Listen, and you will find life. I will make an everlasting covenant with you. I will give you all the unfailing love I promised to David.
Isaiah 55:3 NLT