Saul was gifted, talented and handsome. Saul was a strong leader. But the first king of Israel, found himself in one frustrating situation after another. His life was a string of miscalculations, misadventures and manipulations. We have no record of Saul ever taking time to seek God or silence in his life. We have no examples of Saul ever listening for God’s voice, (1 Samuel 12-31).
In contrast, David was being prepared by God to be the next king of Israel, not through the drama of leading men into battle, but through a secret history spent alone with His Lord. David’s heart was being nurtured into intimacy with God as He sought God in prayer and silence. David penned these words in Psalm 62:
Truly my soul silently waits for God
From Him comes my salvation.
He alone is my rock and my salvation;
He is my defense; I shall not be greatly moved…
My soul, wait silently for God alone,
For my expectation is from Him.
The prophet Samuel reprimands Saul for doing many religious acts but not quieting himself enough to listen and obey God, (1 Samuel 15:22).
David learned to quiet his heart and listen for God. It was in a posture of silence that David listened for God’s voice. It was in solitude that his soul was strengthened and built up. David developed a deep conviction about his security in God through waiting silently before God.
Mother Teresa gave us some sage wisdom for countering the spirit of the age, “Everything [in life] is moving so fast…I always begin my prayer in silence, for it is in silence of the heart that God speaks. God is the friend of silence—we need to listen to God because it’s not what we say, but what He says to us and through us that matters. Prayer feeds the soul—as blood is to the body, prayer is to the soul—and it brings you closer to God. It always gives you a clean and pure heart.”
Today, take some time to stop and listen for God’s voice. Take two minutes and shut off your cell phone, your computer and find a quiet place and listen. You might hear God’s voice!
Steve Holt M.A., D.D.
My newest book, Worshipper Warrior, can be found at www.steveholtonline.org