Christian Discipline of Silence and Emulating Wisdom

Image of Augustus Henry
Inspiration from New Creation Ministry —
By Augustus Henry

In the last sermon we agreed that Christians are expected to plant themselves in the word of God and connect to other Christians for survival and growth. This message focuses on the discipline of stillness for hearing God and commitment to seeking inspiration from the wisdom of other Christians.

As Teddy Roosevelt said, “With self-discipline almost anything is possible.” “It’s the one thing that stands between where we are and where we want to go (Chad Bockius). Alvin Kallicharran, the great West Indian Cricketer, once said “perfection does not come in big spurts, it starts with getting little things right and repeating them over and over again.” All those nuggets of wisdom also apply to the Christian journey.

Be disciplined in listening for God.

What if we started this process by disciplining ourselves and seek to listen to God once a day? I am not referring to prayer. Try turning off the radio and phone for 30 minutes the next morning you drive to work and say father I am listening. It may not feel right the first time. But that is the idea of discipline – persisting with something.

My sheep hear my voice and I know them and follow me (John 10: 27). The process of hearing suggests that 1) You can’t hear if you don’t listen. 2) Hearing is difficult if there is noise around you. 3) Listening itself must be deliberate. According to most thesauruses, listening is giving one’s attention to a sound. And to hear: be told or informed.

John 10 says, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.  But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.  And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. “

The point here is that we all have the capacity to hear when God speaks to us. Why would Jesus even allude to our ability to hear Him if that was not already in us? The goal is to commit to a time of day, daily, where we can listen to God. However, if you have not heard God speak to you, you are not listening.

How to Listen:

Psalm 37:7: Be still and wait for the Lord. That involves patience and calm. It also implies that in listening to God that discipline of patience is required. Much of the time we try to rush God, but this scripture instructs us to be patient. It also demands silence – situations where we remove distractions.  We cannot focus on other things at the same time we are trying to hear from God. However, as we listen to hear from God, Christians among us also can transmit his light to us here on earth.

Learn the discipline of following Wise Leaders

What about if once a week, you sought the wisdom of an old or wise Christian who has been in the faith much longer or who is more informed than you are? YouTube is a great help. Listen to interviews from the old masters: C.D. Brookes, Charles Stanley, it may also be older people in your circle or church family. And no, they don’t have to be perfect. Use them as channels from Jesus.

Paul says follow me as I follow Christ. Look for Christ in their behaviour and words. In Acts 6:1-3, when the early church was facing challenges managing the welfare of its members, the disciples sought for seven men in the church with the spirit of wisdom. Sometimes, we value counsel from non-Christian more than the admonition of our own brothers and sisters. To be wise, one must walk with the wise (Pro. 13:20). So, Solomon is saying that there are wise people among us, and we must seek company with them.

Do you know that there are people in church today who will go to the obeah man, instead of the church pastor? Some would cite the imperfection of church folk to refrain from seeking their advice, but where can one go to find perfection? The bible says that the wisdom of the world is foolishness (1Cor. 3:19). So, it makes more sense to pursue knowledge and understanding from those in the household of faith more than anywhere else. Elisha depended on Elijah’s wisdom; Timothy depended on Paul.

How do we know who is wise that we should follow?

Point 1: He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed (Pro. 13:20). In the process of sorting who is wise and who is not, look for someone who is also searching for wisdom himself or herself. Again, this is not about searching for perfection. The idea is to drink from a vessel that continues to replenish itself.

Point 2: People who are diligent in the word, do not waste time in vain activities. Eph: 5: 15-16, “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

One of my mentors once told me: if someone with more experience than you in a particular activity asks you to do that task, do it readily despite whether you feel inadequate; because he has seen something in you that you may not have seen about yourself. That one piece of advice has driven my life.  That has impacted me personally and professionally ever since. So, there are people in the church that could inspire your life or that of your children.

In conclusion, two things are true in this message: disciplining yourself to hear God when he speaks to you is absolutely critical for guidance in your Christian journey. The notion of listening and hearing God is both possible, even likely, and necessary. In addition, if we discipline ourselves to follow the instruction of the scripture in finding wise people among us that can inspire our relationship with God, we can be more effective followers of Jesus Christ.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *