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The Discipline Of Silence Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
May 31, 2021 1:00 am

The Discipline Of Silence Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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May 31, 2021 1:00 am

There are times when we must shut out the noises we’ve grown so accustomed to. Turn off the TV and put down your smartphone. Draw near to God in the silence, and you’ll find that what remains is the still, small voice of God.

 Click here to listen (Duration 25:02)

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One reason for us. Jesus phone number for there are times when we must shut out the noises we grow so accustomed to turn off the TV and put down your smart phone line with what remains is still small voice of God. To learn more. Stay with church in Chicago this morning with Sir teaching helps us make it across the finish line after Luther. Some of us would not be able to handle turning off the noise of life and just be silent and you know Dave, there are times that God takes us through valleys of death and grief and it is then that we begin to understand that the noise of life is not important what is important is the meditation and the hope within the soul.

That's why prepared a DVD entitled finding purpose in grief and loneliness. It discusses good grief, bad grief, it talks about how grief and loneliness. Well, you go through those periods, but loneliness is a trap door you say what is that trapdoor. Well, a man who is experiencing grief and loneliness right now explains it to us. This DVD or CD your preference can be yours for any amount and by the way, today is the last day, we are making this offer available to you for any amount you simply go to RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337 I'm going to be giving you that info again at the end of this message, so listen carefully, and I trust that you'll get this resource that will indeed help you make it all the way to the finish line silence. How can we have silence in a world that is noise. We have to have some put into our lives, we can't be in a quiet room we have to turn on the TV, the radio reading newspaper. But whatever you do, don't leave me just alone with my own thoughts.

Some people left alone with their own thoughts are very very long way. In fact, there are many people who can't be silent for a moment they can't even be silent in church they come, and are not silent in their thinking about other things and they can't focus on God because the centrifugal force of their lives lies in an entirely different direction. They have never been taught. Silence and focus back in the little country church that my parents took us to when we were just little children whenever my parents went into the church. They would bow and they would pray they would just simply bow their heads and have a brief prayer.

This was their common practice.

It's a wonderful practice that all of us should do but I remember 20 or 30 people, perhaps present in this small church, but my father had just bowed his head and had finished his prayer and lifted up his head and there was a man behind him who kinda put his arm on his shoulder and said to him, will how many acres have you been able to combine this week. You see, even in the house of God. We've not learned to focus we not learned silence of the monks. They left the world for the wilderness because they wanted to do two things.

First, the monks were very interested in trying to find God within the depths of their soul's now in this, they were both right and wrong.

First of all God, however, is not found in the depths of our souls by looking within and by contemplation, he is found by coming to him through Jesus Christ our Lord. And what Jesus did for us, but that's sad. Once they understood that the idea of getting to know God and contemplating God was very biblical and some of those monks after they spent a lot of time in the monasteries came out and had a marvelous transforming ministry there was a second reason that they went to the monastery and that is that they wanted to prove that God was sufficient for the human soul and you and I need to prove that there will never go into a monastery.

Except for a visit because let me explain to you that all of life. As one writer says we are, as it were being evaluated on a scoreboard our wins and our losses are there for everyone to see and do more public ministries are the more public people we are, the more those wins and losses become in apparent to us and soon our sense of self worth is tied to our performance so tightly that we fear old age because once we are in that nursing home and we are of no value to anybody in it anymore. Then we begin to think to ourselves. Now what now that the mask is over and the charade has been come pleaded. Who are we really in the depths of our soul. So even though we can't follow the monks into the monasteries. We do have to learn their most important lessons. And that's the purpose of this message why a message on silence. Well, what is important is that you and I learned to live our lives from the center. We have to live our lives from the inside out. We have to have those resources down deep within, so that we can cope and we can even be addressed amid the turmoil and the tensions and the pressures and the expectations of life where we are constantly being graded and here's our problem. Our minds are like restless wanderers that go to and fro about the earth they flipped around. I hope there's a word like that. I think there is. They flipped around and so if we follow our souls. Our minds from one anxiety to another, from one insecurity to another, from one jealous thought to another, from one idea to another and if we just simply follow our minds wherever they lead us they will not be centered on God. We must be composed and what we'll discover is resources within to cope with the world without living the life from the center is a second reason Bible. By the way does say in quietness and confidence will be your strength. But there's a second reason that I speak about this and that is that it's been my discovery and I'm sure it's been yours to that. It is in those quiet moments that perhaps we do our best to worship of God, all you say. I thought that we worship God best when we come to church. Yes, most assuredly, we that marvelous music here today that is lifted our souls to God. But it's been my experience that we should be silent before we saying that we should pause before we pray I'm talking about an idea a biblical idea silence that is capable of transforming us into a different people. I know that I sometimes may be given to exaggeration when I speak about God's power and his grace. But I really do think that that is true. I believe that there is some of you suffering from addictions and hang ups and problems and anger and bitterness and the whole bit, and that it is possible for your life to be permanently changed through the precious gift of silence in the presence of God so that introduction. I want you to take your Bibles and turn to Psalm 62 Psalm 62. Most scholars believe that this Psalm was written when David was fleeing from Absalom and they believe that because of its similarity to another Psalm where David was fleeing from Absalom. If that is true, and we have reason to believe that it is. Imagine the conditions under which Psalm 62 were written David remember the great king of Israel. He has this son by the name of Absalom who begins to steal the hearts of the people by criticism. Subtle criticism of his own father affidavit is committed adultery and its well-known it's known throughout Israel is also known throughout the whole country and so his moral authority has been severely compromised and then Absalom begins to get some of the leadership of David around him saying you know my father's old and I'm next in line for the kingdom, and I prefer the kingdom now rather than later and so Absalom romance and rebellion which turns out to be a civil or now is enough. I think all of us would agree for David to have to put up with the theater because he's being stalked. I mean he is running from cave to cave as Absalom's men are trying to find him, but add to that something else that takes place, and that is that it's his own son. So it's a double edge of the sword, is it not the sword of fear and shame and humiliation and the sword of betrayal. Some of you parents were listening, you can identify with that. Can't you because maybe you had a son or a daughter who is risen up against you, who has attacked and the hurt runs deep. So David writes Psalm 62.

