Lessons Learned at Silence School (Part 1)

During this past year, God has taken me to class in His school of silence. I didn’t sign up for the course, but somewhere during this semester of my life, He graciously directed His divine registrar to insert me in this class for which I had little, if any, preparation or desire. Contrary to the old song title, Silence is Golden—it’s not! Once I figured out God’s mistake I whined, fussed, and fumed, but to no avail. He was determined to teach me some lessons about silence.

The first lesson I learned was profound: Noise numbs the human spirit but excites the human soul. A body with a numb spirit and an excited soul cannot hear God. My spirit indwelled by the Holy Spirit was designed to steer this ship I call me. But if my soul gets its grubby little hands on the wheel, I am a creature under the control (a better assessment would be out of control) of my explosive emotions, fragile feelings, and messed up memories. That, my friend, is a recipe for disaster.

God created each person as a tripartite being, meaning we are spirit, soul, and body. Our creation mirrors the Trinitarian composition and functions of God. That’s at least one way in which we are created in His image and likeness. We were designed to hear the voice of God’s Spirit through our spirit. Our spirit is then to give commands to the soul and the body.

Somewhere along the way, due to the deafening decibels of the noise surrounding us, the soul slipped out of line and hijacked the bus. Long ago in the whispering winds of Eden the serpent found the volume knob, cranked it up, pulled it off, and slipped it in his slimy pocket. That sudden blast of uncertain reverb numbed the human spirit, and the soul threw off all restraint and seized control. Just for clarity—our soul is our mind, will, and emotions. It pushes its agenda based on its fickle feelings, past experience, and the insatiable cravings of the body.

Since that day silence makes most of us very uncomfortable. We don’t like to listen to the rhythmic pulses of our own heart beats, much less the gentle voice of God. The noise has drowned out that ancient desire for the sound of His song or the sure guidance of His voice. We have chosen soulish songs and followed perverted paths, and look where it has taken us.

But the silence is still there…if I choose to quiet myself. Turn off the cell phone, the stereo, and the television. Tell your body to sit down and your soul to shut up. Invite your spirit to come out of the hole it’s been hiding in. Call it to attention and command it to listen for the Father’s gentle voice. If you will quiet yourself and listen—God will speak to you!

Lesson #1: Noise numbs the human spirit, but excites the human soul. An excited soul cannot hear the voice of God, but an alert human spirit can. Stop talking and start listening.