Have you ever people-watched? It can be very enlightening AND entertaining. If you stay silent long enough, you’ll notice a lot about a person–how they interact, what they value, where they invest their time. In fact, nonverbal communication often tells us more about a person than verbal. In the same way, silence helps us get an accurate read on our own hearts–not just what is there on the surface.
Let’s look at a portion of Psalm 62.
5 For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,
for my hope is from him.
6 He only is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
7 On God rests my salvation and my glory;
my mighty rock, my refuge is God.
8 Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your heart before him;
God is a refuge for us.
This passage mentions where David found his hope and trust. All of Psalm 62 explains that while he was under attack, he took the time to examine his heart and affirm the God in whom his salvation was placed. The interesting thing is, if you read about this psalm in almost any commentary, it will say something about the theme being right and wrong things we place our faith in. How fitting! Examining the state of our heart means being honest about the wrong things we have placed our faith in.
Silence forces us to examine the state of our heart.
Does God seem silent to you? Well, have you replaced your need for God with hope in the doctors? With trust in your own interpretation? With your money? With your abilities? Why are we surprised when we don’t hear from God when we have created an environment where we don’t need Him?
Many of our supplications come in pride or with wrong motives. As the Bible says, He can and will do beyond what we can ask or imagine, but His answer can and will often be “no” when what we want is out of line with His will. Seeking Him–not His gifts–should be our first priority.
If you feel in a spiritual rut, pour out your heart to God as it says in verse 2! As David cried in Psalm 139, “Examine me, O God, and know my mind; test me, and discover my thoughts. Find out if there is any evil in me and guide me in the everlasting way.
God is not trying to withhold from you your shortcomings, trust me. And he does discipline the ones He loves. The absence of correction often indicates a lack of intimacy and openness in your relationship with God. Until you have let an attitude of silence overflow to times of confession, it will be difficult for God to use you as you were made to serve.