When God is Silent - Part 2
As we’ve seen in part 1 of this blog post, God’s times of silence in our lives are an invitation to us to grow in understanding and experience of some things. This second and final part of the article continues to look at how we can walk through times of God’s silence and what He wants to accomplish in our lives during those times. If you haven’t read the first post, I encourage you to do so before reading this one. You can read it here.
Know that God has a purpose for this time. God has plans and purposes for your life – to do you good and to bring you into living a life of purpose, fullness and abundance in every way (John 10:10). God is not being silent on a whim or to play with your emotions. As we’ve seen earlier, His silence is actually an invitation to growth, and a time where He wants to build some things into your life.
Recognise that this may be a time of testing. Testing isn’t always bad; in fact testing is necessary in the development of things. One reason is that testing shows how strong something is and where it’s weaknesses, or breaking points, are. Testing our faith shows us how real the faith and trust we have in God is, and where it is weak. Rick Warren said this about the silence of God - “The instructor is always silent when a test is given…When God is silent in your life, you are being tested.”
Use this time to deepen your understanding of God’s nature and character. When you know what God is truly like many of the questions you have disappear, or they become something that is far easier to deal with. Dig into Scripture and discover who God is. In using the word ‘God’ I am referring to the Trinity - Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Find out what their nature and character is like and what they have promised you in the Covenant that they made in Christ. Listen to other people’s testimonies that describe what they are like – their faithfulness and trustworthiness, their love, their provision etc.
It’s a good time to deepen your relationship with God’s written Word. Do you need assurance of His trustworthiness and faithfulness? Do you know the things that have been promised to you? Do you understand how His Kingdom works, or the Covenant that you are in? Scripture is a place where you’ll find the answers to those things. There is great invitation in His silence, an invitation to discovery. When God is silent it’s a good time to go back to Scripture and do some study to receive further revelation and understanding.
The time of God’s silence is a place of building and establishing things. We get to choose what will be built and established in our lives during this time – faith or fear, the promises of God or the lies of the enemy. Choose wisely during these times because what you choose now will affect your next season.
It’s a time to stocktake. A time of God’s silence is a great time to stocktake - look over the things that He’s promised you and see if there is anything from those promises, or anything He has previously asked you to do, that you haven’t followed through on. Sometimes God won’t give us new assignments if we haven’t followed through on things He’s previously asked us to do.
Learn to recognise what’s happening within you. A time of God’s silence or hiddenness is a good time to evaluate your life and your reactions. When you can’t seem to hear God speak in a certain situation some things will happen within you. Holes in your understanding of God, His nature and character, or unrecognised fears, that normally are hidden may begin to rise to the surface in you, making room for the enemy to go to work on you if you let him. Are you choosing to believe the enemy instead of believing in God’s goodness and faithfulness?
Examine your reactions. Are you walking in your new creation nature or accessing old habit patterns and beliefs from your old nature? Are you accessing the mind of Christ and the fruits of the Spirit – for example are you choosing impatience when patience, trust and rest are available for you to walk in?
Recognise what are feelings and what are facts. Feelings can be powerful persuaders if we let them. Sometimes our feelings will tell us the truth, and sometimes they won’t. Sometimes our feelings are fears in disguise. When those fears arise, you can make some assumptions based on those fears. Most of the time those assumptions will be wrong because they are founded on fear, not truth. What fears have risen in your life during times of silence? The fear that God is not with you? The fear that you are being punished? The fear that you are not acceptable for some reason? Examine those beliefs that arise and apply the truth revealed in Scripture about God’s nature, character, and ability to keep His promises to them. God knows what lies you are believing about Him, and about yourself and He wants to change those, bringing you into truth.
It’s a time to encourage yourself in the Lord. In times of silence you need to encourage yourself in the Lord. You can do this by bringing back to mind the good things that He has done in your life before. You can declare the promises that He has given you in the past, either through Scripture or personally through your times with Him, or in previous prophetic words. Take those words and war with them, declaring who God says you are and what He has promised you. This is a powerful weapon, as is the next point.
Pick up and use the weapon of praise. Use praise as a weapon during times of silence and declare who God is! Declare His mighty deeds, His faithfulness, His goodness. Psalm 50:23 says “He who offers thanksgiving honours me and prepares the way for me to show him the salvation of God.” The word thanksgiving has an interesting meaning – part of what it means is “to give thanks in advance for things not yet received”. That sort of praise is powerful and prepares a way in the Spirit for God to act in our lives.
It’s a time to step into a place of walking in faith. This is the time to dig deep into the abundance of promises that God has given us, to cultivate the fruit of the Spirit in our lives (peace, patience, self-control etc. - Gal 5) and other things like hope and trust in Him. It’s a time to access those things by faith, even when there are no emotions or feelings of His presence to support us. Faith sees what God wants to do, agrees with it, speaks it out, stands firm in it and takes action in line with what God has shown us.
God’s silence is a place where we learn rest and peace. If God’s promise to never leave us or forsake us is true then we can know rest and peace, even when it seems that He is far away. Separation from God is an illusion and a lie; and when we know that, our peace and rest become weapons of mighty destruction against the enemy’s plans to destroy our faith in God.
Prophetic words are great to receive, and I love it when God gives someone a prophetic word for me, but we need to understand that we can short-circuit what God is wanting to do in our lives if we make seeking a prophetic word our main response to God’s silence.
God is good and if you truly need a prophetic word He is well able to send someone your way to give you one. He knows what you need and when you need it. If you haven’t got a prophetic word yet about your situation then maybe it’s because God has other plans, other ways that He wants to do a work in your life during this time.
Use the things I’ve shared above, let the situation and God’s silence draw you into a place of discovery and growth. What you discover and establish in your life during this time will not only be a blessing to you but it will be a blessing to many others as you share with them how to walk through times of God’s silence.
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