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Have power in silence.

Find power in wordlessness.

Halt the tongue.

Stop the mouth.

It is a "word" for this week.

It says in the Bible: the tongue can torch the world. "If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body as well," states James 3.

How many times in your life have you found that talking only made things worse?

How many times in your life has it given power to a negative?

When there are problems, it's a great temptation: to talk about it, on and on, in circles, without end. We spin our wheels. We fret out loud. We waste much time that could be spent in prayer handling the circumstance. We hash and rehash and rehash again when we could be silently meditating.

Key word here: temptation. It's what the devil wants from us -- to talk to others instead of to Jesus. When we look to Christ, we see how, in the quiet of a desert, He was able to handle the most powerful, direct temptations from Satan.

The same is true for us: When we are quiet we are clear of spirit and when we have clarity we can see the guises of darkness.

Have clarity -- and thus power -- in silence.

Silence anger.

Silence your angst.

Silence your emotions.

Silence your temper.

Silence your body -- subdue it.

Silence all the fretting which may tend to evil. "For thus says the Lord God, the holy one of Israel, 'By waiting and by calm you shall be saved, in quiet and in trust, your strength lies'" (Isaiah 30:15).

Jesus said it: that worrying can serve the negative. Perhaps that's because besides being a lack of faith, and besides wasting valuable time, besides burning a hole in our emotions, and running down the body, worry sends forth an emotional energy -- a spiritual dynamic -- that feeds the enemy. Antagonistic spirits wait for the energy of anxiety, fright, and anger (and try to cause it to begin with). Talking about a negative can spark a flame and then pour fuel on it.

"See how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire!" says James 3:5-6. "And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell." 

Silence is a golden rule. This has been true from "silent night" to the silence at Calvary (a silence so powerful that it caused a quake, shaking the Temple). Actions speak louder than words (many arguments are won by simply keeping our mouths shut) and silence weakens the devil, who by nature is loud and likes distractions; he likes to hide behind clamor. He is in the first shout (and the first accusation). He is blaring rock music. He is a chatterbox. He is always speaking. He is always sending thoughts. He is always sending us a ticker-tape of worry. He is always sending worst-case scenarios, which are banished only when we take time out.

It is banished because silence leads to sanctity.

Silence bequeaths power.

Silence heals.

Silence unites.

Silence has mercy.

Silence prays for others.

Silence does not luxuriate over the bad news of others.

It is humble, which is also why the devil flees it; it is where we hear the "still, small Voice." (How many of us hear the Voice of God while we're talking?)

There are times to correct. There are times to speak out.

Never should this be, however, with "angry indifference."

That's when we get mad about something but then do nothing about it.

Instead, say only what is necessary. Pride is loud; humility is understated.

Silence takes discipline. It certainly doesn't gossip.

Have power in silence -- power over the enemy.

Have power in silence, in the way Jesus found power in silence in that desert. When you're worried about something -- maybe even darkly depressed (perhaps in a panic) -- pray for others and you will see your worry diminish.

There is no depression in direct contact with God.

Silence answers many questions.

It solves many crises.

In the beginning was silence; the Creator can be found there, creating new worlds for us.

When we are silent, our thoughts and emotions gather into a cogent pattern that lets us better face whatever good challenge the Lord has sent by which can should find growth (instead of trauma).

[Note also: Michael Brown retreats: Philadelphia-New Jersey]

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