When’s the last time you heard from God? There are times in my life when God just seems to be silent. Silent times like these aren’t anything new. In fact, scripture is filled with times where people don’t hear anything from God. These people who experience the silent treatment, aren’t nobodies either. These are spiritual heroes that we learned about in Sunday School! Take Job for example. He was all in for God, and all of a sudden, experienced the fullness of God’s silence. Abraham was called by God to offer up his son, Isaac. During that journey, God was silent. Years later, Joseph spent years in prison, and the Bible doesn’t make any mention of God talking to him.
In 1 Kings 17, God comes to Elijah and tells him that there will be a severe drought in the near future. The next chapter begins with something interesting, “After many days the word of the Lord came to Elijah…” These many days turned out to be 3.5 years! For 3.5 years God didn’t move. For 3.5 years Elijah the prophet hadn’t heard from God. Sometimes God is just silent. We’ve all been where Elijah was. We’ve all been desperately waiting to hear from God, only to receive nothing. No words, no burden, just silence. These moments are a part of our everyday walk with Christ. That’s why it’s important to know how to get through them. Here’s a few suggestions on how you can fill the void.
A Silent Opportunity
Has God been silent lately? What if you were to approach this time as an opportunity? Use this time to assess your spiritual health. How is your walk with Christ? Are you struggling with sin? Use this time of silence to confront that pattern of sin in your life. Maybe you can remember the passion you had for Jesus when you first came to know Him, and yet the passion you have today pales in comparison. You can remember how joyful you were when you first realized that Jesus died for your sins and then was raised from the dead. But that joy is long gone. You’ve lost your first love. Use this time of silence to fall in love with God again. Get back to the way things were at first. Don’t look at this time of silence as an obstacle to overcome. These times are far from obstacles. Count it an opportunity.
Time To Trust
We’ve all been there. You haven’t heard from God in a while, and you’re really hoping you hear something and soon because it’s getting tough to trust. You might even say that this silence is pushing you to doubt. God’s been silent for a while. Does He really care about what I’m going through? Am I even on His radar anymore? Is He even there? It’s questions like these that we begin to ask when God is silent. I’ll admit it: I don’t hear from God everyday. Yes, I’m in ministry and I’m called to push people to Jesus. But that doesn’t mean I hear from God everyday. Sometimes there are these times of silence, where I don’t hear anything new from God. Satan loves these silent times. The devil tries to convince me that these silent times are my own doing. He even encourages doubt. I’m not proud of it, but sometimes the king of this world gets through to me. These voids cause good people to stumble, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Instead of doubting, why not place more trust in God?
Be On Alert
No matter what, don’t forget what we’re really supposed to be doing. Don’t give up hope. Sure, sometimes God is just silent. That doesn’t mean we can be too. No matter what God is up to, we have a job to do. We need to continue to place our trust in Him. We must continue to wait on Him and watch for Him. Just because you haven’t seen Him at work, or haven’t heard from Him, doesn’t mean you have a free pass to take a break until something changes. Get to work! Listen closely for something from God. Pay close attention to God working around you. If you do, you’ll make surviving the silence a lot easier.
I don’t like it, but sometimes God just seems to be silent. These can be tough times. I hope that the next time God is silent, that you’ll decide to look at this as an opportunity. I hope you’ll challenge yourself to place more trust in Him, and above all be watchful for God. Never lose hope. Is God silent? Fill the void.
(Photo by Flickr User: Dananjaya Chathuranga Photography)