I have been struggling with God’s help and how to have faith. Or more, how to claim faith with confidence. I don’t have a good vehicle to drive so I won’t make it to church today. I turned on In Touch with Charles Stanley and this was the message. Without a doubt, I believe God wanted me to hear this message.
Read John 11:1-15 Then read on.
REASONS GOD IS SILENT
* To get our attention.
-We are so wrapped up in our own problems we aren’t paying attention.
* Unconfessed Sin.
– He’s ready to talk to us about this sin. And it is important to take care of this first. (This is not always the reason, it is just one possible reason.)
* We’re not ready to listen to Him
– Did you know that Satan can help you get what you want anytime God doesn’t want you to have it? God is trying to do what is good for you even if you don’t recognize it. But you have to be ready to listen.
*He’s teaching us to trust Him
– Can I trust God when He is silent? He’s not inactive, He still cares. Do we have to see it or feel it in order to trust Him? The Bible says He will never leave us nor forsake us.
*He’s teaching us to distinguish His voice from other’s voices.
-This one is huge for me. I am always questioning weather it is coming from God or my own thoughts. All of us, at some time, have gone to God and asked Him for something and we put words in His mouth. I also ask, am I hearing His voice or is it Satan’s or the World’s? Until I finally learn to the differnce between what I’m thinking and what God is saying, I will always have these questions.
– As kids when we went out to play my mother would call me when it was time to come home. It didn’t matter if all our mom’s called us at the same time, I knew which voice was my mom’s.
– When Dr. Stanley was in another country, he watched two shepards go to the well, and all their sheep followed and got mixed up. He thought, ” this is going to be a mess. How will they ever get their sheep seperated?” But one of the shepards turned and said something in their own language, and turned and walked away. And all of his sheep, and only his sheep, turned and walked away with him. Sheep are not nearly as dumb as we are. They know their master’s voice. :0)
* He’s bringing us to a deeper understanding by praying down the wall.
– We have to remember that He may be silent, but you don’t quit. He’s already working on getting it done. He wants us to trust Him.
– When you are desperate enough you keep on praying and talking to Him. You can’t live in a relationship with God and grow in you Christian life if He has to always be “God on demand” to answer our pettitions.
– When there is no particular need, none what-so-ever, are you just as excited about getting alone with God and being quiet? Talking to Him when you don’t have any need in particular? Or is your real energetic prayer time, 99% of the time, when you have a need? (This is me)
-Come to Him and say,”Lord, I don’t have any needs. I am just here to kneel in your presence and be with you and you be with me.” (This is not me)
– If you can not reach that stage in your life your still in kindergarten, for the simple reason His goal is intimcacy with us. His goal is relationship, a deep abiding relationship. (I’m still in Kindergarten)
-If you have a genuine loving relationship you don’t have to have this, you don’t have to have that. Just presence, that’s all.
– Can you trust God, just presence, just being in His presence?
– He wants to get you beyond, I need this, and that, please protect me, my family, friends, etc. He wants you quietly, just as you are.
We can’t stand quiet. In our country when someone has passed away, we have a MOMENT of silence. Not five minutes, that would kill us. Only a moment, 60 seconds. We can’t stand silence. We live in a noisy world, cell phones in our pockets, ipods in our ears, we fill our lives with noise. Lots and lots of noise. We want the distractions so we don’t have to think. “I don’t even want to think about that right now. I’ll think about it later.” This drives my mom nuts.
HOW DO YOU RESPOND WHEN GOD IS SILENT?
I have done all of these in the past month. They are pretty self explanatory. I am sure I am not the only one who experience these when God is silent.
* Guilt – I must have doen something wrong.
* Feeling seperated from God.
* Fear – Has God deserted me? Have I commited the unpardonable sin? NO YOU HAVEN’T
There are times in the Bible when God is silent. He was silent for 400 years and then He brought us John the Baptist. He asked Noah to build an ark, because it was supposed to rain. Something that had never happened before. It didn’t rain for 100 years after God had told Noah to build the ark. These are examples to show us that God is working. There are reasons for His silence and they are always to help us. His silence is good for us. He is being good to us.
-It is not a relationship of I do this for you and you do this for me.
I did this recently too, I said, ” He must not have let this happen because I didn’t go to church Sunday.” I really believed it. Most people call it Karma.
HOW SHOULD WE RESPOND?
* Ask Him why?
– Even Jesus asked Him, ” My God, my God why have you forsaken me?” God won’t get mad at us for asking Him questions. Telling Him we don’t understand.
* Remember His silence does not mean He’s inactive.
– The 46th Psalm says , ” Cease Striving and know that I’m God” or other versions say “Be still and know that I am God.” But cease striving really hits it home for me. He will perfect what is wrong with us.
* Anticipate a more intimate relationship with Him.
* Respect the right of God to be silent.
– We can ask why, but He doesn’t have to answer. We have to trust and be ok with silence. Again this is something we don’t like. Even as I type I have the TV on. Just for noise. I will be driving my dad’s truck and I asked my brother for the radio and he said no, it isn’t working right. This was frustrating for me. It means I have to be driving in silence. It allows my mind to wander or think to much.
* Read God’s Word.
* When God is silent to you, keep talking and keep praying and keep reading the word. Continually trusting God.
– It’s not the church stuff that God wants most. It’s not bible studies, potlucks, worship, or even outreach and service. It’s an intimate relationship with you. A sense of Oneness.
So how about you? Are you scared to death of silence?
We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose
You can hear the complete sermon by clicking on In Touch in the first paragraph. This is what I got out of the sermon, but you may get some different things.