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Oct 17 2010

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What’s Missing In Our Devotions?

David Roberts

David Roberts

by David Roberts


We know about prayer and its proper place in devotions. Its importance during our devotional time cannot be over emphasized. Similar claims have been made for worship and praise, and again, though they have their very important place in devotions, there is still something left out of most of our expressions of love to and for our Father. I believe that what may be lacking in our spiritual lives is silence.

There are a number of Bible verses where the importance of being still before Him is stressed.
I suppose that the most well-known is Psalm 46:1.

Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted
among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.

If this verse were the only verse to express this truth, it would be worth our while to examine it closely. Most of us remember the first sentence, which seems to draw a relationship between our silence and our knowledge of God. This may be a principle that we can follow in order to draw closer to our Lord and get to know Him more intimately than we could without being still. It’s worth a try.

Now, for the rest of the verse, which most of us leave out when we quote it. I believe that our silence and the new knowledge of God that it brings can somehow exalt Him among the heathen and across the earth. In my experience of practicing silence before Father, I have often been brought into a deeper sense of His peace than I have with any other aspect of my devotions. When I walk through my daily duties here on earth, full of this peace, others have noticed a sort of spilling over effect on them, be they heathen or worldly. If we multiply this effect by all the sincere Christians in the world who are still before the Lord, I can barely imagine the impact an increase in this practice would have on their circles of influence.

The Hebrew word translated as “still” in Psalm 46 is phonetically spelled “raw-faw’.” It has a large number of meanings in English. The root meaning is “slacken” or “let up.” Other words for this that appear in the Authorized Version of the Bible are “cease, fail, faint, be feeble, and slothful.” We are to cease from our words and our thoughts that would tend us toward speech. When we fail to remember all the “things” we wanted to pray about, silence is a great alternative. Sometimes we feel weak to the point of failure and feebleness, which seems like a good time to be still. One last word I would consider here is “slothful.” We probably know the many injunctions against slothfulness. It is even listed among the hall of fame of sins. I’m reminded of another verse in Proverbs 18:9.

He also that is slothful in his work is
brother to him that is a great waster.

The interesting thing is that this word in Proverbs is the same Hebrew word in Psalm 46. How can a person be exhorted to be slothful in one Scripture and judged for it in another? Well, one possible answer is that Solomon includes the words “in his work.” There is a time and place to practice being still before Father, and that place and time is not at work!  In a positive sense though, one can be slothful in the mind while at the worship called silence.

In Strong’s Concordance there is a note at the end of the entry for “still” (H7503) in Psalm 46. It refers us to the word for “heal” (H7496).  In English this word sounds exactly like the word for “still” (raw-faw’). In Numbers 12:13, where Moses pleads with God to heal his sister Miriam from leprosy. He uses this word, “raw-faw’.”  I wonder how many times God, Who loves to heal his children, would show His healing power if we would just be still and know that He is God. Give Him a chance by increasing your definition of worship to include silence in your devotions.

 

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