Today we continue learning the lessons that God’s silence brings. You can catch part 1 here.
It could be said that without the season of winter, which is exactly what God’s silence is, spring cannot come. New growth cannot appear. I write that to exhort those of you who may be in a season of winter so that you may persevere and have hope to carry on into spring.
I’ve just recently moved from a season of winter to a season of spring, and it is well worth the wait. Keep steadfast and keep hoping. He wants to bring you into a place of maturity so that you will not grow stagnant. Remember, He is the vine, and you are the branches (John 15:5). And even branches get pruned from time to time in order to produce more fruit.
When God seems silent, we must continue to obey His voice. When you’ve heard the voice of God, and it seems like it has disappeared, it is important to remember that you can always know what He desires of you by reading His word. John 15:9-10 says, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love.” During the silence, even reading his word can feel empty. At least that was my experience. But to give up believing the Word would lead you to a place of total disobedience as you would not have anything to guide you into what He wants from you as His child.
The silence of God is “a dry and weary land where there is no water” (Ps 63:1). God’s Word is our water, and even though it may not feel like it is quenching our thirst for more of Him and His intimate touch, His word will always permeate your soul. “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)
During the silent seasons, He would speak to me, I doubted it was Him, and like the Israelites wandering in the desert, I began to live in a cycle of disobedience and sin. I had become comfortable in not hearing Him. So when He spoke, I had forgotten the sound of His voice and assumed it was my own.
One day, I was sitting in a bible study, and I heard Isaiah 59:1-2 for the first time, which says, “Look! Listen! God’s arm is not amputated—he can still save. God’s ears are not stopped up—he can still hear. There’s nothing wrong with God; the wrong is in you. Your wrongheaded lives caused the split between you and God. Your sins got between you so that he doesn’t hear” (MSG). Although I feel that not all of the silent portions of my walk with Him were because of disobedience, at that moment, I knew that I was not hearing because I was disobeying.
That same day in class, a woman shared about her voice disorder. I felt that He was telling me to tell her that she would be healed. I completely felt like a crazy heretic, and I refused to tell her at that moment out of fear that I was crazy. “What if God did not heal her, where would I stand?” I thought to myself. “No. I CANNOT have that happen.”
However, because the Spirit convicted me, reminded me of Isaiah 59:1-2, I knew I needed to walk out of the darkness of disobedience and silence and into the light of obedience and relationship. I later went back and told the lady what God directed me to say and apologized for my disobedience.
From that point on, I began to hear Him more clearly again. I decided to stop doubting and thus disobeying, and I started believing that He does indeed speak and want relationship with me.
Side Note about Speaking to Others: When God uses me to speak to others, like to the woman with a voice disorder, His voice is almost always accompanied by Scripture. Most of the time I repeat the Scripture God has given me, and rarely do I speak my own words over someone. I have to be careful not to allow my pride to lead me to disobedience, because disobedience left unrepentant leaves us distant from God. Even when I do share a word of Scripture or biblical truth with someone, I am very hesitant to say, “God told me to tell you” unless I am 150,000% sure. I will say, “I felt led to tell you…”