Even When He's Quiet

"I've stopped wondering why God is quiet. It doesn't always have some life-altering meaning, nor should we be frightened of it."

GOD SEEMS SILENT. You pray and hear nothing. Where is He? First of all, God is never silent so that we suffer. Sometimes, we can’t hear Him. Other times, He is waiting on us, and some of those times, He just wants us to do what we’d like to do. He isn’t a general, always making us keep in line. The Old Covenant Law was fulfilled with Jesus’ death. There are no more rules of sacrifice for us to mess up.

The devil likes to fill in the details. Stupid fathead is full of suggestions. “Maybe God is …” “Maybe you should have …” All of them are wrong. Trust me on this, when you continue listening, God will speak. What does it mean to listen? It means giving Him time. You have to turn off all the other stuff and put Him first. Not because He’s full of pride and egotism, but He wants your attention on Him, on His Word, on worship. Worship is, again, not to build Him up. He doesn’t need building, but it puts you in His presence, and God always inhabits the praises of His people.

I write two types of devotionals. There are those where the Spirit speaks what He wants to say. I may have studied as He’s lead me, but the topic is His, and often, I have no idea where He’s going with it. Other articles are what I’m interested in. He will take hold of my line of thought and lead me while writing. He anoints my words. But I chose what to say. There is no confusion between my thinking and His understanding. He invented humans. He knows everything there is to know about the human mind and thought process. He also knows all there is to know about the devil. The enemy has no secrets from God. None. He knows what he is doing, to whom, and where, and what was just said. All of it, which is unfathomable to me.

We like everything to be obvious. When God is moving, we know that because there’s a glory cloud or a line of goosebumps. I’ve sat in the presence of God, so thick I could barely move. I’ve also sat with the devil in my ear yapping and God saying nothing. But do you know, every single time it seems like God isn’t speaking, He eventually does? He’s told us what the devil wants to do (steal, kill, and destroy). He’s told us how to resist him (with the armor of God and the name of Jesus). He’s given us the authority over him, and He is the power to enforce it. We are not at the whim of the devil.

I’ve stopped wondering why God is quiet. It doesn’t always have some life-altering meaning, nor should we be frightened of it. Nor of the enemy’s chatter. So the enemy is talking, that is what he does. Didn’t you recognize it? Listen to something else. And pray. Prayer is our communication with our loving heavenly Father. We should be speaking to Him all day long. I speak during the night, praying silently or quoting a passage of Scripture. I speak all through the day and into the evening. I’m never not talking to Him. Most usually, He replies, and He’s full of joy. (The joy of the Lord, remember? The fruit of the Spirit is joy.) But even when He’s quiet, He’s there. He’s faithful and consistent. We doubt. We wonder about the quiet and begin to make reasons for it. But so what. So He’s quiet now, He’ll say something in a few. He loves you.

Minister Bill Johnson points out that often God’s voice is His presence. When His peace floods over you, He’s speaking. When you sense His leading to do a particular thing, He’s speaking. When you hear a part of a sermon which leaps out at you, it may be the minister’s voice, but that is God talking to you.

He is always with us. He never leaves. But in our human relationships, though we separate from our family to work, to go to school, to run errands, we don’t doubt them between breakfast and dinner. My husband and daughter have job schedules and friends and other activities. Do I sit around chewing on my fingernails over if they’ll come home? No. God is that much more faithful. I no longer consider the time between our conversations as any sort of slump. Even in the desperate places, where I need an answer, I know He delights to answer and that He has His reasons for waiting.

What I refuse to do is blame Him for my situation. Ever. Nor for the delay in the answer. That’s what the devil delights in, us being upset with God. I also refuse to ask, “Why, God, why?” There is a reason why, but sometimes our asking is to express frustration and doubt. I simply won’t do that. Instead, I ask for wisdom to see and know what will help me continue forward with hope. I ask for correction, if I’ve done something wrong. And I tell myself, even if I hate the answer, I will listen.

I know His voice. He never condemns. If it makes me feel small and ugly and worried, then that isn’t Him speaking. God is never going to tell you something you aren’t mature enough to handle. Never. Sometimes, He will lead you toward growing up so that you can hear and understand what He needs you to know. But what parent throws an infant a basketball? Our Father would rather be silent than mislead us or cause confusion. You can count on this 199%. If it is giving you confusion, it is not God who said it. If it made you angry, then it is the enemy stirring you up. Could be you need to submit that issue to God and let go of your anger so that you can hear. If it is making you fearful, you need to focus on the love of God. His love never brings fear.

It is in knowing Him as our Father and best friend that we will not question the silence nor the answer. We must grow in our relationship. An intimate relationship with Him fixes everything. We won’t need to define things quite so much. We will know His care for us instead. We won’t search for His voice quite as often, but we will speak and hear Him answering. And, my favorite part, we can stop making excuses. I love that part. I don’t have to think up an answer because He knows the truth of the situation. He will sometimes ask for what He already knows, and if He does, there’s a reason. But most usually, I say, “You know already,” and that’s good enough.

There is security in being “us” and strength of mind and character. I know me now because He loves me, and I know Him, so I have nothing to fear. As long as I stay submitted to His Word, seeking Him daily, I will never be off track, never be outside of His will, and will live my life in peace and joy and success. Which is what He wants for me and what Jesus died and rose again to give.

John 20:11-17
(11) But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre,
(12) And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.
(13) And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.
(14) And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.
(15) Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.
(16) Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.
(17) Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.

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Suzanne D. Williams, Author