What to Do When God Seems Silent
2 December 2012
· Jn.10:27 My Sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”
· We all have the ability to hear the voice of God.
· To follow Jesus we must be able to hear His voice, recognise when He is speaking.
· He speaks to us in many ways, and through may different channels.
e.g. Bible; Messages preached; People; Counsellors; Circumstances.
· We can develop and cultivate our ability to hear His voice in our spirit.
2. What Happens When God Seems Silent?
· Ps.28:1 “…Do not be silent to me, lest if you are silent to me, I become like those who go down into the pit.”
· God always responds to us but not always what we want or when we want.
· It can be “very troubling” when you asked direction – but no reply
You listened for His voice – but no response
You need help – but God seems silent
· When God seems silent and does not seem to respond to us it is very easy to:
Wonder if you have missed his direction
Feel angry and resentful
Think God has rejected or abandoned you
Become discouraged and maybe depressed.
· 2 Chron.32:31 “God withdrew from him in order to test him to know what was in his heart.”
- God does not leave us or abandon us. We are joined to the Lord. (1 Cor. 6:17)
- Sometimes we may not be aware of His presence or voice.
- In times when God is silent issues in our relationship with Him surface.
3. What Not to Do when God Seems Silent
(i) Don’t withdraw from your assignment
e.g. Luke 24:13
· Disciples were full of grief and disappointment
· They withdrew from their place of calling
(ii) Don’t Harbour Resentment and Blame
e.g. Jn.11:21 “Lord, if you had been here my brother would not have died.”
· Martha full of grief over her loss – blames Jesus for his delay and Lazarus’ death.
· She failed to see the bigger picture and the greater outcome – resurrection.
(iii) Don’t Harbour Offence against God
e.g. Lk. 7:20-23 “Blessed is he that is not offended in me”
· John expected God to move – expected Jesus to get him out of prison.
· When God does not do what we expect it is easy to be disappointed and harbour offense.
(iv) Don’t Harbour fear and anxiety and act presumptuously
e.g. 1 Sam. 13:4-11 “When I saw …. I felt compelled and offered a burnt offering”
· Saul faced mounting problems, loss of support, delay in God speaking.
· Out of insecurity he asked presumptuously – fear and anxiety dominated his emotions and he tried to control the situation.
(v) Don’t Strive to “Help God Out”
e.g. Gen 16:1-3, 11-12 “You shall call his name Ishmael, because the Lord has heard your affliction. shall be a wild man”
· Consider the problems in the Middle East – the descendants of Ishmael.
· Abraham was 10 years in Canaan waiting for promised child.
· God gave direction but didn’t speak about famine (Gen. 12:10) or delay.
· Abraham was 86 when had Ishmael (Gen.16:16) and 100 when had Israel (Gen. 2:5).
· He came up with his own idea to help fulfil God’s purpose.
· The consequences of our Ishmaels are painful.
4. What to Do when God Seems Silent
(i) Examine Your Relationship with the Lord (Is.59:1-2)
· Any sin? What did God last say? Doing it?
· Any compromise? God spoke but thought it was only a person
e.g. Acts 27 – Paul
(ii) Strengthen Yourself in the Lord (1 Sam.30:6)
· Pour out your heart, feelings, pain, struggles
· Remember past victories and experiences
· Meditate in the Word of God on His faithfulness
(iii) Seek Wisdom (Eph.5:15)
· When not hearing from God and Bible not clear on the issue : seek wisdom
· Counsel of wise friends (proven track record) (Prov.12:15)
· Continue to ask God for wisdom (Jam.1:5)
· Set aside time in the presence of God to wait on Him.
(iv) Affirm Your Trust in the Lord (Prov.3:5)
· Don’t draw back – constantly affirm your trust in His faithfulness.
· Follow the peace in your heart. (Col.3:15)
(v) Stick with the Plan
· For a time doing the last thing the Lord said.
· Follow through your own plans – don’t be passive
1. What did the Holy Spirit speak to you about today? – what impressed you?
2. What steps will you take to respond to this?
3. Pray for one another.