Sunday, February 5, 2017

How God Uses Silence
(His Message In the Stillness)
Oh, the stillness of God. Something every Christian who walks closely with Jesus despises. When our God is silent, we can question. "Lord, is there something I did?" "Where ARE you?" The questions can go on and on. We doubt. We blame. We can get confused, and then. Then He speaks and He speaks so often with so much revelation that your head spins and everything comes together just as He planned it.


That's been me lately. Months of silence.

If you follow our family, you know we have been on this amazing journey of adoption (and now foster care). While I will be sharing that on the next post, I wanted to share the toughest part of this journey for us while it is still fresh in my mind. I wanted to share about the SILENCE.

I have been reading a book by Charles Stanley called The Ultimate Conversation, Talking with God Through Prayer. There is a chapter on How God Uses Silence and while I know that God uses many different ways to get His message across to us, sometimes He is silent.

Here are some things I have learned about God's silence to us:

1. Our ears must be trained to hear His call. Discern the spirits! Ask yourself if this is something from the Lord or not. This can take a long time to master as the Enemy is beautiful, tempting, etc. There have been times in my own life where I thought something was of the Lord, but took time out to pray and discern, come to find out it wasn't.

2. God grew quiet for 400 years towards Israel (Malachi to Matthew). No prophet, priest, judge or king made sure they were on track. The Lord was preparing Israel, His chosen people, for the coming Messiah. During this silence, common language developed, nations united, spreading Greek culture and language, roads were built so that Matthew 28:19 could take place, making disciples out of all nations.

3. God was working to help Israel with its sin problem.

There are six ways God can use silence in our own lives:

Note: Know this, that He is not angry with you, but continues to work on your behalf. If God is quiet, most likely, there is something significant He desires to teach you and He wants you to listen.

1. Getting Our Attention - When our souls become starved for His presence, we must retrace our steps to see where we've walked away from Him.

I Kings 19:9 - "What are you doing here Elijah?" God uses wind, earthquake and fire to get his attention.

2. Preparing Us to OBEY Him - He knows distance causes us to seek Him more passionately. Are we ready and eager to obey Him?

3. Revealing Our Sin - Is there something bothering you that you can't identify? Are you bearing some heaviness in your spirit that is depleting al your energy? Does it seem like your relationships/plans are going awry? Ask God to identify your iniquity and set you free (Psalm 32:1).

4. Growing Our Trust In Him - He sometimes tests how deeply we believe in Him and how we cling to His promises. he reveals areas where we need to grow. If He's called you to do something specific, He will give you everything you require. The principles God teaches us through His silence are powerful. He acts on behalf of those who wait for Him and He takes full responsibility for our needs when we obey.

5. Training Us To Hear His Voice Above All Others - Although the Holy Spirit can speak through other believers (when I say believers, I am talking about STRONG believers who walk daily with Jesus, not just those who wear the name "Christian" on their sleeve due to cultural or social acceptance), always be ONE with the Lord and go to Him FIRST so that He can reveal in the quiet and stillness. Others can sway our thoughts and opinions on decisions. Be careful on this one.

6. Teaching Us To Persevere In the Ultimate Conversation - He is teaching us to endure in our relationship with Him.

Jesus taught the parable of the widow for this purpose (Luke 18:1-8). His timing is not like ours, nor are His ways comparable to our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9). Sometimes, He desires for us to wait because He is arranging our circumstances, or protecting us from danger. He may be purifying our motives, teaching us to rely on Him or preparing us to influence others.

Here are some things we can do to apply these concepts to our lives:

1. Ask God why He is so quiet. Is there a sin I must confess? A step of obedience I must take? God's silence doesn't mean He's inactive. Recall all the ways He has been faithful to you. Be honest. Express your heart to Him. Commit to being quiet before the Lord everyday.

2. Be confident He is calling you to a new level of intimacy. Don't be discouraged or afraid. We do not serve a God of fear! Get on your KNEES and praise Him! Wait quietly before Him. Thank Him and anticipate His answer. When you actively listen for His voice, the Lord is certain to respond.

God is so faithful in these concepts. He LOVES us and is pruning us into magnificent vines to bear much fruit for His kingdom.

That's what my next post will be about...Kingdom work! Our story of How God lead us to pursue foster care. Never say "never" to the Lord! (LOL) One lesson we have learned the hard way. That is usually JUST what He will call you to do! {grin}

Blessings brothers and sisters-in-Christ Jesus! The harvest is ready, but the workers are few. Let's get to work. Kingdom work! {wink}

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