Monday June 27, 2011
Silence is a powerful tool. We begin to squirm when we are in the presence of company and there is a lull in the conversation, especially when we are with new friends and there is silence. We begin to fumble inside our minds to come up with questions that can break the silence. It is different when we are with friends that we have known for a long time and silence comes. What happens when we ask a question of someone and the response is silence. There have been times in counseling when I have asked a very hard question of a couple and silence occurs. I have learned to be silent with the best of people because I know that silence creates an uneasiness within an individual that forces then to begin to deal with the question that has been asked. I asked a couple one time who were very critical of one another to come up with one positive quality they appreciated in one another. There was silence for 4-5 minutes before they came up with one positive trait. During that silence, you could just see them become more and more uneasy with the silence. Silence is a powerful tool.
God uses silence with us when there is sin in our lives that we have not dealt with. In Psalms David reflects on the way God handles that situation when he says, “If I have iniquity (unconfessed sin) in my heart, the Lord will not hear me” (Psalm 66:18). If there are problems in my life that I have not taken care of with the Lord, he says that the Lord uses silence to get our attention so that we will deal with the sin and confess it to Him. A prime example of this is when the Israelites had experienced a tremendous victory in Jericho when the walls had fallen in and Jericho was completely destroyed. The problem arose when Achan took some articles of silver and gold that the Lord told the Israelites were strictly forbidden to take. The Lord told Joshua that he would not listen to the people or go with them until the problem was dealt with (Joshua 7:12). Unconfessed sin causes God to choose not to listen to us until we take care of that sin. He silences himself to us and will not hear anything we have to say. He will not listen. If He uses silence to get our attention, sometimes silence in our relationships can be beneficial to get the attention of our loved one and help them see what they have done to cause disconnection.
On this journey, if we want His direction and plan for our lives, it is essential that we make sure there is no unconfessed sin in our lives that hinder His plan from being revealed to us.