I want you to notice today that I am reading from the new American Standard translation and I do that because some of the translations translate verse one of Psalm 62, they say, may my soul rest in the Lord what I want you to know that the Hebrew word really is. Be silent, and that's the way in which it's translated here in the NAS base I'm reading from my translation. Yours might be different.

My soul waits in silence for God only from him is my salvation. This Psalm is sometimes referred to as the only song because the word only occurs five or six times. In fact, we could say that it has three paragraphs of four versus each each paragraph has within it in the opening line word only, for example. You'll notice as we now go to verse five, my soul waited in silence for God only verse nine men of low degree are only vanity and men of rank are allies of the word only occurs there as well.

As you begin the last stanza of the song, but my first question today is that why do we wait in silence before the Lord. Anyway, what difference does it make will first of all because of who God is. You'll notice we read it, he says, verse two, he only is my rock and my salvation lies stronghold what you think of with that word stronghold.

Those of you who have been to Israel and you've gone to Masada. Now that's what we're speaking of when we speak of the stronghold. A huge mountain and on the top of that mountain.

There was a fortress. Huge slopes only 1 Small Trl. leads to the top of the mountain and it is there that the Jews were able to hide out in the Romans couldn't get them for three years. Even though they tried to starve them out. That's a stronghold, a stronghold is first of all, a place of refuge, a place that you can run to and you know that your enemy can't get to you unless he gets to the stronghold first he has to be able to get up the slopes.

He has to be able to tear down the doors because because you are hidden you are You are protected. And David says that's what God is.

When my son rebels against me, and when his armies are trying to find me. It's a place of refuge. It's also a place of stability because the stronghold was there before you showed up and it will be there long after you are gone and does not log unite the generations because of his stability and because of his connectedness. It's also a place of rest. God is our refuge and our strength that it is in God that we rest because you can have all of these things taking place outside of you and around you, but you can be at peace now of course were not thinking of the stronghold literally is a mountain of course we are speaking of a stronghold, namely God and in God we find the resources that we need to cope. That's why David says my soul waits only before God in silence.

First of all because of who God is. There's a second reason that we wait in silence before the Lord and that is because of our need. Because of our need. David was very vulnerable. You'll notice it says in verse three. How long will you assail a man that you may murder him all of you like a leaning wall like a tottering fence. They have counseled only to trust him down to from his high position.

They delight in falsehood. They bless with their mouth, but inwardly they occurs. David is talking about the armies that are trying to get them and he's lightning himself up. I interpret this correctly as the tottering wall as a fence that is about to collapse as a what you have is Ed visit these armies are coming against David and David knows how vulnerable he is without God. He's not going to be able to make it without God is not going to be able to return back to Jerusalem because it is true that Absalom's armies are strong are at this point in David's armies and so what David is saying is I need God like I had ever needed him. My soul waited in silence before God. Also during this period of time.

I think David was tempted and I think we have a hint in the Psalm how he was tempted first of all, he was tempted to depend upon people's own armies and while they were able to give them some comfort. Ultimately, human beings disappoint us.

He says in verse nine. Men of low degree are only vanity and men of rank or ally in the balances they go up they are together lighter than graph.

There are some situations in life where we can't even depend upon people and we've all had the experience of being so disappointed in what people have done and people that we have depended upon. And we haven't understood that it is God once again, cutting out from under us those props that we might wait in silence before him alone.

So David was tempted to look at other people. He was also may be tempted to think, you know, if I had lots of money I could run and I could do something because you'll notice what he says in verse 10 do not trust and oppression and do not vainly hope in robbery. If riches increase.

