Friday, 26 December 2014

Word: When God is Silent


There could be worrying occasions in a believer’s prayer life when it appears that God is silent. Let us consider three different texts from the scriptures.

Unto thee will I cry, O Lord my rock; be not silent to me: lest, if thou be silent to me, I become like them that go down into the pit. {Ps 28:1}
Keep not thou silence, O God: hold not thy peace, and be not still, O God. {Psalm 83:1}

It is a certainty that no one can escape.
It will happen to you at least once in your life.

It might be scary, frightening and will make you wonder whether you will ever be the same.
You may feel like you’re going crazy.
It makes you wish for your old life, however difficult it may have been.
You will think no one else has ever gone through this and survived.

You can even wake up in the middle of the night and unable to sleep. You may not talk about it to anyone. Who would understand?
You think there is something wrong with you. Why can’t you just turn things around?

What is “it?” Quite simply, your world has turned upside down. There may have been any number of things that pushed you into this crazy time
Ø Your boss announces you’re fired
Ø your partner tells you they’re leaving
Ø  an accident alters your life in a significant way
Ø Your child receives a frightening medical diagnosis.
Ø You have been crying to God for a Job
Ø You want a partner to get married to
Ø You have been married for years but no child

Most of us have experienced something like this at least once in our lives. So what’s the first thing we do when something bad or difficult happens? Research done at Brandeis University indicates that 90% of us pray.
You’ve prayed; for money, a job, healing from an illness, a loved one’s recovery and nothing happens. Where is God during those times? What do you do when God seems silent?

Examples of God’s Silence in the Bible

ü Mary and Martha and their sick brother Lazarus (John 11)
ü 400 years of silence between the testaments
ü Silence in heaven (Rev. 8:1)
Why is God sometimes silent?
Ø To get our attention
Ø To make us aware of unconfessed sin
Ø To postpone an answer because we aren’t ready to listen
Ø To teach us trust in Him (Hebrews 13:5 shows that even if we can’t see God working, He is with us.)
Ø To help us distinguish between His voice and other voices (e.g., in the Holy Land, Dr. Stanley saw sheep who knew their shepherd’s voice.)
Ø To encourage perseverance until we experience a breakthrough
Ø To teach us the practice of sitting quietly in His presence
Most People’s Response to God’s silence

·      Disappointment
·      Discouragement
·      Confusion
·      Doubt
·      Guilt (Some people fear they have sinned.)

·      Anger
·      Fear (Some Christians feel deserted by God or worry that they have lost their salvation.)
D. How should we respond to God’s silence?

Ask the Lord why. Jesus questioned the Father (Matt. 27:46; Mark 15:34).
Remember that God’s silence doesn’t mean He’s inactive.
Trust Him. In His silence, He works for good in your life (Ps. 46:10, 138:8).
Anticipate a more intimate relationship with Him.
Respect God’s right to be silent. Deliberately set aside time to be quiet before Him.
Read the Bible, and tell the Lord you are available to listen.
Keep praying. Eventually, you will have a breakthrough.
III. Closing: Through times of silence, God impresses on us the truth about sin, develops our trust in Him, and guides us to maturity. When the Father seems distant, faithfully seek Him and watch for His provision.

5 practical things to do
1.   Examine your life.
Begin by asking yourself the question, Is there any unconfessed sin in my life? Make sure nothing is blocking you from being able to hear God's voice.
Psalm 66:18 says, "If I had not confessed the sin in my heart, my Lord would not have listened" (New Living Translation). This requires looking deeper than the obvious.

Ask yourself: Do I have wrong motives? Is there anything (or anyone) that I love more than God?
As God brings things to mind, quickly ask for His forgiveness.
And remember, there's no shame in repentance. This act of faith pleases God and restores our fellowship with Him.
2.   Accept God's Sovereignty
Recognize that God can be silent. There is no obligation for God to answer you, inform you or let you know anything.

No one and nothing can hinder God or compel Him or stop Him. He is able to do as He pleases always, everywhere, forever.

