by John Greene
“YHWH prospers those that expect and seek Him. Prosperity is that a man expects and quietly waits for the salvation of YHWH.” – Lamentations 3:25-26, direct translation
Whether you are at home with the television or your favorite music blaring loudly or at a sports game in a roaring crowd, you know that during such times that you can’t hear quiet sounds or find time for gentle focus. With a full schedule and a busy life, could you be missing something better? The world often encourages chasing what you don’t have, creating a restless mind and heart. Life is full of all kinds of noise and most often each person creates much of his own through conditioned behavior. You can easily lose hold of deeper truth. That truth is that resting in quiet with Your Heavenly Father is the spiritually loudest place that you can be. Learning to live a quieter, less hurried way of life that focuses on Messiah is a gift that brings greater rewards. (Isaiah 7:4, 30:15; Jeremiah 1:9)
“Yahweh is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
He leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul:
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.” – Psalm 23:1-3, WoY
Quiet times are able strengthen trust and close connection with YHWH through the Holy Spirit. Quiet times bring greater peace. They help to inculcate trust and dependence through personal worship, starting with prayer. The frenetic activity of the world can separate a disciple of the Messiah from a close relationship with YHWH, serving as a distraction and breaking healthful life choices and routines. Trying harder (by itself) doesn’t help to make a disciple more fruitful any more than working harder will makes you wealthy. Washing your mind and heart in the living water of the Father’s Word is part of the beauty of personal worship and praise. When I think of describing His’s quiet voice, I think of what Elijah experienced after he experienced a time of great fear and breakdown. (Hebrews 11:6; Psalm 51:10; Hosea 4:6)
“Elijah came to and entered into a cave to stay there. Behold, the Word of YHWH came and said “Why are you here, Elijah?” Elijah said, ‘I am zealously provoked for YHWH, the Elohim of Hosts, for the sons of Israel have left your covenant, pulled down your altar and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone remain. They seek for my life, to take it away.’
YHWH said, ‘Go out and stand upon the mountain before my Face.’ Behold and YHWH passed. An exceedingly violent wind tore the mountain, breaking the rocks before YHWH. YHWH was not in the wind. After the wind was an earthquake, but YHWH was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake was a fire, but YHWH was not in the fire. After the fire was a quiet small voice. As this came to pass, Elijah heard it, covering his face with his prayer shawl. He went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. Behold, a voice came to him saying ‘Why are you at this place Elijah?’
Elijah said, ‘I am jealously provoked for YHWH, the Elohim of Hosts because the sons of Israel have left your covenant, pulled down your altar and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone remain. They seek for my life, to take it away.’ YHWH said to him, “Return on your way to the Damascus wilderness…” – 1 Kings 19:9-15, direct translation (see also 1 Samuel 3:1-21)
While Elijah lived before the time of Messiah and the promise of the Holy Spirit, as a prophet he walked and talked with YHWH as part of his personal relationship. During a time that he resisted ministry in fear for his life (hiding stubbornly in a cave), YHWH confirmed to Elijah that He was in control and that His voice was not part of the noise of the world. Today, when disciples of Messiah abide in Him, in YHWH’s Word and in His Spirit, the way is made to bear spiritual fruit. (Matthew 6:33, 24:14; John 4:24, 14:15; 1 John 2:6; Revelation 13:16-18; “Christianity: A Crisis in Prayer & Spirit“; “Sin & the Law of Liberty“; “YHWH’s Prayer Shawl of Protection“)
Most religious people have rejected hearing the voice of YHWH for Bible learning alone. This is because a closer relationship is often discouraged by religion. Religion seeks authority for its’ own leaders in competition with the world. It often seeks the same authority that the modern world of man is built on instead of looking to what is YHWH’s Supreme Authority. Religion points at the ‘church‘ over personal relationship and salvation through Yahshua [Jesus]. As a result, most religious people, even well-meaning folks follow after chosen leaders without really knowing what to do, even without regarding scripture. For a disciple of Messiah, scripture is a life guide as you learn to grow spiritually to be a new person through the teaching of Yahshua [Jesus]. Part of this is the acceptance of the Holy Spirit as your Counselor. If you can’t hear Him, you can’t receive that important counsel. You cannot hear His voice without being willing to listen. You start by praying. This isn’t hard, as easy as asking, but something that the world, even some of the Christian world, scoffs at as a fiction. (John 8:28-32; 2 Peter 3:3-4; Acts 17:11; 2 Timothy 3:1-17; 1 John 5:19; Galatians 5:19-21; “Disciple of Messiah: Live Your Belief“; “Seeking a New Spirit“)
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.” – John 15:1-7
Abiding in Yahshua [Jesus] through the Holy Spirit isn’t all about you. Because of your relationship, you are able to help others, the call of every disciple. Quiet times are an effective way which can help you to learn how to interact with and rely on YHWH. You fill your mind and heart with YHWH’s Word, replacing the old man of sin. “Speak, your servant is listening.” (1 Samuel 3:1-21) In this way, you can learn to hear the Holy Spirit through the noise of the world around you. Disciples with the mind of Messiah share loving concern, brotherly love for one another, established through prayer. Elohim’s Word, along with the Holy Spirit, helps you to grow. (Matthew 13: 16-17, 43; Colossian 3:16; Psalm 46:10) Thanking Him and singing praises in song is also part of this sharing experience.
When a professed Christian does not bear fruit (the kind of righteous fruit that Father YHWH wants) because of being full of man’s knowledge, as well as resisting Him, YHWH will prune in judgment. The end of that judgment is eternal cutting off. This is not about fear, but about love. Judgment is simply the final end result of rebellion, what YHWH has promised. What Divine Judgment results in is not a contrivance of man, but a necessary decision from a caring and forgiving Father based on His righteousness. This righteousness is established throughout the earth. The Bible is the blueprint. The opportunity for salvation is personal to each human being. That is why personal relationship is so important. By submitting to His Kingdom, you come to rejoice in Him as you find the peace and strength that guards your mind and heart. (Matthew 4:17; Mark 1:15; 6:12; Luke 13:3, 5; John 5:24; Acts 2:38; 17:29-30; Philippians 4:4-7; 1 John 4:16-19; 1 Corinthians 4:5; Romans 10:17; Revelation 21:8; “Christians & Leadership Crisis“; “The Wheels of Ezekiel“)
When noise stops, the resulting silence is your friend. Religious activity without spiritual transformation is part of this noise. This same noise may be one of the issues as to why so many have difficulty in prayer. True prayer always includes listening to the Holy Spirit. Prayer is dialogue rather than a monologue, a stunning idea for all that have been taught otherwise. Remember that the Holy Spirit is your Counselor, a comfort during times of need. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20) Disciples of the Messiah must live through the provision of Messiah in order to live for Him. While YHWH is found in the joy of praise, He is found most often in the quiet moments of life, as you learn to rest in Him. How long these moments are is up to you. The choice is always up to you. (Matthew 13:45, 28:18-20; Luke 9:23-25; John 14:6; Romans 6:23; 2 Timothy 4:6-8; Joshua 25:15; Ezekiel 18:23, 32, 33:11; Deuteronomy 30:19; “Gifts of the Spirit & Speaking in Tongues“)