Our Bible study group at work are currently reading Faithful: Heroes of the Old Testament and as we looked at Gideon last week, there was one question in the study that has remained in my heart. Priscilla asked “When we feel God is ignoring us, could it be that His perceived silence is intended to point us back to His Word?”
Way to pierce our hearts with that one!
I have struggled lately in this area and I knew this message was for me because I felt convicted about my quiet time and prayer life. As we discussed it as a group, I realized that a couple of us are in the same boat.
I am learning that my biggest frustrations often come when I am spending more time with trivial things than I am in God’s Word. His perceived silence should get my attention and turn me to Him —not leave me frustrated with the idea of feeling like I need to figure it out on my own.
Maybe you have been in this silent season while seeking God for direction, answers or even healing. I want to encourage you to press on! I know it’s not easy and I’m right here with you cheering you on as we travel this road together but know that God desires the very best for you and He desires to speak to your heart, but you (and me) have to prioritize Him.
In order for us to hear what He wants to say to us, we have to be intentional in our time with Him and intentional to give Him the opportunity to speak.
It is easier said than done but I believe it is so important in our walk with the Lord.
God wants to see more of us excited to be in His Word and excited to be in His presence. He wants us to know that He hears us and sees every tear and frustration.
I believe that He wants us to know that His silence is our own perception; often times because we are not receiving what we want when we want it. John Piper once said “We are simply called to trust the promise more than the perception.”
So maybe His silence, really isn’t silence at all because He is waiting for us to open the Word and allow Him to speak to our hearts.
Often when people are silent on the phone, I think they aren’t listening. Maybe they are occupied with the television, scrolling on social media or their mind has just wondered for a bit. Regardless of what it is, it is still silence on the receiving end.
Sometimes it appears to be the same when we talk to God. We cry out to Him, spend time worshiping and praising His name but we seem to still feel nothing in return.
I have learned that silence doesn’t always mean I’m alone. It doesn’t mean that He isn’t listening to what I have to say. Nor does it imply that I have bored Him with the same request just phrased differently. Sometimes it means that He is pruning me in a specific area. Pruning can be defined as the trimming of areas to increase its fruitfulness.He is requiring me to look into myself for the strength He has already given me. He is setting me up for my fruitful season.
During silence, it looks like nothing is happening but this is where we activate our faith. Hebrews 11 reminds us to have faith in what we do not see. I want to encourage you to find confidence even in the midst of silence. You can’t look at your circumstances, you have to look above to your Heavenly Father to guide and comfort you even during the moments where you can’t see Him moving. I find comfort in Psalm 18:1-6:
I love you, Lord, my strength.
The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise,
and I have been saved from my enemies.
The cords of death entangled me;
the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.
The cords of the grave coiled around me;
the snares of death confronted me.
In my distress I called to the Lord;
I cried to my God for help.
From his temple he heard my voice
Regardless of how things may seem, He hears your voice. My prayer is for you to find strength and refuge in knowing that He’s with you every step of the way. He sees your tears and hears your cries.I want to give you some helpful steps s I like to take when it seems like God is silent.
- Push through. I know it is hard and at times you want to give up but find comfort in knowing you will reap a harvest, if you don’t (Galatians 6:9). I want to encourage you to push through even when it seems like you’re not being heard. God hears you and sees every tear that falls from your eye. Push through your feelings. I know you may feel empty at times but believe God to fill you up.
- Evaluate the dead areas: During these times, it is important to remove the things which are keeping you from His presence. Get honest with yourself and make sure you have God as first place over your life, not things of this world. Stop giving other stuff priority over God. This is the time to remove the distractions and focus in on His presence. God will honor your obedience.
- Write His words on your heart: Start memorizing scriptures. I can never say this enough. Having His words on my heart has guided me during the times where I felt alone and sought after His presence. Study the scripture and incorporate it into your prayer. Example: God your word says that “you are all around me, in front and in back. You have put your hand on me (Psalm 139:5).”
- Wait in expectancy: I don’t know what you are believing God for, but I know that I serve a God who will provide. Your job is to have faith knowing He will do exactly what He says He will do. When you are praying and believing, you need to act like it is already done. Waiting is hard but if you can believe God to bring it to pass, it helps to make the waiting process a little better.
I know silence can be tough especially when you are in need of His presence to guide you through. Trust me and know that God has not left you to fight alone. Even when it doesn’t seem like He is with you, He is. It could be that He is working behind the scenes in your life right now. Continue to do your part and I promise you God will complete the finishing touches by doing His part.