August 14, 2017

Silence is the Language of God

Written by Boyd Bailey

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – August 14, 2017

This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it. … Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!  Isaiah 30:15, 18, NIV

I just returned from a three-day prayer retreat at Mepkin Abbey in Charleston, South Carolina. How can I begin to give my experience an adequate description? Simply, I encountered the love of my heavenly Father in a tender, meaningful and refreshing way. Each day, I learned with a group of 12 new friends the principles and prayer practices from a seasoned monk, Brother Guerric. One morning our assignment was to prayer walk the breath taking campus of 200-year-old live oak trees, magnolias and fantastic foliage teeming with life from God’s creative design.

I reflected on the deep rooted massive trees, moss draped over gnarly limbs extending as long horizontally as vertically—I pondered these images, as my soul silently listened for a Holy Spirit nudge. “Boyd, my desire is for you to finish well like My live oaks! Stay alive with a deep root system in My word, refresh others by the cool shade from the limbs of your life, extend compassion to your community like the weeping moss adorning My trees, and grow upward and outward for Christ by becoming fluent in silence which is My first language of prayer.” God.

“Whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers” (Psalm 1:2-3).

Isaiah described the Sovereign Lord’s heart for His people to enjoy their salvation through repentance, rest, quietness, and trust—these attributes were the fuel for their strength. Though they initially resisted, the Lord remained compassionate to remind them of His justice, if they would wait for Him—He would fulfill His promises to His people. Blessings come when we wait on God’s best—when burdens beset us we don’t panic and act like we are alone, but quietly trust.

How is your fluency in the language of silence? Are you able to comprehend what Christ says to your heart through Holy Spirit inspired Scripture and by His creation waiting to instruct you in His ways? Be still and know He is God. Be still and know He is. Be still and know Him. Be still and know. Be still. Be. Just like any new language, skilled linguists take time to learn and in time are conversationally fluent. So stay immersed in the process. Your heavenly Father is patient to work with you where you are—also learn from sages who speak silence fluently. God’s language is not to be taken lightly, silence your heart and you will grow into a disciple who finishes well!

“Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).

 

Prayer

Heavenly Father, I long to hear Your voice in the quietness of my heart and soul, in Jesus’ name amen.

Application

Reflect on God’s creation, observe His handiwork in a leaf, tree, sunrise, sunset, bird or blue sky.

Related Reading

Psalm 23:2, 131:2; Isaiah 32:17; Mark 6:31; 1 Peter 3:4

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Comments

  1. Joy Ensign says:

    Boyd, I relish receiving your devotionals, but I knew there would most likely come a day they would disappoint. The language of God is NOT His silence, but His pure unadulterated Word — “Be still and know that I am God.” When we reduce these words to “Be still and know He is. Be still and know Him. Be still and know. Be still. Be.” the message and result becomes pure ‘New Age”, which is really “old age”. “BE …” then flows into “Be still and know that I (myself) am God.” The so called “Desert Fathers” of the Catholic church were anything but sages. Far better for us to go back to really ancient times when God spoke to Israel in certain terms. God certainly communicates and prayer is one of the keys to our relationship with Him, but it is misused and applied when one uses mysticism to “know” God, thereby becoming deceived. True, the Scripture has some element of mysticism, but not of our own making. It is hard to find one’s way back from deception.

    1. Gwynne says:

      Dear Joy,
      Thank you so much for taking the time to let us know your thoughts and concerns after reading the devotional, “Silence is the Language of God”. We always appreciate hearing from our Wisdom Hunter’s family and we are grateful for your heartfelt and thought provoking comments.
      You are so right about the Word of God being God’s language to us but are we able to understand, interpret or hear His “language” to us without a discerning silence to quiet our souls to listen?
      Boyd shares the insight God has blessed him with about the “gift of silence” in his life in an effort to let others know what he has learned, encouraging them to seek silence in their prayer life. (If you get a chance, read or watch the video of “Quiet Rest” October 3, 2016 on our website http://www.wisdomhunters.com)
      Your suggestion to go back to the ancient times when God spoke to Israel is a great way to seek God’s Heart for His children as we grow in our faith. Boyd mentions Isaiah 30:15 in the beginning of the devotional “…in repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength…”
      Joy, thank you for your perspective on this. We are so thankful for you and look forward to hearing from you again sometime. Please keep reading the devotionals and let us know your thoughts!
      Grateful for you~
      Gwynne
      “But the Lord is in His holy temple;
      let all the earth be silent before Him.”
      Habakkuk 2:20

      1. Joy Ensign says:

        Thank you for your kind reply. I have no concern with any other part of Boyd’s comments in this devotional, which I think have some validity. There certainly is an importance in rest and meditating upon the Word. In Isaiah 30:15 “quietness” would best be expressed as a calmness. And in Habakkuk 2:20 the reference is to the Lord reigning from His holy Temple suggests that the whole world can do nothing else but “bow” to His majesty in silence.

        What I am concerned about is that any past or present New Age student would recognize the sequence and meaning of “Be still and know He is. Be still and know Him. Be still and know. Be still. Be.” It is how they practice their prayers. When we incorporate other worship practices God has not ordained into Christianity (for example, contemplative prayer) , we become guilty of syncretism, exactly what Israel was guilty of. Easy to do when some of the modern versions of the Scripture now include “New Age” phrases.

        I wish only the best for your ministry. It has been a true blessing!


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