Like us, Job faced the choice of acknowledging -- or rejecting -- the sovereignty of God. In response to his suffering and loss, Job's wife suggests he curse God and die.
Instead of following her advice, Job chooses to let God be God. "Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?" he asked (Job 2:10).
Accepting God's sovereignty also means actively trusting God, realizing He is in control and can be trusted.
"Though He slay me," says Job, "I will hope in Him" (13:15). Nothing in Job's life, or ours, happens apart from God's knowledge and plan. As we learn at the beginning of the Book of Job, God was fully aware of all the things that were about to happen to Job.
In fact, He gave Satan permission to do these things in Job's life. At no point does God release His control.
3.   Listen To What God Is Saying
Although God may seem silent regarding a specific request or petition, remember that He is always in a constant state of communication with us.
In fact, it is possible that you already have an answer from God. The Bible is full of specific answers about what is right and wrong as well as information about God's character and His intention for us as His children and His followers.

So don't forget to dig into God's Word; His written communication to us; to find out what He has to say about the problems you're facing or the questions you're asking.
As you read the Bible, ask God to speak to you through the Holy Spirit, who lives inside of you. Often verses can have new significance in light of current problems you are facing.
4.   Recognize That Silence Can Be Intimate
Silence can also be a sign of God's trust.
The Gospel of John tells a story about Jesus' friends Lazarus, Mary and Martha. When Jesus found out that Lazarus was ill, he didn't rush to Lazarus' house to heal him. Instead, Jesus stayed where he was for two more days (John 11:6). And before Jesus arrived in Bethany, Lazarus died.
To Lazarus' sisters, Mary and Martha, Jesus' silence could have been interpreted as neglect; that Jesus didn't care or didn't want to help them.
This mirrors many of the emotions we feel when God doesn't immediately answer our cries for help.

But in Jesus' silence we, along with Mary and Martha, are drawn into a new closeness to God and understanding of His power. Four days after he died, Lazarus was raised from the dead by Jesus, showing His power.
"You will find that He has trusted you in the most intimate way possible; with absolute silence, not a silence of despair, but one of pleasure, because He saw that you could withstand an even bigger revelation."
When you are completely comfortable with a person, it is possible to sit in a room together and not utter a word.
In love, silence can be a sign of intimacy.
For Job, God's silence was also a result of the depth of their relationship. When Satan approached God, He said, "Have you considered my servant Job?" (Job 1:8). In trust, God chose Job.
5.   Keep Talking To God
Just because God seems silent doesn't mean you should doubt Him or stop praying.

God's silence isn't a license for us to turn our backs on Him. Instead, it's an invitation to press forward and seek Him even more diligently.
The psalmists modeled crying out to God. David said, "Oh my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, and by night, but I find no rest" (Psalm 22:2). Job also continually cries out to God, asking Him to answer.
For pages of the Book of Job, God is silent. But in chapter 38, God answers; and questions Job. "Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?" asks God. "Tell Me, if you have understanding" (Job 38:4).

God is in control and has been all along. He heard Job's cries for help. In trust, He waited for the perfect time to speak. Job was reminded.
God answers prayer.
I pray that as this year is going to an end; all your hanging blessings of this year 2014 shall manifest in the name of Jesus.
The Enemy shall not steal your Joy; at the time you least expect; the lord God shall show up and surprise you with miracle in the name of Jesus.
Prayer Points
1.   My Testimony; manifest in the name of Jesus name of Jesus.
2.   Year 2014! You shall not swallow my breakthrough! In the name of Jesus.
3.   Miracles that will make me forget my past sorrows; locate my life in the name of Jesus.
4.   Power of the enemy hold forth my testimony, release them by fire! In the name of Jesus.
5.   I decree into year 2015! You shall favour my life! In the name of Jesus.
Let us never forget to pray. God lives. He is near. He is real. He is not only aware of us but cares for us. He is our Father. He is accessible to all who seek Him.

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