Wednesday, October 29, 2014

See God {Day 29: What to do when God is Silent}

I have been thinking some about God and how He deals with us.  I think He wants us to know Him so deeply and passionately that He will take us down the same path until we get it.  Until we get Him.  So many times, we think to ourselves, man, I was just here.  The circumstances may look a little different, but it seems to be the same story of the heart.

Lately, I have thought about how I cycle through periods of not hearing God.  It never fails....He simply goes mute.  It shatters me each time, but I think I am coming to some maturity with the issue.

When these periods would come years ago, I would go into some sort of depressive funk, convinced that the Holy of Holies was mad at me for some reason.  I figured I had ticked Him off and He came to His senses and realized I wasn't worth the effort.  The funny thing was that I would repent of sin and He would still remain quiet.  Trying to figure Him out proved futile.

But, now, coming out of another round of silence, I am beginning to see differently.  I think He kept bringing me to the quiescent place in order to keep giving me a chance to behold Him in a new way.

I reflect on how He did this with Elijah in 1 Kings 19.  Elijah had run away from Jezebel and was in quite the emotional state.  God appears to Elijah and asks him what he is doing there.  Elijah goes into a spiel about how he has served faithfully but now people are trying to murder him.  It is a pity party and for some reason that gives me comfort, knowing that Elijah was very much a man just like us.

God decides to graciously offer a beautiful demonstration of Himself to Elijah. He gives a show of powerful wind, earthquake, and fire, but He wasn't found in any of it.  He grants Elijah the gift of His still small voice and gives Elijah a chance to answer differently.

What are you doing here, Elijah?  Elijah missed the point.  He didn't grasp who God was in that moment and he answered the question the exact same way.

When God says that He came in the sound of a low whisper, the Hebrew is literally "a thin silence." One commentary described it as a "still, gentle rustling."  He chose to reveal Himself not thru powerful displays, but through the quiet.

Such grace it must take to hear Him when He is practically silent.

So, what if God chooses to allow us to cycle back to things until we finally get it and see Him in a new light?  Or finally hear Him despite the void?  We need ears to hear!

I read this in "My Utmost for His Highest" and it beautifully takes on this idea...

"Has God trusted you with His silence— a silence that has great meaning?  God’s silences are actually His answers.  Just think of those days of absolute silence in the home at Bethany!  Is there anything comparable to those days in your life?  Can God trust you like that, or are you still asking Him for a visible answer?  God will give you the very blessings you ask if you refuse to go any further without them, but His silence is the sign that He is bringing you into an even more wonderful understanding of Himself.  Are you mourning before God because you have not had an audible response?

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.  If God has given you a silence, then praise Him— He is bringing you into the mainstream of His purposes.  The actual evidence of the answer in time is simply a matter of God’s sovereignty. Time is nothing to God. For a while you may have said, “I asked God to give me bread, but He gave me a stone instead” (see Matthew 7:9). He did not give you a stone, and today you find that He gave you the “bread of life” (John 6:35).

A wonderful thing about God’s silence is that His stillness is contagious— it gets into you, causing you to become perfectly confident so that you can honestly say, “I know that God has heard me.” His silence is the very proof that He has. As long as you have the idea that God will always bless you in answer to prayer, He will do it, but He will never give you the grace of His silence. If Jesus Christ is bringing you into the understanding that prayer is for the glorifying of His Father, then He will give you the first sign of His intimacy— silence."

I had never considered His silence as GRACE.  The next time I cycle into the hush, I hope I remember that.

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