Close to God (part 2: Silence)...

Come close to God and God will come close to you.
– James 4.8

Coming close to God means coming close to the Way of God, since God is not a physical location. Coming close to the Way of God means loving our neighbors as ourselves, because that's what God does; forgiving and having compassion for all people, because that's what God does; choosing peace and trust over anxiety, always, because God is trustworthy.

Often, we are more submitted to our overwhelming feelings of anxiety and expectations than we are to our commitment to a trustworthy God. These things bind us down from experiencing a "peace which transcends understanding." We pray to God while we stare at our anxieties and fears, begging Him to do something...anything!  But then hear nothing...

Consider carefully how you listen. 
– Jesus, Luke 8.18

What a sweet instruction from Jesus.

Many times, our listening has more to do with what we want to hear, rather than Whom we want to hear from.

This is something to consider.

Do I trust God enough to where I do not feel the need to hear anything regarding my anxious circumstances? If and when I do, my sensitivity and receptivity to the abiding Love and Presence of God are elevated to the level of Christ's, which is the intent and satisfaction of their design.

This is one of the reasons why a consistent practice of silence has become so important to me. We can't "consider carefully how we listen" if we never stop to listen to how we are listening. Our minds are overrun with chaotic mental stimulation. Do we think this magically goes away when we pray? It directs both how we pray and how we listen. Being silent every day affords us an opportunity to gather our entire being together into the trustworthy presence of Christ.

Josh Pinkston