Ever tried to hear God in the middle of confusion or in-between something you don’t understand and you’re trying to get answers? How did it go? I’ve come to learn that He speaks in the silence, in the stillness, in the quiet place, thus doesn’t talk when there’s noise, or when I am paying attention to other voices and conversations in and outside my head, apart from His. He’s a jealous God and He wants to be the only one we listen to (quick example ???? :When you’re trying to talk to your significant other but they’re busy with something else, and you think they’re ignoring you and so you get mad at them..lol!).
I have tried, more than once, to hear God when am in the middle of something challenging, where I don’t know the way forward and I desperately need direction coz I don’t want to make a wrong move, and I keep asking and telling Him to talk to me, show me the direction to follow, but at the same time I am entertaining other voices in my head (I’ve no idea where they come from and assemble in my head), and they all have got something to say, and it gets tricky to distinguish the voice of God from the rest, honestly. So what do I do when this happens? Go with the voice/decision that I see fit and appropriate for the situation I’m in, but even so I’ll keep asking myself, “Is this God’s will? Is this what He would have me go for or do?” Trust me, in the inside I’m hoping and praying it is. Do I like it this way? Absolutely not, coz I don’t want to do or go against His will (perfect will). You and I know how that goes. It’s messy. Sometimes I know why I can’t hear Him, other times I ask myself why He’s silent even when I hush and try to be still so that I can hear Him.
It’s not easy especially when you aren’t sure what is going on, and you get frustrated coz God is mum on you, and you keep asking Him, “Where are you God, in all this, why are You silent on me?” I know the Bible says, in John 10:27 that “The sheep that are My own hear My voice and listen to Me; I know them, and they follow Me”, and I’m sure I am one of His many sheep, but just because I can hardly hear Him doesn’t mean I am not His sheep. I’ll show you why and how in a few, but just before that, it’s good to know that God will not always talk when we expect Him to, but when He wants to. You’ll find yourself fasting and praying for days and after that, see no change, trust me, I’ve been there. I’m made to understand that this happens because we’re not ready for His answer, and He sees that when He answers or gives us what we’re asking for, it will ruin us, and so He waits until we’re ready to handle it-the Blessing. However, I understand that sheep will hardly hear their shepherd’s voice if they’re busy chatting with one another, trying to hear and weigh their friends’ opinions about something they want solved, unless they block every distraction and decide to only pay attention to their shepherd’s voice, the voice of truth.
The Bible says in Psalm 46:10(a)-AMP, “Be still and know (recognize, understand) that I am God”, meaning that despite every storm we’re experiencing, we have to be still to hear and know God, even when the ‘being still’ doesn’t make sense. Something else, stillness here doesn’t mean just sitting and waiting, but being in a state of readiness for what God is about to do in your life, being ready for the next dimension, being ready for the move of God. That’s why you’ve often heard or will hear people say, “I am taking a short break, to pray”, or when they disappear for a while and come back from the break (some call it a sabbatical), and if you’re curious like me you’ll ask them where they’ve been and they’ll tell you “Nilikuwa mlimani (I’ve been on the mountain)”. They don’t give you more details coz they expect you to know it means going on the mountain to fast and pray. Couldn’t they do so without having to go on the mountain? We may ask. Simple: Because it’s pretty hard to hear God in normal circumstances. Sometimes we have to take that extra mile, away from everything, to go and seek the face and voice of God. Remember the many times when Jesus used to separate Himself from the crowd and His disciples into a secluded place(s) to pray? (Luke 5:16) Because He needed that alone and quiet time with God.
What about when God is silent on us, what is going on at that time? I’ve heard people say, “When the Heavens are silent on you”. The story of Job is a perfect case study in such circumstances. When he was in great pain and suffering, we see him calling and crying to the Lord for help and relief for the first 37 Chapters, yes, 37. We aren’t told how many days covered the 37 Chapters, but every single day he waited for the Lord to answer him, only to be met with His deafening silence (how frustrating), but the beautiful and encouraging thing in the midst of all that is that his faith in God didn’t waver, instead, it grew stronger. Sometimes when He’s silent on me, I (like a child), imagine Him seated up there, just relaxing and watching over me, while saying absolutely nothing, and I look up and I go like, “Really, God?” I found out a few Reasons why sometimes He’s silent on me/us. Here:
- Take a screen shot of your Life. Ask yourself if there’s anything you’ve done that might be blocking you from hearing God’s voice, any unconfessed sin, any wrong or ungodly motives about something. Open up to Him and let Him show the areas that you need to look into, that your fellowship with Him shall be restored.
- God’s Sovereignty. We have to understand that God has no obligation to answer us or let us know of anything. It’s rough and somehow mean, but that’s the truth. In one of his many Books, A.W Tozer said that “God is said to be absolutely free, because no one and no thing can hinder Him or compel Him or stop Him. He is able to do as He pleases always, everywhere, forever.” In his suffering, Job had a choice to make, either to reject God and His Sovereignty or keep on trusting and hoping that He will finally come through for him. When his wife mocked his faith and told him to curse God, Job answers her and says, in Job 2:10,“You speak as one of the [spiritually] foolish women speaks [ignorant and oblivious to God’s will]. Shall we indeed accept [only] good from God and not [also] accept adversity and disaster?” In [spite of] all this Job did not sin with [words from] his lips. Wow! What a man of Faith! Accepting God’s Sovereignty means that we trust Him in everything and realize that He’s in control. Let not our faith be negatively affected by where we’re in life or by what we’re going through right now.
- Recognize and understand that silence can be intimate. See, when Lazarus was sick and his good friend Jesus heard about it, He didn’t go to see him immediately He heard the news, instead, he stayed where He was for 2 more days, and just before He arrived in Bethany, Lazarus died. To his sisters, it would have seemed like Jesus had neglected them and didn’t care about them (like when Martha told Him that if He would have been there earlier, her brother would not have died). This is a reflection of what we feel when God doesn’t answer our cry for help, but we (along with Mary and Martha), are drawn to a new closeness to God and understanding His power. Oswald Chambers in My Utmost For His Highest says “When you cannot hear God, 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’re completely comfortable with someone, it is possible to silently sit in a room together, and it feels okay, and so when in love, silence can be a sign of intimacy, in this case, with God.
- Pay attention to what God is saying. Despite God being ‘silent’ on us regarding a particular petition that we’ve taken to Him, He’s in constant communication with us. How? Through His word, and it has every answer we need to whatever we might want to know. So it’d be best if we dug deeper into His word to find out what He has to say about what we’re asking Him for.
- Keep talking to God. Just because God is silent doesn’t mean or give us a license to start doubting Him and stop praying, or turn our backs on Him, no, but it’s supposed to make us trust Him more and seek Him even more diligently. Still on the story of Job (as it is more relevant in this), God didn’t respond or speak to him until the 38th Chapter. From this I gather that He waits for the perfect time to speak, if only we’re patient enough to wait for His answer(s), even when we see no reason to.
I want to learn more on how to push away every other voice that is not of God in my life, and be silent and still, coz that’s when I’ll only hear HIS VOICE, that still small voice. What about when He’s silent on me? I’ll continue to trust Him, seek Him and have faith that He will speak, when it’s time, as Lamentations 3:26 says “It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.” Why wait? Because He is faithful to keep His word. He doesn’t lie. May we all come to such a place.