On Silence and Hearing His Voice


I am slowly but surely heading towards a first year of being a Christian and I guess that my good friend and pastor Gideon Hoekendijk could not have said it any better than yesterday when attending a pastor’s lunch with Jason Westerfield, the whitest black preacher I ever heard:

talk about being thrown in the deep.

I guess that is what has happened in no uncertain way. From being a skeptic with an unexplained urge to go to church, I found myself in the midst of a community and events that are after revival, after the restoration of the Tabernacle of David, after God’s presence in the here and now and not as some distant unpersonalized life insurance policy for the hereafter. So far it has been an amazing journey. Let it be said: a challenging one for sure. After seven years studying and working towards a book on debunking RELIGION, I ended up encountering RELATION, and no matter how smart, rational, intellectual you are (and with an IQ of 148-154 depending on which test in which language I guess intellectual fits the profile), it was in experiencing RELATION with the living God, not at all distant, but highly personal that  I was shook up in my ugg- boots and am on a daily basis.

In all this I learned about the other side of prayer: loud, in tongues, long, with open arms, face down on the floor, for others, and I must say it has not always been easy.  A lot of my foundations, actually very similar to what Christchurch has been going through in the past weeks, seems to reflect what has been happening to me in  a personal, intellectual and spiritual sense. In a very direct and profound sense I had to came to a point where the adagio: I NEED TO UNDERSTAND SO THAT I MAY BELIEVE, was replaced with I BELIEVE SO I MAY UNDERSTAND.  And while I am far from perfect in that sense, a bit of the old rationalist, the facts and evidence based investigative consultant is still there, yet it is in reading the Bible and praying that real answers came, most of all when I stopped talking to God to give Him a  chance to speak.

This Jason Upton song seems to reflect this need for silence the way I experienced it.

 

I guess what it boils down to is that we spend an awful lot of time talking, requesting, to God, and don’t get me wrong, that may well be for all the right reasons; but it is, at least for me very easy to forget taking the time to listen to God and if anything it has been in the listening that I found my answers and actually am starting to experience the reality of the restoration of the Tabernacle of David, the power of His presence and the peace that comes with that. If there’s anything that typifies the past year as a Christian it must be that it is in the speaking to God that we get our issues sorted in the literal sense but for me it is in the silence that I seem to find the answers. I do not always like what I am hearing and in all honesty at times I thought I knew better. But it seems that the more you hand it over to Him the more peaceful you become in whatever comes your way. But… you need to take the time to listen, to ask at times

what are you trying to tell me Father?

Best of all: if you subsequently shut up and listen there is a good chance the answer follows, either while being silent or in the form of a sign straight after that, or when you read your Bible and some or the other passage seems to speak to you more than the others.

And when it comes to being quiet, I have found the music of Kimberly and Alberto Rivera working miracles for me btw just as much as the music ministry within Harmony Church and I guess that’s why I enjoy playing there so much. And in hindsight: what a foresight! It was not through doctrine or intellectual exercises but through music, in the words of Gideon Hoekendijk, my love language, that I came to encounter the Spirit before I was converted, and in such a strong way that there was nothing left but to be converted: PRAISE THE LORD! And is it just not  miraculous, after seven years of diligent “religious fraud” investigation, what happened to me happened in the eight year, the year of restoration: for me now the year of RELATION. Talk about a God  with a biblically sound plan! BUT…. back to Kimberly and Alberto Rivera. Below some of my favorite youtube videos. I will post the highlights  but suggest you listen to the songs as a whole.

I hope you enjoyed the videos as much as I did again. I hope and pray that like me you will find answers in His Presence and your Silence.

4 thoughts on “On Silence and Hearing His Voice

  1. This is by far the most interesting post that I have read John. The idea, “I NEED TO UNDERSTAND SO THAT I MAY BELIEVE, was replaced with I BELIEVE SO I MAY UNDERSTAND,” and the idea of Relation. Once I got my bearings straight on that I felt an immense peace. Thank you.

    • Hey hey, good to hear from you. Thanks for the compliments ands praise the Lord for a bit of inspiration that spoke to you. But it is indeed a weird thing and I think I mentioned it to you before. Even though not even converted fully, it was in the participation of the music ministry that things changed. It has been a process that was also stimulated by a remark of one of the elders in church https://johndierckx.wordpress.com/2009/11/03/confessions-of-a-doubting-thomas/ and actually the pastor saying to me: you can read all the books in the world but it’s not going to help you if there is no relation. With the relation comes the Spirit and with that comes a different understanding. I have never been writing as much as in the past year, my Bible is exploding from all the little note papers. Why? Because of that, all of a sudden the Book started speaking to me and all of a sudden a lot of otherwise “cool stories” with some mores in there came to life and a wealth of different insights, very often relevant for exactly what I was dealing with showed up that I had not seen there before.

      Well you know the history of all that, but here it is: it was in the relation that followed the conversion that a new understanding came that surpassed all that I thought I knew. I often wondered what people meant by the Bible as “the living word” and now I know. But it goes further than that, as it changed and is still changing my perspective dramatically, and in no way could I have found the peace (especially given the circumstances) that I found in the past year. It is in the relation that I am finding answers that I could not have come up with myself, musical ideas that are different and a different sense of playing, it is in the relation that al, the knowledge that I have been trying to gather all these years finally started to make sense.

      In actual fact, we have spoken so many times about ideas and theories found in all kinds of self-help and new-age types of books. I think I now understand why ultimately they do not bring the lasting results: because it does not include the most essential element of them all: God. So what you end up with is a whole bunch of fixes.

      Now I do not pretend to have the answers here but I could recommend giving it a go to anyone: entering into the relation that is an be led by the Spirit. If there’s anything I found it is that God is not some distant impersonal creator but a Father, in the truest sense of the word and in the here and now if you let Him be. (More on the subject matter in another post).

      Love and blessings bro.

  2. I believe the Lord is leading me to find and read about people like you, having a “fire” in your heart for the Lord. I believe in the Lord and most times genuinely feel His presence in my life but something holds me back from giving my all for Him. I have no doubt, the Lord is there but Satan is always at work, too. I guess it’s a battle we all face. Thank you for some of your testimony, it is a strength.

    • Hi Tim, thank you for your encouraging words, and believe me when I say that I know exactly what you mean. There is definitely a big fire for the Lord in my heart and like you advised Satan, evil, the thieve is always at work sometimes with more success than other times. Your word could not have come at a better time and are actually a strength to me at the very moment I am writing this reply. Praise the Lord for leading you to my post. Had a quick glance at your blog, what an amazing resource on alternative energy. Will make sure that I put it in the spotlight one way or another at some point in time.

      Love and blessings,

      John

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