Do not set your heart on them. They won't help you either. I'm always reminded of a couple that in the lottery one $20 million. Imagine winning $20 million in the lottery, and yet the woman died of cancer six months later when wealth increases.

Don't set your heart on it it better flee to God because all of these things are temporary so David says that within this context.

Now I'm going to wait on God and I'm going to do it in silence. Why, because because he has to renew his inner life with God. Remember that what a man is in the presence of God is all that he is and nothing more. Who we are is who we are before God, to David says I'm shutting out the world as I'm in this cave is perhaps this is where the Psalm was written. I'm shutting out dependence upon people, upon even my wealth, my soul waits silent, or God alone will you say well how is this done what will get to that in a moment. But before that what what are we waiting for.

When we wait in silence before God. First of all, we are waiting to listen to God's voice were waiting for God's voice. The Bible says in Isaiah chapter 28 verse 23 give ear, and hear my voice, listen to hear my words. At this point we all become very very nervous because there are some people who are listening were going to say. Are you telling me that that if we really silently for God.

He's going to give us a new revelation. He's going to come and speak to us all.

As you know I'm opposed to those folks who think that revelation continues to think that we can have a word from the Lord and we can say all guess what the Lord just told me you know what he said to me, then people rolloff things like that and that is distressing you know one day a man wrote a letter to me and said I can't believe that you believe thus and so and he quoted me and he said that he heard it in a message over the radio. I knew I had not said that because it was something with which I disagreed, and so I even listen to the message just to make sure that I discovered that he took something about what I said and connected it with another idea and came up with that quote with which I did not agree. But here's my point. Folks if I is a fallible human being do not like it when people put words in my mouth.

Think of how serious it must be to put words into the mouth of old lady God. Be careful were not listening for some new revelation, but let me tell you what we are listening for were listening for God to reveal in the stillness of our sins and our anxieties that are sometimes even get from us and you know my friend. We've had some examples recently of people who believe that they had prophecies from God that they spoke on his behalf, and they were wrong. Let's not put words into the mouth of God, but received the words that he has given us and you know God is not left us alone. Even when it comes to the great trials of life, even when it comes to grief and loneliness. That's why prepared a DVD or CD your preference entitled finding purpose in grief and loneliness. And today, by the way is the last time we are making this resource available to you. I think it will be of tremendous help.

You may need it if you don't you know someone who does. Who is going through a dark valley of unanswered questions and depression. So ask for finding purpose in grief and loneliness and the contact info is this. Go to RTW RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337. Remember, this is the last day, we are making this resource available and I can be yours for a gift of any amount.

Go to RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337 it's time again for you to ask certain questions about the Bible or the Christian life.

Today's question comes from a man deeply concerned about his brothers moral sin.

Larry writes I have an older brother who was having another affair he has confided in me about his romantic relationships now is involved with a woman at work. He claims to love his wife and children and does not want to leave them. Of course they don't know what my brother is doing.

If they did they'd be devastated.

He is a wonderful wife and children. What do I do I can't live with myself knowing this and not doing anything about it. Larry, my heart goes out to you and your in a very very critical situation, but I do need to tell you.

First of all you need to confront your brother, you know, the fact that he has confided in you. Was he expecting to receive some encouragement from you. I don't think so. You need to go to your brother and you need to help them see the seriousness of what he is doing. You need to encourage him to come clean and to speak to some pastor or some counselor and then you tell him that if he won't. You will don't go to his wife but go to a pastor go to a counselor someone whom you can trust who is going to help in the midst of this difficult situation. The point is that your brother is going to be exposed at some point. Anyway, nobody endlessly gets by with these kinds of sexual relationships and so if he won't cooperate in the process.

You do whatever is necessary to bring some restoration to this and as I say, with the help of a counselor or pastor you need to understand Larry that people who commit adultery like this who say that they still love their wife, they are living in a dream world. It's almost as if they are in a trance.

They kid themselves into believing that I can still be a good husband. I can still be a good father to my children. Even I'm cheating on the side.

The answer of course is you can't. It's a lie. Now Larry responsibility rests with you. It's a heavy responsibility. But God is put you in the position where you must do something. Go to your brother go to a pastor and put this nonsense to them and your brother might hate you for it. But that's all right in the end, if he is rational will give you thanks thank you Dr. Moser for handling a very tough situation. If you'd like to hear your question answered.

Go to our website that RTW and click on ask Pastor lutes or or call us at 1-888-218-9337 that's 1-888-218-9337 you can write to is running to win 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614 four many of us. Silence is uncomfortable. We want sensory input to fill every waking hour.

We need our TVs smart phones and radio what the Bible tells us to sometimes set it all aside to live life from the center from within hearing in silence the voice of God. Next time I'm running to win our series wraps up with more unwise silence is the best way to hear God's voice. Thanks for listening for Dr. Erwin lutes or this is Dave McAllister running to win is sponsored by the teacher

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