“There was silence, and I heard a still voice.” Job 4:16
A score of years ago, a friend placed in my hand a book called True Peace. It was an old medieval message, and it had but one thought—that God was waiting in the depths of my being to talk to me if I would only get still enough to hear His voice. I thought this would be a very easy matter, and so began to get still. But I had no sooner commenced than a perfect pandemonium of voices reached my ears, a thousand clamoring notes from without and within, until I could hear nothing but their noise and din. Some were my own voices, my own questions, some my very prayers. Others were suggestions of the tempter and the voices from the world’s turmoil.
In every direction I was pulled and pushed and greeted with noisy acclamations and unspeakable unrest. It seemed necessary for me to listen to some of them and to answer some of them; but God said, “Be still, and know that I am God.” Then came the conflict of thoughts for tomorrow, and its duties and cares; but God said, “Be still.”
And as I listened, and slowly learned to obey, and shut my ears to every sound, I found after a while that when the other voices ceased, or I ceased to hear them, there was a still small voice in the depths of my being that began to speak with an inexpressible tenderness, power and comfort.
As I listened, it became to me the voice of prayer, the voice of wisdom, the voice of duty, and I did not need to think so hard, or pray so hard, or trust so hard; but that “still small voice” of the Holy Spirit in my heart was God’s prayer in my secret soul, was God’s answer to all my questions, was God’s life and strength for soul and body, and became the substance of all knowledge, and all prayer and all blessing: for it was the living GOD Himself as my life, my all.
It is thus that our spirit drinks in the life of our risen Lord, and we go forth to life’s conflicts and duties like a flower that has drunk in, through the shades of night, the cool and crystal drops of dew. But as dew never falls on a stormy night, so the dews of His grace never come to the restless soul. ~A. B. Simpson (Streams in the Desert)
I endorse the practice of Christian meditation. A great chasm exists between eastern forms of meditation and that which is biblically enjoined. Whereas eastern forms seek to simply empty one’s self in order to somehow get lost in and subsumed by the “eternal consciousness,” Christian meditation leads me to empty myself in order to be filled with the Spirit of God. Make no mistake about it, meditation requires Herculean effort; the spirit of man resists any attempt to relinquish control. Contrary to popular opinion, the Holy Spirit never storms our defenses and conquers against our will. Meditation waves the white flag that lowers the gate and surrenders every corner of mind and heart to be transformed by the Almighty. His banner over us is love once we lay aside the awful burden of insisting upon our own way.