The Still Small Voice

Exploring Silence - seizing the key moments

 Chapter Four, Part Three



Draw our souls to stillness,
that we may sense where
You are beckoning, Lord,
and help us to recognize things
we would otherwise miss.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.


Seizing the Key Moments

The greatest thing a human soul ever does in the world is to ‘see’ something, and tell what it saw in a plain way. Hundreds of people can talk for one who can think, but thousands can think for one who can see. To see clearly is poetry, prophecy and religion, all in one. (John Ruskin)

To follow the Lord’s leading means recognising key moments as they occur, whether in Christian meetings or in life generally – and acting on them. We need to be both alert and incisive!

I’m sure many of you will be only too familiar with experiences such as the time when, following a particularly anointed message, I had a strong feeling that the only appropriate response was to hold silence together – but someone immediately struck up a chorus from the back of the room and the moment passed.

Realizing this had effectively “dampened” the special sense of the Lord’s presence, I intervened at the end of the song to bring it back to where the Lord wanted us to be. It would have been easier to have taken the course of least resistance and to have done nothing – but only at the cost of grieving both the Holy Spirit and the bulk of the people present.

We have found that people are nearly always deeply refreshed and grateful when we facilitate times of silence. The more confident we are in His presence, the easier we will find it to lead others into the Lord’s presence.

By contrast, many spiritually sensitive Christians feel verbally abused when vigorously berated from the front that “they are not singing LOUDLY ENOUGH!” Their spirits cringe because they know that something precious is being missed, and that people are being deprived of the opportunity to flow where the Spirit is leading. Like a friend of mine, who resigned as worship leader of a mega church when instructed to be sure to leave no space for silence, and to play nothing except LOUD songs fff!

Try as they might many cannot flourish in this mode, because the Spirit within is pointing in some entirely different direction.

May the Lord help us to seize the key moments in meetings – and do whatever we can to ensure that not allow every gap is immediately filled with songs and other contributions that could perfectly well have been be held over to allow the spirit to work directly.

For Reflection and Prayer

When Jesus gathered His disciples together in the upper room for one last meal together[3] He knew full well that His betrayer was present.

Nevertheless, He went from one disciple to the next, washing their feet. What grace – but also what resilience!

Picture the scene. Imagine Him coming to you. He is not bothered by any flaky skin; He wants to massage your feet because you are precious to Him and smooth away all stains and taints.

Look trustfully into His eyes and see Him looking into yours. What would you say to Him? What would He say to you?