Scripture quotations taken from the Amplified® Bible (AMPC), Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. www.Lockman.org
Prayer is not merely a dumping of words and fears on the Lord's lap. If someone you know has burdened you with all their troubles, it is a heavy weight and puts an ugly dent in the relationship. I am guilty of doing this to others, though I try not to make it a habit because I know how it feels. Jesus died for us while we were yet sinners because He desires true Relationship, not our impossible humanistic perfection in order to earn one. He just loves us. Period. It is that simple. There is no catch, no deception, no trickery. He is pure hearted. Therefore, prayer is a pure conversation between souls who love, an exchange within the spirit, and it requires a great deal of listening on our part. We are the tainted party--but He knows this and wants our company anyhow. He understands that with love, we will automatically improve in every single aspect. That's the beauty of what love does. What a source of energy it is--that's why we all want it. We will benefit the most by waiting and listening for His response. It will be clean. It will be love.
The art of listening is honed in silence. We live in a loud world with a God Who often prefers to use a still, small voice. To follow this beautiful, gentlemanly voice of His, we develop within a quiet soul, some field of a layer of life that is in tune with that much peace in the center of chaos. His is a Garden in the midst of a dirty city. Revelation hints of this time and again when it states, "He who has an ear, let him hear and heed what the Spirit says to the churches." He who has an ear is a soul who can handle silence regardless of surroundings and intense pressure.
What do you hear in silence? Your heart's fears will rise and often become deafening. Your distractions will increase and you will find your soul running in a panic while you are dismayed and rendered ineffective. You will experience the intensity of your insecurity. Rejections as old as you are will gain a choke hold on your faith and drown your hope that there is a Promised Land here. You have waited so long... Personally, I have found it takes far more courage to walk out of a war than to walk into one. We are called to walk through wars of many kinds here, but not to become war itself. What do you hear in the silences, in the stillnesses between you and your God? Do you believe there is a Promised Land on the earth for you to enter, or do you only believe it is reserved for Heaven, and that this world is complete hell?
"Instead of your [former] shame you shall have a twofold recompense; instead of dishonor and reproach [your people] shall rejoice in their portion. Therefore in their land they shall possess double [what they had forfeited]; everlasting joy shall be theirs." (Isaiah 61:7, AMPC)
Do you not see the dual nature of the supernatural and the natural mentioned here? Jesus walked on this earth so the two could collide. In other words, why not believe in both? You yourself, as God's creation, are both. Do you see the specific mention in the words, "in their land" coupled with the heavenly word, "everlasting"? Do not let what you have seen on this earth convince you that the promises of God are not for you, here and now, for this is a contrariness to the existence of Jesus Christ Himself. There are times of waiting, but "be it unto you as you have believed." We are called believers. We need to do so. And we believe in LOVE. We are, each one of us, loveable and giving.
In lonely times, many of us hear sin and falling ash before we lay it down to receive goodness and beauty. Affliction, we believe. Storms, we believe. We are convinced of these things here because we have seen them. But are we brave enough to dare to believe in Promises and Rainbows and Blessings and Love...here? The Books of Job on the earth are very real and they leave us raw and heart-seared. They leave us numb with a veil of disillusion over scars that still hurt--they aren't so easily covered. But we must remember here that if the wars and trials warned us by the sacred writers of old are this real today, so are the promises of the Bible. They are also for today. God does not lie. There is a Promised Land here, but we must believe it exists. We must believe it's for us. If the persecutions and sufferings listed in the Word are true, so is the rest of the Book. Jesus is the Promised Land. He is here. He is now.
"I would have despaired had I not believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord In the land of the living." (Psalm 27:13)
What does God mean by His silence? I believe it is designed to rid us of all doubt and insecurity. I believe it is designed to mature and bring to the surface what we truly believe in our core. Silences filter our souls and produce a purity of love that is not found in a multitude of actions and speech. When God is silent, He speaks the loudest in His unique language of Pure Love.
"The Lord your God is in the midst of you, a Mighty One, a Savior [Who saves]! He will rejoice over you with joy; He will rest [in silent satisfaction] and in His love He will be silent and make no mention [of past sins, or even recall them]; He will exult over you with singing." (Zeph. 3:17, AMPC)
When He is silent, He is loving you. In the Lord's silences, we learn how He thinks and speaks. It is a lovely language in which He says, "I accept you. I am satisfied with you. I forgive you so completely I choose not to remember your mistakes. You make My heart sing. I Am Savior and I will continue to Save you, forever."
When you embrace someone, don't you go a little silent?
In His silences, He also strides out ahead of us to fight all our battles. He is Warrior, your fiercest Protector.
"Who is this Who comes from Edom, with crimson-stained garments from Bozrah [in Edom]? This One Who is glorious in His apparel, striding triumphantly in the greatness of His might?" (Isaiah 63:1a, AMPC)
You are not forsaken in silent times. You are not alone. He is an intimate, personal, tender God Who is simply holding you closer and, at the same time, striding out ahead of you to fight on your behalf and to make a Way where there is none. The battle belongs to the Lord because you are His. He not only will take care of everything that concerns you, He is doing it now. Let your insecurities rise and your doubts float away and stand on the faith that He is teaching you. It is real, more real than anything you may see here. Jesus is the manifestation of every good promise of God. No matter your trial, or how hot the furnace, He is the Fourth Man Who is leading you out.
Perfect love casts out fear. Do not run from silence. Let it draw you in closer to the One Who Saves.