True Silence is not Just Being Quiet

True Silence is not Just Being Quiet

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

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

Tricks for True 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

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    • sue

      I can’t miss the Holy Spirit speaking to me, such an apt description in second paragraph, “remain outwardly quiet while maintaining a cacophony of what “I” will stay next”. nailed me!!!
      May I learn this true art of listening to the Shepherd’s voice….giving Jesus as my response.
      I choose to believe HIS Holy Spirit will guide me into this truth, thank you bless you John!!!!

      • The battlefield of the mind is often the hardest one to conquer. Blessing you for your willingness to listen, that is a huge part. Love you Sue!

    • Don Hartness

      “If my heart is set correctly, my habits will follow.” And if my heart is not set correctly, my habits will reveal this, along with His pointing this out after the fact. Either way, listening is required. Excellent post John.

      • That is so true. Most certainly it’s the grace of God that He will point out our life destructive habits and not leave us in them. Yes, listening is the key, huh?!
        Thank you Don, and for commenting!

    • Helen

      If we make what’s being said, about me or them, it keeps us from listening for the Lord. The scope of it is about Him. To listen, we begin with Him, not the seemingly incongruous parts of things…our hearts settle into Him. Love listens. Peter listened, “to the elect exiles of the dispersion scattered (sowed)…chosen and foreknown by God the Father and consecrated sanctified, made (holy) by the Spirit to be obedient to Jesus Christ..” (1P.1:1-2 AMPC) Such a message goes straight to the heart. Elect & exiles, scattered & sowed, how do these words fit but in the Love of Christ. In all things God has intention & purpose & His supply is toward that. Here, in this environment was a place for “peace to be realized in and through Jesus Christ, freedom from fears, agitating passions and moral conflicts.” He is the Message. Ordinary us, to hear the Voice of God, “to be a source of Christ”. Pieces only fit, in the Voice.

    • tammy

      Bless you for this reminder John.

      I can’t even recall how long ago it was now when someone asked me what my calling was. At the time I hadn’t really given it much thought. So I asked. I asked Him if He had a special calling for me. He did and still does. He has called me to listen. When I first heard this from Him I thought, “okay, so You’ve called me to listen to those who need an ear and prayer. Here I am Lord, send them.” And He did. I learned along the way that He didn’t mean for me to just be listening to the hearts of others but that He had much to share with me Himself. I was in such awe that our Lord would desire my audience. But oh, there is no better thing than to sit in silence and hear His heart.

      Your reminder has convicted me. Even though I spend purposed time with Him every day, the listening continually throughout each day can sometimes turn into me just tuning out what’s going on around me. It has become so easy, with just the tap of a finger, to ‘veg-out’ into a world of distraction, that I sometimes find myself to be physically present for those who need me but instead of listening for His thoughts moment by moment I’m operating on auto pilot.

      It is my prayer that I listen to Him without ceasing. That I hear Him as I listen to, care and pray for others. That my actions and words are a result of His heart, His will, His direction, of my hearing His Voice alone.


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