I know I’ve said it. I’ve heard it said by many of my friends and mentors.
“I just don’t understand why God is silent right now.”
It’s golden until it means God isn’t speaking to you, right?
I’ve spent many difficult seasons wondering why I couldn’t just “hear God speak.” Wondering what I did wrong to deserve a “cold shoulder” from the Almighty. This wondering always leads to a pity party, where I lament the supposed silence as I approach a critical decision or endure heart wrenching emotional turmoil.
Sometimes I use the silence to justify my own sin. If God’s not taking the time to convict me, he must be OK with my behavior, right? Surely the God of floods and fire from heaven could take some time out of His busy schedule to alert me that I was sinning. The silence must mean that He’s not offended.
Recently, God has been teaching me through the silence.
We need to learn to separate God from our feelings. God exists and works in a completely separate realm from our feelings. Even if we don’t “feel God working” or “hear him speaking,” He is still God.
Does that mean God doesn’t care about us or that feelings are bad? Absolutely not. In fact, trusting God brings the greatest feeling of all: joy. But often times we accuse God of being silent in difficult times when we’re actually worshipping the god of our feelings by waiting for an emotional reaction rather than believing what we know to be true.
We need to realize that God is God at every volume level. He is sovereign and good, no matter if we hear Him loud and clear or struggle to hear His whisper. His truth does not change with our hearing. In fact, we’re often the ones who need to turn down the noise and listen in for His voice.
Finally, and most importantly: God’s Word is never silent. This is a huge reality check for me. I can’t even count how many times I’ve found myself complaining about God’s “silence” while a collection of 66 books of God’s words sits next to me, unopened. His Word guides, convicts and speaks regardless of our attitudes or emotions. We often complain about not hearing Him speak when He has already spoken!
So let’s turn down the noise and draw near to Him, even when we don’t feel like it’s doing any good. We could all benefit greatly from carrying on in truth rather than in feeling.
On silence in the difficult times: Job 23:1-14
On silence in sin: Psalm 50:16-23