God speaks to us. Sometimes clearly, sometimes subtly but He has a voice and, no, it doesn’t sound like Morgan Freeman. That would be cool though, right? There have been moments in my life when I have heard God so clearly that it drowned out every other voice and even the often most powerful voice — my own. My voice in my head is often the most powerful because what I tell myself can have the biggest impact on the fruit my life produces. We’ll talk about that more in another blog.
God can speak to you in several different ways. A voice from a burning bush, the mouth of a donkey, a voice from the clouds, God is one creative communicator! Regardless of the method, as a follower of Jesus, when you know you’ve heard from God and He has given you a commission you really only have two choices — obedience or disobedience. For perspective on the latter option read the book of Jonah. Jonah eventually got it right but, as I frequently remind my young sons, delayed obedience is disobedience.
God is infinitely patient with us but there are moments when God wants us to move without hesitation. Luke 9:59-62 tells of a time when Jesus commissioned two people to follow Him. Though the call was clear, they both told Jesus they first had other important matters that needed their attention. Jesus essentially told them to stop looking back and move forward with what He was telling them to do now. Leave behind whatever you have and do exactly what He has told you to do. As He said, the dead (the things you leave behind) will bury their own, Luke 9:60.
The lesson is this: when you clearly hear the voice of God the time to act is NOW.
But what if God is silent in other areas? What if, although God has told you what He wants you to do, He has been silent on how to do it? What if you really need to hear from God on a particular issue but it seems as though He’s not answering your texts, never returns email, hasn’t commented on your Facebook post, the gates of heaven have closed, and your prayers are bouncing off the ceiling? Trust me, we’ve all been there. Left to our own devices we can think either God isn’t listening or we’ve done something wrong.
There are several instances from Scripture why our prayers can be hindered. A husband who who does not respect or honor his wife will struggle to hear God (1 Peter 3:7). Spiritual opposition (Daniel 10:12-14) can cause a delay in receiving your answer. These are just a few. But sometimes God chooses not to speak to us. Only He really knows why but I often suspect it is the same reason I don’t always answer every question my kids ask me. I want them to figure it out for themselves. I want them to realize they had the answer all along, they just needed to use the resources and wisdom I had already given them. In the next few posts, I want to show you a few of the valuable resources God has given us to help us obey Him and proclaim the Kingdom of God to our generation.
I want to show you what to do when God is silent.
Coming up: When God is Silent: Light it Up!