Thursday, March 24, 2011

Lent: a Time to Listen

“After the fire, [there was] a still small voice. And it was so when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and behold, there came a voice unto him, and said . . . .” -1 Kings 19:12-13 (KJV)

Our God is a speaking God, and he would speak to us if we would but listen. “God is forever seeking to speak Himself out to His creation,” asserts A. W. Tozer in his Pursuit of God. “The whole Bible supports this idea. God is speaking. Not God spoke, but God is speaking.”

Listen – Silent

In order for us to hear his voice, however, we must still our racing thoughts, slow down our frenetic activity and set aside intentional time to listen to him. There in the quietness he will restore us and speak to us. The words “listen” and “silent” have the same six letters in them. In order to listen, we must silence all of the other noises in our minds. Likewise, if we want to hear the Lord’s voice, we must be still.

Johannes Tauler, the preacher who greatly influenced Martin Luther, calls us to inner stillness: “In this midnight silence, in which all things remain in deepest stillness and where perfect peace reigns, there we will hear God’s word in truth. For if God is to speak, we must be silent; if God is to enter in, all other things must make room for him.” [1]

As long as we are preoccupied, we will not hear the Lord’s words of love, comfort and direction for our lives. However, if we stop to listen, he will surely speak.

During Lent, let us attend to God’s voice with all our focus. Let us dedicate these days to establishing a habit of silence and listening to our Lord.

Gracious God, thank you that you are not silent! You spoke the Word in all eternity, you pour out your loving thoughts to us continually, and you desire to speak to us today. Here I am: I am listening to what you would say to me today. Amen.

1. Johannes Tauler, Johannes Tauler Predigten: Vollständige Ausgabe. Edited by Georg Hofmann. Freiburg: Herder, 1961.

© 2011 Glenn E. Myers

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