Sunday, November 20, 2016

Silent God

Silent God
November 21, 2016
Psalm 28:1  "To you, Lord, I call; you are my Rock, do not turn a deaf ear to me.  For if you remain silent, I will be like those who go down to the pit."

Have you ever prayed and it seemed like the Lord was silent?  Have you ever asked for an answer to prayer and He didn't say yes OR no?  Have you ever asked for wisdom and it seemed as if you had no idea what to do without leading one way or the other from the Lord?  Unless you're Jesus, my guess is you're like me and feel like He is more silent than He is anything else.  So what do you do when there is no answer from the Lord, no clear direction, no clear path, and the Lord seems silent?  The answer is more practical than you probably want to know and far less magical than you were hoping for.  The answer is already there.  When God seems silent, He has actually already spoken loud and clear.

The pale, trendy answer to when the Lord seems silent is that the Lord Almighty has already spoken to you through the Bible, leaving you the Holy Book to lean on if you'd just open the leafy pages or click on the app.  Without sounding heretical or rude, that is not sufficient enough of an answer.  The Bible does not always speak to your specific situation and sometimes the Lord is truly silent.  The Israelites realized this in the Old Testament.  Between the last book of the Old Testament and first writing of the New Testament, the Lord was silent for approx 400 years.  It was known as the silent period (how appropriate).  God chose to be quiet during that time and He chooses to be quiet during your lifetime, too.  During those 400 years, did the Israelites not need any answered prayer requests or wisdom for their lives?  They were human and needed Him just as desperately as you need Him now.

When the Lord seems silent, for your significant request, direction, or wisdom, there is actually an answer to your dilemma.  The answer is you should figure it out on your own, well, not really.  If the Lord has already answered it for you, He wants to see if you will trust Him with His last known response.  He doesn't tell you to never seek Him ever again.  He wants you to call on Him, but if He seems silent, here is your plan of attack.  The first and foremost thing to do is consult scripture.  If there is an easy answer there is an easy answer to apply.  If you want to know whether or not you should tithe or give to the needy, the answer is easily found in there without a smoke screen rising to Heaven for a sign.  If you want to know if you should marry such and such a person, well, that is not easily answered in Scripture (unless the person is not a Christian).  So, God asks you to apply the last known answer first.  He is not going to give you a new revelation on the fruits of the Spirit.  The last answer was sufficient.  Then He asks you to apply a sound methodology.

The methodology starts with where you stopped, and that is prayer.  Obviously, you're still praying and seeking, praying and seeking.  But if He still seems silent and there isn't an answer in Scripture, then you get to seek out the wisdom of your elders.  An elder isn't an old person, an elder is someone very mature in Scripture (who has demonstrated it with his or her own life).  But if that answer doesn't seem to satisfy, then pause and check your spirit.  Make sure your movement forward isn't accompanied with a stop sign in your spirit.  If you have a check in your spirit, then don't move forward.  But if there is nothing, and you still must move forward without an answer, then know the Lord has already equipped you with the answer, you're just being insecure about it.  The Lord is testing you, to see how you will respond, to see how you'll move forward.  A teacher in school is only silent during the tests.  A teacher has given instruction, plenty of practice, and then must be silent to see if the student is able to apply the knowledge on the exam.

While I am not suggesting the Lord is testing you, I AM suggesting the Lord is seeing how you'll respond and if you'll move forward in the wisdom He has already given you.  His goal is that you'd be a mature Christian, complete and wise, not living off milk but weaned from the infancy of your Christianity.  You can't be a mature Christian if you constantly depend on the Lord for your baby milk, after this long.

Don't take my word for it; look it up:  1 Sam 3:1-10, 1 Kings 19,  Is 28:9, Is 30:21, 1 Cor 3:2, James 1:5-6, James 4:8, Heb 5:12-13  

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