Solitude, being quiet or still, generally makes us uncomfortable. Why is that? We know at our core that we want our souls to feel at peace, and yet this unrest, this unending chaos keeps swirling.
It’s the reason we stay on our phones until our eyes our too tired to keep us awake, the reason we don’t stay at the toilet for more than 30 seconds hands-free, why we drive with an endless stream of music in our car stereos. Silence makes us squirm.
Because God most often speaks to us when it’s quiet. When our soul has no distractions to lead our thoughts elsewhere, we are confronted with the emptiness and loneliness and depravity at our center.
Silence confronts what we believe (or claim to believe) about God.
Now stop for a second and consider that. What do you believe about God? Rather, what do you claim to believe about God? Do you believe, or claim to believe, that God is vengeful and angry, vicious towards all who oppose Him? Do you believe, or claim to believe, that God loves us relentlessly and offers peace in His presence? Do you believe, or claim to believe, that you have screwed up your life one time too many and that in the presence of God, you are a failure and a disappointment?
What do you find in the presence of God?
Have you ever requested the presence of God?
Or have you been afraid to even ask?
Silence is God’s megaphone and sometimes we don’t think we want to hear what He has to say.
But fear not, the news is good.
Are you afraid of God? Read on…
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And He has committed to us the ministry of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us; We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.” – 2 Corinthians 5:17-20
Be reconciled to God. Are you worried that you can’t be reconciled to God, that you’ve sinned too much?
“But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions–it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages He might show the incomparable riches of His grace, expressed in His kindness to us in Christ Jesus.” – Ephesians 2:4-6
I think “dead in transgressions” covers everything bad we’ve done. I don’t think you can be dead-er than dead in transgressions. And God has grace deep enough for that!
But say you’re reconciled to God… What does that mean? How do you live that out? Is God full of harsh rules and regulations?
“This is love for God: to obey His commands. And His commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” – 1 John 5:3-5
When you’ve been “re-born” and have surrendered your life to God, He gives you a new mind and a new heart to do life God’s way. He knows who we were, and He knows who He’s called us to be.
“At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by His grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.” – Titus 3:3-7
We can come to Jesus boldly. We can come with our sins and accept His forgiveness and claim His authority over our lives. We can come in boldness, knowing He already knows our innermost thoughts and trusting that He will continue to help us live out His grace in faith and freedom.
“In [Christ Jesus] and through faith in Him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.” – Ephesians 3:12
“For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” – Romans 4:12-16
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us–whatever we ask–we know that we have what we asked of Him.” – 1 John 5:14-15
And in the presence of God there is peace.
“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace…” – Ephesians 2:13-14a
“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us. You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by His blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through Him! For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to Him through the death of His Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through His life! Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.” – Romans 5:1-11
Have you been in the presence of this God?