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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Encountering God through silence

Last Sunday I talked about the difference between the Logos (the written word of God) and the Rhema (the spoken word of God).

I challenged everyone in our congregation to spend time listening to God.  Being silent before him.

The fact of the matter is that most of the time a Rhema is birthed out of silence, offered or received - and as Henri Nouwen writes, "as the ripe fruit of solitude"

Elijah here God speak through a "still, small voice" in 1 Kings 19:13.

Jesus warned his listeners to be careful about the words they speak, "for by your words you will be judged," in Matthew 12:36-37.

Jesus was a busy guy.  No doubt about it.  He lived a very, very busy life.

He coached his disciples, taught the crowds, healed the sick, casted out demons, did Q and A's with both friends and foes and was constantly on the move.

Yet he always found time to withdraw.  To (as Nouwen writes) "embrace solitude and silence."

As he was alone with God in prayer, he could hear the spoken word (Rhema) directly into his heart.

It was the source of his strength.

It gave him wisdom.

It increased his anointing as he ministered.

That is the challenge to you and I today.  Being still before God.  Silent.  Listening.  Unfiltered.  Unencumbered.

Henri Nouwen writes, "silence is the royal road to spiritual formation.  Without silence, the spoken word can never bear fruit.  Moreover, only through silence can the word descend from the mind into the heart.  As long as our hearts and minds are filled with words of our own making, there is not space for the word to enter deeply into our heart and take root."

And in silence there is peace and joy and comfort.

May be find the time to be silent before God today.

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