Written by Gilbert Ackerman
Silence is golden.
I’m sure all the moms of young children said ‘amen’ in their heads as they read that sentence.
Silence is peaceful. Silence is recharging. Silence is grounding.
However, silence is sometimes cause for concern.
In a paradoxical fashion, I’m sure those moms of young children also know that if things are too quiet than something bad is probably happening.
Our walk with God mirrors this idea. It’s normal to feel that God is quiet; that He’s not directly saying something to us every moment of every day, however we do expect to hear from Him regularly in our relationship with Him.
So what happens when God is too quiet for too long?
I’m sure you’ve been there. At the ripe old age of 27, I’ve felt that dynamic in my relationship with God quite a few times already. You’ll hear a word from God, and then go weeks or months without hearing from Him again. You have a series of unanswered questions and prayers that run a mile long, and God seems like He’s uninterested or unwilling to help you situation. Maybe you’re waiting for Him to say something about your marriage that’s falling apart. Maybe you’re waiting to hear from Him to tell you what career you should head into. Maybe you’re waiting for God to say something about your desperate financial situation.
Whatever your situation may be; one thing remains. God is silent.
If you’re anything like me, this silence probably feels like a punishment for failing God in some way. That God is distancing Himself from you because you didn’t do something that you should have.
If you feel like you’re getting the silent treatment from God, let me give you some good news:
God is not silent because you’ve disappointed Him.
God is silent for a lot of reasons, but you making mistakes is not one of them. That’s a lie of the enemy used to create distance between you and God. In fact our failures are often times where God is the most vocal about how He loves us and what He wants to do in our lives.
God is silent for a reason. A reason to draw you closer to Him, not push you farther away. Again, in a paradoxical fashion, God is actually speaking with His silence. There’s a lot of things that can be learned from this silence, but for the sake of brevity, I’ll keep it to the most important:
Fight for the last thing God spoke to you.
This has been one of the most life-changing things I’ve ever done in my walk with God. God is often silent because He wants us to keep doing the last thing He said for us to do. He hasn’t spoken something new because He doesn’t want us to move on yet! He is an omnipotent God that is constantly working in our world so even though we think that we may have accomplished our last directive from God, we may not have. What we call a to-do list that can be finished, God calls a spark that needs to burst into flame. Maybe God said for you to:
- Increase your financial giving
- Go on a missions trip
- Attend a small group
- Join a ministry team
- Attend marriage counseling
- Have a consistent night where you do things as a family
Don’t stop doing whatever God may have asked you to do. Take what He’s said, and lean into more. You felt God speak to you and say that you need to prioritize your family so you set a weekly date night with your spouse. Now that you’ve done that, start a family game night. You felt God speak to you about giving away 10% of your finances last year, now give away 15%. You committed to a small group last year, now commit to lead a small group.
We wouldn’t run only 5 miles a week and expect to be able to finish a marathon. We would need to push ourselves more each week so that we can run 6, then 7, and then eventually a full marathon. It’s the same way with God. We take the last thing He said, push ourselves with it, and trust that God will speak again when it is time.
I know it’s hard. I know you’re probably feeling frustrated and discouraged because God has been silent in your life for far too long. I’ve been there, I empathize. Push through the feelings, and fight for that next level in your relationship with God. Fight for the last thing that God spoke to you. When we move with this kind of faith, God opens the blessing of heaven on our lives. God’s voice rushes to us anew, and there’s a deep peace and joy that fills our souls.
Keep doing what you know to be good. Keep doing what you know to be right. God’s voice and presence is drawn like a magnet to that kind of faith.
Fight for the last thing God spoke for you to do. If you do, I promise He won’t stay silent for long.
Gilbert Ackerman works in the kids ministry department at the Deer Lakes Campus of Allison Park Church. When he’s not working, he enjoys researching personality assessments, reading fantasy books, and playing video games