Richard Foster on Silence and Hearing God

To continue with posting stirring words from Richard Foster’s classic, Freedom of Simplicity, here are some thoughts of his on practicing silence and how this can help us hear the voice of the Lord:

One way to nurture simplicity is through the discipline of silence. Society is dominated by the inane notion that action is the only reality. Please, for God’s sake and your own, don’t just do something, stand there! Come in and enjoy his presence. Sink down into the light of Christ and become comfortable in that posture. Open the subterranean sanctuary of your soul and listen for the Kol Yahweh, the voice of the Lord. To do so gives us focus, unity, purpose. We discover serenity, unshakableness, firmness of life orientation. (p113)

These are extremely challenging words in the busied and hurried life of today. For some, they might sound New Age, but this is simply about drawing in close to the presence of God’s Spirit who resides within the believer, all to know the Father’s leading voice in our lives.

I, for one, want to quiet my heart before the Lord on a regular, even ongoing, basis.

Richard Foster on Silence

Here is another challenging quote I recently read in Richard Foster’s, Freedom of Simplicity:

Silence frees us from the need to control others. One reason we can hardly bear to remain silent is that it makes us feel so helpless. We are accustomed to relying upon words to manage and control others. A frantic stream of words flows from us in an attempt to straighten others out. We want so desperately for them to agree with us, to see things our way. We evaluate people, judge people, condemn people. We devour people with our words. Silence is one of the deepest Disciplines of the Spirit simply because it puts the stopper on that.

When we become quiet enough to let go of people, we learn compassion for them. We can be with people in their hurt and need. We can speak a word out of our inner silence that will set them free. (p72)